Special Sections

The Fifth Son

In those long-ago seders, who were the drab Peshevorskys, and why were they at our table?

Special To The Jewish Week
03/26/2010

Their name was pronounced Peshevorsky. I have no idea how it was spelled. Neither do I know their first names. I addressed them as “Mr. and Mrs. Peshevorsky.” It was such a mouthful, I had to practice saying it before they arrived.
 

They only joined us for the seders. It was, however, a perennial visit. Their presence defined Passover as certainly as the presence of a lulav and esrog defined Sukkot. The difference was, a lulav and esrog were more animated.
 

The Freedom Suite

Passover carries many meanings to different people -- historical, political, religious and personal. In the essays that follow, Isaac Steven Herschkopf, Haviva Ner-David, Neil Gillman and Charles Savenor offer their perspectives on the festival of freed

03/26/2010

 

The Freedom Suite

Slaves Of History?

A student’s challenge offers new light
on Jewish people’s old experience in Egypt.

03/24/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

‘In every generation,” we read in the Haggadah every year, “everyone must view himself or herself as if he or she had gone forth from Egypt.” This comes from the biblical commandment, “In that day you shall teach your child saying, ‘All of this is because of what God did for me when I went forth from Egypt.’ It was not only our forefathers that the blessed Holy One redeemed; us too God redeemed together with them. ...”
 

A Modern Passover Story In Egypt

An unexpected question confronts
a pair of Jewish visitors in Cairo.

03/24/2010
Special To The Jewish Weekv

The initial plan was spectacular. While studying at Hebrew University in 1990, Arie Katz, a Princeton grad who currently serves as the chair of the Orange County Community Scholar Program in California, and I journeyed from Israel to Egypt the week before Passover to tour and admire our ancestors’ handiwork, otherwise known as the pyramids.

Old memories come out of storage each year.The Pesach Dishes

03/24/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

Like the children of Israel leaving Egypt, the dishes emerge from the darkness of the Rubbermaid bins at the back of my garage, launching a reunion with long-gone relatives who come rushing across the parted sea into my patient, waiting arms. Slowly, I unfurl the newspaper wrapping and announce Pesach’s arrival in my home.
 

Clean SweepA feminist finds spiritual meaning in what she had seen as drudgery.

03/24/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

When I was a child, I watched my mother turn our New York suburban home upside down during her zealous Pesach cleaning. Later, as a young feminist, I resented the fact that my mother (with the help of our house cleaner) did all the cleaning and cooking before the seders, while my father led the ritual aspect of these meals.
 
I saw my mother as enslaved to an exaggerated notion of the halachic requirement to rid one’s home of chametz, which I thought was totally antithetical to the notion of Pesach as a holiday of freedom.
 

The Fifth Son

In those long-ago seders, who were the drab Peshevorskys,
and why were they at our table?

03/24/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

Their name was pronounced Peshevorsky. I have no idea how it was spelled. Neither do I know their first names. I addressed them as “Mr. and Mrs. Peshevorsky.” It was such a mouthful, I had to practice saying it before they arrived.

They only joined us for the seders. It was, however, a perennial visit. Their presence defined Passover as certainly as the presence of a lulav and esrog defined Sukkot. The difference was, a lulav and esrog were more animated.

Special Section: Passover, 5770 - a Taste of Freedom

03/19/2010

Elegant macarons, against the grain with quinoa, kosher wines on the rebound, cool gifts for kids and much more.

 

Art by Debbie Richman

JOURNAL WATCH

Special to the Jewish Week
03/19/2010

 “Did you hear the one about … ?”

Humor is an enigma. Philosophers and physicians and psychologists, historians and linguists have for centuries pondered why we laugh. Aristotle and Freud, Kant and Bergson have offered explanations of humor. But at bottom, there ain’t nothing like a good joke.

Dark Humor

Special to the Jewish Week
03/19/2010

 Earlier this year, New York magazine ran a cover story announcing the death of Jewish humor. “Twilight of the Tummlers” was a profile of Woody Allen and Larry David, tied to the movie “Whatever

Works,” but it was also a prediction that their particular brand of bleak, self-lacerating comedy was not long for this world.

PHOTO: AMERICAN JEWISH JOINT DISTRIBUTION COMMITTEE: French refugee children, Portugal, 1941.
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