Special Sections

Of Love Abundant and Abiding

Toward a Jewish Theology of Marriage


 In Judaism, the covenant between God and Israel has two aspects to it—a concrete contract, on the one hand, and an infinite set of aspirations, on the other.

  Wedding reception held in Displaced Persons camp Porta Nuova; near Turin, Italy, c. 1948.

The Ultimate Wedding Anthem

Whether read literally or metaphorically, the Song of Songs evokes love in a way few texts can equal.


 ‘My beloved is mine and I am his…” 

With such soulful beauty does that single line, from the Song of Songs, capture the essence of enduring love that one can almost think of it as an anthem for engagements and weddings. It can be found as border decoration or embellishment in countless ketubot (Jewish wedding contracts) and has provided the text for numerous songs in honor of the bride and groom.

Editor’s Note


 I  love weddings. I’m always drawn to the back-stories and the abundance of hope. As summer approaches, we thought to take a serious and thoughtful look at the ritual terrain. 

 Photo: Rich Pomerantz Photography

Text Context June 2010: Weddings

Weddings: a new and thoughtful look at the ritual terrain

Staff Writer

From Boxing To The Bedouins

A roundup of new nonfiction titles.

Jewish Week Book Critic

 This season offers some remarkable new nonfiction titles, on some unexpected, previously unexplored topics. Readers can imagine — and try to understand — other lives, other times.

Binnie Klein’s memoir, “Blows to the Head"

A Deep Freeze

Thoughtful new novel introduces a cryogenically preserved
chasidic sage to modern-day suburban Memphis.

Special To The Jewish Week

 What better way to chill out at the beach this summer than with “The Frozen Rabbi” (Algonquin)? Novelist Steve Stern’s entrancingly zany fable interlaces the mystery and mysticism of Old World Yiddish folklore with the New Age spiritual yearnings of today, and all through the magic of a story well told.

The Ice Reb cometh: Steve Stern’s magical realism mixes Sholom Aleichem with Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Henry Roth’s Final Journey

On the occasion of a new posthumous novel, Roth’s last editor reflects on a complicated legacy.

Special To The Jewish Week

 Having worked intensely with the reclusive Henry Roth for the last four years of his life, sculpting thousands of manuscript pages into his four-volume “Mercy of a Rude Stream” series, and now having overseen the editing of his final, posthumous novel, “An American Type,” I have unwittingly become something of an Roth authority. 

The young Henry Roth: From the Lower East Side to the heart of America. Hugh Roth/Norton

Song Of The Open Road

In ‘An American Type,’ Henry Roth suggests that there is a heavy price to be paid for America’s freedom, and for Jewishness itself.

Staff Writer

The wisest way to approach a posthumous novel is with low expectations. Given that, you wouldn’t be wrong to afford some grace to Henry Roth’s new posthumous novel, “An American Type” (Norton), cobbled together from 1,900 disordered manuscript pages that were left untouched for nearly a decade after he died. And yet the book hardly needs it. 

An American Type

Eli Winkelman, 25

Selling challah for social justice

Editorial Intern

When Eli Winkelman met former President Bill Clinton after a speech at Claremont College, she presented him with a foil-wrapped loaf of challah. That interaction got her and her organization, Challah for Hunger, a mention in Clinton’s book “Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World.”

Eli Winkelman

Rabbi Mendy Weitman, 26

Making a space for Latin American Jews

Staff Writer

A native of Brazil and former resident of Argentina, Rabbi Mendel Weitman heard the same thing over and over upon his move to New York four years ago: young Jewish men and women, mostly professionals and college students from his continent, would come here, attend synagogue services or some other Jewish function, feel ill at ease in an unfamiliar and often unwelcoming culture, and drop out of Jewish life. They didn’t feel at home.

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