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September 16, 2014 / 21 Elul, 5774
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The Jewish Music that Brought Us Here
 
Lapid Won’t Let Defense Demands Turn Into ‘Turkish Bazaar’

September 16, 2014 - 12:53 PM
 
Turkey Offers to Host Muslim Brotherhood Leadership

September 16, 2014 - 12:34 PM
 
Israel Fights Back Against the Jerusalem Intifada

September 16, 2014 - 11:55 AM
 
First Time: US Bombs ISIS Near Baghdad to Support Iraqi Troops

September 16, 2014 - 10:35 AM
 
Travel Advisory: Have a Safe Holiday by Staying in Israel

September 15, 2014 - 10:22 PM
 
British Store Guard Tells Children ‘No Jews Allowed’

September 15, 2014 - 7:15 PM
 
Klinghoffer: Pretending Art Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry

September 15, 2014 - 6:06 PM
 
Bullet-Filled Doll Halts Traffic at Ben Gurion Airport

September 15, 2014 - 6:00 PM
 
Radical Islam Helps United French Jews and Far Right Leader La Pen

September 15, 2014 - 5:25 PM
 
ISIS Prompts Hezbollah’s ‘Great Need to Remain in Syria’

September 15, 2014 - 3:28 PM
 
Last Man Injured in Operation Protective Edge Released From Hospital

September 15, 2014 - 2:54 PM
 
Hamas Denies Political Bureau Chief Khaled Meshaal Leaving Qatar

September 15, 2014 - 2:30 PM
 
UNDOF Troops Pull Out of Syria, Head for Israel

September 15, 2014 - 2:23 PM
 
Neo-Nazi Vandalism in Sderot

September 15, 2014 - 2:11 PM
 
Defense Minister Yaalon Discusses 8200 Refusal Letter

September 15, 2014 - 12:34 PM
 
False Alarm in Southern Israel, Real Rocket Fire in North

September 15, 2014 - 12:27 PM
 
UPDATE: Rocket Alert Karnei Shomron – Unannounced Test (11:41am)

September 15, 2014 - 11:42 AM
 
UPDATE: Gaza Rocket Alert (12:04pm)

September 15, 2014 - 11:34 AM
 
Abbas to Request France Recognize PA State

September 15, 2014 - 11:16 AM
 
Einat Schlein Appointed Israel Ambassador to Jordan, 1st Female in Post

September 15, 2014 - 10:46 AM
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Arts
 

Posted on: August 5th, 2009

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As a matter of principle, I must begin this column by stating bluntly that in my opinion the column's subject, Mayer Kirshenblatt, though he is a very talented storyteller, is not a very good painter by any means. Normally, that would present the end of the story. There are more than enough great artists who grapple with Jewish subject matter and themes that this column does not need to address work that is anything but first rate.

 

Posted on: July 22nd, 2009

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Kinetic sculpture is an art that has existed since ancient Egypt. To be considered kinetic the sculpture has to have parts that move or are in motion, like a mobile that hangs over a child's crib.

 

Posted on: July 15th, 2009

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In Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, a troupe of Athenian actors, "rude mechanicals" according to the sprite Puck, meets in the woods to rehearse "the most lamentable comedy, and most cruel death of Pyramus and Thisby." Puck frustrates the efforts of Quince, Snug, Flute, Snout, and Starveling to practice when he turns Bottom into a donkey. "If he come not, then the play is marred: it goes not forward, doth it?" worries Flute, but in the end the play-within-a-play transpires on schedule, with all its absurd disclaimers designed not to frighten the court ladies.

 

Posted on: July 8th, 2009

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True genius is a rare commodity. Five years ago, 26-year-old Moshe Hammer, z"l, a Lubavitch artist who frequently worked through the night, stepped outside for a walk in Los Angeles, to clear his head and recharge his creative batteries. As was his custom, Moshe rambled miles from his apartment in the Fairfax district.

 

Posted on: June 24th, 2009

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About 2,500 years ago, the prophet Jeremiah, having predicted Nebuchadnezzar's imminent destruction of the First Temple, composed the famous line, "Why did I leave the womb - to see toil and pain - that I may live out my days in shame?" About 500 years later, Joseph ben Matthias, also known as Josephus, observed and recorded the destruction of the Second Temple by Roman emperor Titus, claiming in Book VI of the "War of the Jews" (chapter nine) that 1.1 million Jews were killed and 97,000 were enslaved in the siege.

 

Posted on: June 24th, 2009

SectionsArts

About 2,500 years ago, the prophet Jeremiah, having predicted Nebuchadnezzar's imminent destruction of the First Temple, composed the famous line, "Why did I leave the womb - to see toil and pain - that I may live out my days in shame?" About 500 years later, Joseph ben Matthias, also known as Josephus, observed and recorded the destruction of the Second Temple by Roman emperor Titus, claiming in Book VI of the "War of the Jews" (chapter nine) that 1.1 million Jews were killed and 97,000 were enslaved in the siege.

 

Posted on: June 17th, 2009

SectionsArts

Imagine if we could all work and live together in harmony. We ask for this three times a day, "May it be good in Your eyes to bless Your people Israel at every time, in every hour, with Your peace." This ancient plea, harmony between us and our G-d, harmony between us and our fellow Jews and mankind, is one of the most fundamental yearnings we experience. We are not alone in this deeply human quest.

 

Posted on: June 10th, 2009

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In one of the most complex and controversial of biblical narratives, the book of 2 Samuel recounts an almost operatic moment in which Uriah the Hittite, husband of Batsheva, was instructed by King David to unknowingly carry his own death sentence to the Jewish general Yoav (Joab). Had Uriah betrayed his king's confidence and opened the letter, he could have surely have escaped death.

 

Posted on: June 10th, 2009

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In one of the most complex and controversial of biblical narratives, the book of 2 Samuel recounts an almost operatic moment in which Uriah the Hittite, husband of Batsheva, was instructed by King David to unknowingly carry his own death sentence to the Jewish general Yoav (Joab). Had Uriah betrayed his king's confidence and opened the letter, he could have surely have escaped death.

 

Posted on: May 27th, 2009

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Throughout the ages, synagogues have housed some of the greatest examples of Jewish art, including the mosaic floors at Bet Alpha and the frescoes at Dura-Europos. Unfortunately, the fate of the works of art has been inextricably tied to their host, and much great Jewish art has perished along with the synagogues whose walls, floors, and ceilings it adorned. Not only have natural disasters and the decay process claimed many synagogues, but also many times, they have been targeted specifically by anti-Semites who sought to destroy Jewish culture and life.

 

Posted on: May 27th, 2009

SectionsArts

Throughout the ages, synagogues have housed some of the greatest examples of Jewish art, including the mosaic floors at Bet Alpha and the frescoes at Dura-Europos. Unfortunately, the fate of the works of art has been inextricably tied to their host, and much great Jewish art has perished along with the synagogues whose walls, floors, and ceilings it adorned. Not only have natural disasters and the decay process claimed many synagogues, but also many times, they have been targeted specifically by anti-Semites who sought to destroy Jewish culture and life.

 

Posted on: May 20th, 2009

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An unshaven man stumbles onstage, clad in a raincoat covering his pajamas. He is barefoot and shuffles among the dried leaves that litter the stage area, a long rectangular set with the audience on either side. It is a most intimate performance area, uncomfortably so.

 

Posted on: May 13th, 2009

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It was a little surreal sitting in the sanctuary of the Stanton Street Synagogue at the opening of the Jewish Art Salon exhibit. It was hard not to notice the sharp contrast between the synagogue's tragically decaying collection of Zodiac signs painted on its walls and its dusty interior - some parts of which might still bear original grime dating back to 1913 when the synagogue was built - and the vibrant new art created by the 29 artists affiliated with the salon (including both the authors of this column).

 

Posted on: May 6th, 2009

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Jewish Art is a grass-roots movement whose time has come. It has evolved precisely because there are those who are moved by their Jewish heritage and wish to share this experience with the art world, the general public and the Jewish community. There has never been such an exciting time.

 

Posted on: April 29th, 2009

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When on April 5th, First Lady Michelle Obama visited Prague's Pinkas Synagogue with White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, and David Axelrod, a senior White House advisor, she expressed particular interest in the synagogue's collection of drawings by children from the concentration camp of Terezín, which they created under the tutelage of Friedl Dicker-Brandeis (1898-1944).

 

Posted on: April 29th, 2009

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When on April 5th, First Lady Michelle Obama visited Prague's Pinkas Synagogue with White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, and David Axelrod, a senior White House advisor, she expressed particular interest in the synagogue's collection of drawings by children from the concentration camp of Terez?n, which they created under the tutelage of Friedl Dicker-Brandeis (1898-1944).

 

Posted on: April 22nd, 2009

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To make a pilgrimage is to travel far and participate in something holy, singular and transformative. Upon the death of a parent, Jews make a pilgrimage thrice daily to a synagogue to participate in the same ritual, the Kaddish said over and over. It doesn't have to be far or near. It simply must be a place that Jews have decided is holy.

 

Posted on: April 14th, 2009

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The title page to a 1610 edition of 12th-century poet and legal scholar, Eliezer ben Nathan's "Even Ha'ezer" ("Stone of Salvation," per I Samuel 7:12) features a woodcut that looks fairly standard at first glance. Two pillars flank the central alignment of the Hebrew text, and two birds perch atop the columns. Beneath the pillars are two lions and two hands, configured in the manner of the priestly blessing, with a gap between the joined index and middle fingers and the ring and small fingers. This combination of hands and lions constitutes the printing mark of Moses ben Bezalel Katz of Prague, who was a Kohen.

 

Posted on: April 7th, 2009

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We are taught: "In every generation one is obligated to regard himself as though he had gone out from Egypt." How difficult, what a leap of imagination for us in a free America, surrounded by friends and family, secure in our past and future yiddishkeit, to feel the terrors of long ago. Indeed we might forget, we might wish not to remember events in our own time and the time of our parents that were remarkably similar to the Egyptian horror. David Wander's Holocaust Haggadah reminds us with a somber art that is defiantly infused with hope and compassion.

 

Posted on: April 1st, 2009

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If Iranian-Israeli relations are ever to improve, will the miracle originate amongst policymakers and trickle down to the masses, or will civilians grow so tired of the conflicts that they insist upon crafting their leadership in their own pacifistic image? This question is of course well above the pay grade of a column on Jewish arts, but it is central to Motti Lerner's "Benedictus," in a limited run at Theater J at the Washington DC JCC.

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