06/29/2011 | | Reform Really

As I write this, [Cue: “We are the Champions” by Queen], I am completing a very profound weekend of rabbi-ing. From Friday morning through Monday afternoon, I took part in a number of major lifecycle events, ranging from birth to death. I am frequently the officiant for at least one lifecycle event on any given weekend, but rarely do I have a weekend such as this:

Baby Naming? Check.
B’nai Mitzvah? Check.
Wedding? Check.
Funeral? Check.
Unveiling? Check.

06/28/2011 | | The Jewish Week Q&A

New Yorkers may consider their town the capital of Jewish deli fare, but Saveur magazine recently singled out Michigan’s Zingerman’s — arguably the foodie mecca of the Midwest — for producing the best Jewish rye bread in America.

06/28/2011 | | Lens

Most of the Jewish community celebrated Shavuot, the holiday that marks the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai, in mid-June.

Some residents of Israel, including the Black Hebrews of Dimona, celebrated Shavuot a few weeks later.

The group, like the Karaites and Samaritans, who also recognize only the Torah but not the Oral Law as a source for their traditions, count Shavuot as occurring on the Sunday seven weeks after the Sunday of Passover.

06/28/2011 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Home and Away: An American In Israel

What is sickness? asks the Etrog Man.

Unhappiness. Worries. Pressure.

That’s what ails us in the 21st century.

But the Etrog Man, whose real name is Uzi-Eli, wants to counteract all of that.

“I want people to live healthier lives,” he tells me. “I want to help people from the inside out.”

06/28/2011 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Culture View

I recently inhaled Adina Hoffman and Peter Cole’s new book Sacred Trash: The Lost and Found World of the Cairo Geniza. Part of the Jewish Encounters series from Schocken and Nextbook, this headlong excavation into one of the greatest literary finds in Jewish history opened my eyes to the complex drama behind the sudden “appearance” of this storehouse of medieval Hebrew documents.

06/28/2011 | | Travel Writer | Travel

‘Macedonia is Greece!” blares a sign scrawled in red paint across plazas in Thessaloniki, Drama and other towns across northern Greece. “Makedonia e Bulgaria!” screams the Bulgarian equivalent, just as fervent, in graffiti along that country’s southern highways.