Thursday, July 31st, 2008
An interesting footnote to Obama’s letter in the Kotel is not only how relatively new the custom is, beginning in the 1700s, but how dramatically the concept of the Kotel has changed in that time period.
Sunday, June 1st, 2008
Not that long ago, we were talking with Sherwood Goffin (see story here), the wonderful chazzan at Lincoln Square Synagogue, about the problem of amateurs who, when leading services, freely staple niggunim (spiritual melodies), or beautiful popular Israeli songs, such as Erev Shel Shoshanim, or even Puff The Magic Dragon, to verses of the davening without any regard to how appropriate the particular tune might be to the verse.
Wednesday, June 11th, 2008
Regarding the previous post, “Sympathy for the Devil,” here’s a good piece in The Boston Globe that looks at the increasing awareness - 40 years late - of Bobby Kennedy as America’s first victim of Palestinian terror.
Friday, June 13th, 2008
The other week, a local Jewish elementary school put on a heckuva production of “Fiddler On The Roof,” but totally corrupted the ending, having Tevye and his family move from Anatevka to Israel, rather than to America. Now isn’t that Zionist of the school; Zionism being so noble that even a creaky old musical must corrupt itself as homage to corruption in Olmert’s government.
Wednesday, June 18th, 2008
There will be hundreds of articles still to be published in Jewish newspapers and magazines in the next six months, but I have already identified one that is surely to be one of the most ridiculous of 2008.
The new issue of the very glossy “Jewish Living (June/July) has a big cover story, “Where We Live Now: Top Ten Neighborhoods” in North America to “raise a family, get involved, meet a mate, score a great nosh.”
Friday, June 27th, 2008
My uncle, Milton Samuel Mark, died of AIDS a while back, from a blood transfusion given to him in a Bronx hospital, so I take the AIDS issue seriously and with some measure of resentment.
Sunday, June 29th, 2008
Just hours, really, into the Hamas-Israel truce, rockets flew out of Gaza and landed in Israel.
“Gaza truce strained by rocket fire,” headlined Reuters (June 28). Strained? Sending rockets into another country is an act of war. What would the Palestinians of Gaza have to do to advance this beyond strained?
Monday, June 30th, 2008
Summer’s here and there’s a new book in the bookstores, “Growing Up At Grossinger’s” (Skyhorse Publishing), by Tania Grossinger that turns out to be an old book, a reprint of what she first published in 1976, that has almost nothing to do with the hotel that many of us remember and miss. Considering that the hotel closed after the original publication, one could have hoped for a serious autopsy, but that would be hoping for too much.
Young Families, Singles Flocking to Upper East Side; ‘The Memory Is In Their Taste Buds’: The Lure of Sephardic Food; Safra Synagogue Rabbi’s Growing Empire; Sephardic And Egalitarian at B’nai Jeshurun; Giving Voice to Sephardic Music.