New documentary traces the varied steps of the pioneering
modern dance choreographer.
When Anna Halprin was growing up in the 1920s, she liked to watch her grandfather pray. He would rock back and forth, his long white beard swaying, while a string of unintelligible words rushed from his mouth. As his words became louder, faster, his body followed suit, moving in what seemed like some mystical dance. God must have looked something like that, Halprin remembers thinking. And so, she reasoned, “I thought God was a dancer.”
Sunday, September 28th, 2008
In the end, of course, “Hair” is a Broadway musical, a superficial story with superb songs that just happen to be about drugs, dropouts and draft dodging. Some teenagers, from a yeshiva, told an old man (me) that seeing “Hair” made them wish that they were “activists,” too, like the kids in “Hair,” which is as connected to real life as wanting to be a nanny after seeing “Mary Poppins,” or a horse after “Equus.”
Wednesday, April 30th, 2008
The recent arrest of an Israeli spy, Ben-Ami Kadish, brings Jonathan Pollard to mind, and one of the weakest, most infuriating arguments on Pollard’s behalf: “He spied for a friendly nation,” Israel.
As DeGaulle once said, nations don’t have friends, they only have interests.
Studying Aramaic often feels like saying Kaddish — which, fittingly, is written in that language. Yet interest remains strong in this dying, yet holy, language.
Aramaic is my first language. I don’t get to speak it much with fellow native speakers in Los Angeles, where I live now. The number of Jewish Aramaic speakers has dwindled so much that we now quixotically call ourselves “The Worldwide Federation of Aramaic Speakers.” The group would fit in a small room.
Two thumbs down. That was the consensus of a group of horrified Jewish interfaith and community leaders after watching a rough cut of Mel Gibson's controversial "The Passion."
It was the first mainstream Jewish group to screen the Hollywood star's gory recounting of the trial and death of Jesus.
So a rabbi pays a sick call to a man suffering from an intestinal disease. The man is cursing God for his afflictions. “Idiot,” says the rabbi. “You would do better to pray for mercy for yourself.”
Says the patient: “May God remove these sufferings from me and place them upon you.”
Declaring that he is “not a monster” and acknowledging errors in judgment — but stopping short of apologizing to the girls he sexually abused — Rabbi Baruch Lanner was sentenced last week to seven years in a New Jersey state prison.
Rabbi Lanner, 52, once one of America’s most prominent Modern Orthodox youth leaders, was taken away in handcuffs Friday from the Monmouth County courtroom in Freehold, N.J., after delivering an emotional plea for mercy that invoked the Holocaust, God and his grandchild.