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The Heroines Of The Pesach Story

24 Nisan 5772 – April 16, 2012
It’s fascinating to realize that the People of Israel growing into a mighty nation in Egypt was a reward for the heroism of the Hebrew midwives.

To Be Jewish

15 Nisan 5772 – April 6, 2012
Growing up, I remember my father’s Rosh Hashana ritual. He read the story of Rabi Amnon of Mainz, who had his tongue, hands and legs cut off for refusing to convert to Christianity – for choosing to remain a Jews. I would run away from the table sobbing in terror. Even at the tender age of six, I knew that being Jewish made oneself a member of an endangered species.

Jewish Medals At TEFAF

It’s virtually impossible to ignore the financial aspects of TEFAF Maastricht, the annual arts and antiques fair in the historic city about two hours south of Amsterdam. More than 250 dealers from nearly 20 countries sell their wares—which span from Greek and Roman antiquities to contemporary sculptures—in the halls of the Maastricht Exhibition and Congress Centre, whose corridors are adorned by nearly 65,000 tulips.

Max Ferguson’s Portraits Of His Father

1 Nisan 5772 – March 23, 2012
Max Ferguson’s 1993 painting Katz’s may be the second most iconic representation of the kosher-style delicatessen after the 1989 Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan film, When Harry Met Sally. Ferguson’s photorealistic painting depicts the deli from an interesting perspective, which is simultaneously inviting and hostile—in short, the dichotomy of deli culture.

Thinking Outside The Tzeddakah Box

16 Adar 5772 – March 9, 2012
The whole idea of an artful pushka (tzeddakah or charity box) is almost a tease, if not an outright mockery. Isn’t there something pretty backward about investing time and money in an ornate container to hold alms for the poor?

The Purim Narrative At The Pardo Palace

4 Adar 5772 – February 27, 2012
Located about nine miles north of Madrid, the Palacio Real de El Pardo (Pardo Palace) dates back to the early 15th century. Devastated by a March 13, 1604 fire that claimed many works from its priceless art collection, the Pardo Palace and its vast gardens were used as a hunting ground by the Spanish monarchs.

Jews, Mormons, Happiest, Atheists Grumpiest: Gallup

30 Shevat 5772 – February 23, 2012
Assuming 676,000 Gallup survey participants can't be wrong, it's now official: don your best yarmulke, tighten that lovely tichel, pour on those blintzes, kreplach and ponchikes, and trek out to hear the Torah reading every Shabbes – cuz that'll make you the happiest man or woman in America. Unless you belong to LDS, that works, too, apparently…

The Answer Is In Our Hands

23 Shevat 5772 – February 15, 2012
Recent polls show yet again that the vast majority of Israeli society is traditional, holds from its religious faith and shies away from coercion. Thus, hasn’t the time come for our national leadership to express the desires of the large Jewish majority?

Shidduch Challenges: Where Is Your Soul Mate?

In this concluding column I would like to focus on the big question so many have asked: Since our faith teaches that every person has a soul mate – bashert – designated by Heaven, how is it that so many cannot find their partners?

John Logan Approximates Mark Rothko

18 Shevat 5772 – February 10, 2012
Red By John Logan; directed by Robert Falls; starring Edward Gero and Patrick Andrews Jan. 20 – March 11, 2012 Arena...

A Post-Primary Message

Before we wrap up the primary campaign, I wish to express a heartfelt thanks to all of my supporters. To push the faith-based alternative uphill, over long years and against all odds, is a task that I could never have done alone.

A Decade Of Prayer For The U.S. Military

16 Shevat 5772 – February 8, 2012
While thousands of U.S. soldiers recently returned home from the Middle East, their redeployment to the area may be imminent due to the ongoing developments on the Iranian nuclear front.

Hebrew Bible From Lisbon At The MET

3 Shevat 5772 – January 26, 2012
Within Shakespeare’s worldview, an assassination like Macbeth’s of King Duncan upset the so-called Great Chain of Being, or the cosmological organizational chart, in which power structures that were clearly articulated could only be disrupted at a cost.

In Search Of South African Jewish Art

1 Shevat 5772 – January 24, 2012
I went to the South African Jewish Museum in Cape Town with high hopes of seeing how South African Jews uniquely approached the fine arts and Jewish ritual objects.

Anusim/Crypto Jewish Conference Scheduled

18 Tevet 5772 – January 12, 2012
On January 2, 1492 the queen and king of Spain, Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon, signed the Edict of Expulsion of the Jews. It is estimated that 300,000 Jews lived in the country and only one third managed to get out and continue practicing their faith.

Natan Sharansky: New White House Chief of Staff is a “Great...

17 Tevet 5772 – January 11, 2012
Jewish Agency Chairman applauds appointment of Jack Lew by President Obama.

Divided And Broken

10 Tevet 5772 – January 4, 2012
I have always been proud of the Jewish people, even when I wasn’t Jewish. I’m a convert. I looked up to the Jews, to their strength in times of trial, to their faith when giving up all hope would have been more practical.

Have Artists Envisioned Nebuchadnezzar As Hero Or Villain?

“Despite the fateful part he played in Judah’s history, Nebuchadrezzar [Nebuchadnezzer is sometimes referred to this way] is seen in Jewish tradition in a predominantly favorable light,” wrote Henry W. F. Saggs, the late Assyriologist, toward the end of his Encyclopedia Britannica entry on Nebuchadrezzar II (c. 630—c. 561).

Shlissel (Key) Challah: The Loaf of Idolatry?

26 Kislev 5772 – December 21, 2011
Jameel discusses the origins of the minhag of Shlissel Challah.

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