07/19/2011 | | Staff Writer | Culture View

If you’re an arts journalist these days, it’s hard not to feel a pang of envy at your colleagues covering the media and politics. For the past few weeks, the media beat has basked in the glory of taking down one of journalists’ favorite villains, Rupert Murdoch, after the relentless pursuit of The News of the World’s phone-hacking scandal.

07/18/2011 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | Reform Really

How can we even begin to process this? A beautiful 8 year-old boy, Leiby Kletzky, was simply on his way home from his local yeshiva day camp in Borough Park. He was to meet his mother at their appointed location, but failed to show up. A search was begun by law enforcement and members of the community, and all remained hopeful that Leiby would be found, safe and sound.

07/14/2011 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World

There exists, in ancient rabbinic literature, the concept of a t'filat shav- a useless or ill-advised prayer uttered in vain and therefore to be avoided. A man is not to say "I hope my wife gives birth to a boy," for the sex of a child is determined at the moment of conception, and certainly not impacted thereafter by prayer. And if you see a fire burning as you approach your home, you should not say "I hope it's not my house that's burning."

07/13/2011 | | Online Jewish Week Columnist | The Nosh Pit

Tofu gets a pretty bad rap from many people. In fact, there may be some loyal Nosh Pit readers who abandon ship after I even mention the word. But the truth is, when it is prepared well, tofu can be a delicious and healthy addition to any meal.

07/12/2011 | | Lens

Two months after Israelis celebrated their Independence Day, independence day came again last week in Israel.

South Sudanese independence day.

07/12/2011 | | The Jewish Week Q&A

Celebrities are known for bestowing unconventional names on their offspring, from Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin’s daughter Apple, to singers Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz naming their son Bronx Mowgli. Jewish Israeli actress Natalie Portman gave birth to her first child last week, a son, with fiance Benjamin Millepied. After much speculation, the news broke that Portman named her child Alef, the first letter in the Hebrew alphabet.