Text Context

Oasis Fruit

Jujubes once took center stage at Algerian Rosh HaShanah celebrations.

Special to the Jewish Week
09/08/2010

The French-Algerian author Albert Bensoussan remembered a clear moment from his childhood during Rosh HaShanah. His mother, busily shopping in the Arab marketplace, let go of his hand for a brief moment. Little Albert was lost, with a cone-shaped news-paper filled with jujubes (pronounced juJOOB) in hand. To the young Algerian boy, jujubes were equivalent with Jews, right down to the alphabetical resonance.

Grosser, Krivoi Rog district, Ukraine, c. 1930. PHOTO: AMERICAN JEWISH JOINT DISTRIBUTION COMMITTEE

Bread and Water

The ritual of Tashlich brings together all kinds of Jews and all kinds of sins.

Special to the Jewish Week
09/08/2010

It’s a glorious late summer/early fall evening in Riverside Park on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. The setting sun smiles like in a 6-year-old’s art-work, dappling the surface of the lazily flowing Hudson. Cottony clouds slowly turn crimson. And the park promenade is thronged four and five deep—with Jews.

Tashlich, Šiauliai, 1930s. FROM THE ARCHIVES OF THE YIVO INSTITUTE FOR JEWISH RESEARCH, NEW YORK.

H2Blow

in producing Jewish music, trombonist Rafi Malkiel found inspiration in water.

Special to the Jewish Week
09/08/2010

When John Zorn invited the Israeli trombonist and composer Rafi Malkiel to record an album exploring his Jewish roots for Zorn’s Tzadik label, Malkiel was delighted. He was also stumped. “I don’t know how to do Jewish music,” Malkiel told me; which is ironic, because he seems to know how to do everything else, from straight-ahead jazz to Middle Eastern music and salsa.

Editor’s Note

Editor
09/08/2010

I write this with a view of the Atlantic Ocean, listening to the roar of the waves breaking at the shore. It’s a soothing sound, even as it hints of danger. Water is both gentle and fierce, creative and destructive, as we’ve seen with this summer’s flooding in the Indus Valley of Pakistan, washing away precious lives and displacing millions of people.

JILL NATHANSON. In Our Image, by Our Likeness, Courtesy of Messineo Art Projects/Wyman Contemporary

Text Context: Water

Water can be blessing and curse, and while we acknowledge its dangers, we look at its life-nourishing essence. Turning to the new year that begins this week, we explore the connections between water and holiness, blessing and the idea of renewal. We look

09/08/2010
Text/Context: Water

journal watch

Staff Writer
08/03/2010

  journal

 

There is an unbroken tradition of Jewish travel, from the exotic voyages of the ninth-century Eldad Ha-Dani and the 12th-century Benjamin Mitudela and David Ha-Reuveini, to the somewhat less exotic — but nonetheless serious — peregrinators Label and Laurie Littlechap of Lawrence travelling to Cancun for Pesach.

The Jews Who Tamed The Wild West

Working for hospitality giant Fred Harvey, 19th-century immigrants Dave Benjamin and Harold Schweizer
expanded travel and trade, while helping build Jewish institutions.

Staff Writer
08/03/2010

 Growing up in the east — the product of suburban shuls and summer camp — I didn’t hear a lot of stories about bubbies and zaydes on horseback herding cattle, or great uncles at rail depots fighting off dusty desperados in cowboy America.  

So I was deeply and pleasantly surprised to meet so many colorful and fascinating frontier Jews while researching the life of revolutionary businessman Fred Harvey. 

Einstein At GC

Destination: Peace

Using Tefilat Haderech, the traveler’s prayer, as a guide.

Staff Writer
08/03/2010

 The beginning of Tefilat Haderech, the Traveler’s Prayer, sets a pretty high bar. No matter where we go — a business conference, a family reunion — peace is the desired destination. It is as if peace were an actual place we could find on a map or type into Hopstop.

 A Jewish family that has just arrived in Israel.  Haifa. Israel. 1950s, PHOTO: AMERICAN JEWISH JOINT DISTRIBUTION COMMITTEE

Without Knowing I Had Ever Been Lost

At a hangar-turned arts space, an American adjusts to her foreign homeland.

Staff Writer
08/03/2010

 I wait for the number 60 bus, the Egged line heading south. Through the Beersheva station young women with bleached blonde hair and miniskirts strut the walkway in plastic stilettos, past the shwarma stands and the vendors selling neon-colored toy guns and fake tattoos.

 photo by Heather Hanowitz

The Perfect Cure

In Uman, a pilgrimage to Rebbe Nachman’s grave becomes a lesson in reading and understanding.

08/03/2010

 I was coming to the destination. I was going to fetch my portrait of the Rebbe. My fantasy was a personal quiet meditative event. Me and the Rebbe, the Rebbe and me. But it was a seething hive of Jews. Near the entrance is a washstand, as it’s customary to wash hands on returning from a grave. But any sense of actually being at a grave is overwhelmed by the crowd. I’d come at the peak hour, just before Rosh HaShanah. Last chance to have a special conversation with Rebbe Nachman. For me, it would have to be a sort of shouting conversation and at a distance.

  Photo by Ahron D. Weiner. Peace, 2006
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