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? Sunday, November 19, 2017


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The Perfect Formula

Over the past several weeks I have featured tragic stories of family disintegration. Some of you might protest that “tragic” is a rather extreme word and that “sad” or “painful” would be more appropriate, but once again I emphasize tragic.

Estonian gas company apologizes for using Auschwitz in ad

An Estonian gas company apologized for using a photo of Auschwitz in its advertising.

Portraits Of Remembrance: Paintings By Diana Kurz

Reaching back in time to reclaim a family for herself and, in a yahrzeit moment, to rekindle lives snuffed out, Diana Kurz’s paintings stand as testaments to victims of the Holocaust. After a successful 20 year career as an artist and teacher, (with a strong feminist bent), in 1989 Kurz happened upon a few surviving photos of her own relatives “who disappeared during the war.” Suddenly her past opened up and possessed her. This spring (April 4 – May 2, 2012) a series of these paintings was shown at the Art Gallery at Kingsborough Community College, CUNY.

The Olympics Obsession With Body Glorification and Might-Makes-Right

There is nothing wrong with competition and testing the limits of the body, when it is coupled with mutual respect and ethical sportsmanship.

Open Skies

I spent nearly half an hour in search of an image that would best illustrate the concept of an open sky policy, in a...

Podwal’s Lamentations

In 1974 Mark Podwal, noted author, illustrator and physician created a spare, illustrated Book of Lamentations. This complete English translation is graced with 28 black and white illustrations, or more correctly, reflections, on the tragic text. Podwal maintains Jeremiah’s alphabetical acrostic of each chapter containing 22 sets of lines, reflecting aleph to tav, denoting each English set with the appropriate Hebrew letter.

I’ve Got Tzfat on my Mind

Our neighbor at the center of the row of visual treats on the front page of the Jewish Press, Salome Worch, lives and draws...

Chancellor Merkel Pledges to Keep Circumcision Legal

After what German diplomats have described as a "disastrous" damage to Germany's image abroad, especially in light of its Nazi past, it appears that Berlin has finally gotten the message.

Photography Unit to be Established in the IDF

Photographers will join the combat fighters in the Golani Brigade for a full eight month course.  The purpose is to prepare them to document...

Let’s Do Lunch

A homeless man feeds a cat on the streets of Nachlaot, Jerusalem. We were looking for a cheerful image this morning, but one that won't...

Holzman’s Torah For The Eyes

Earlier this year I was presenting my survey of Jewish art, “A Jewish Art Primer,” in a West Hartford, Connecticut synagogue and during the intermission a local artist, David Holzman, introduced himself to me. He relayed his rich and fascinating artistic background and then produced a portfolio of 8 black and white prints that he generously gave to me as a gift. As a tantalizing glimpse into recent work, they are truly amazing and I would like to share them with you.

Picnic at Mar Saba, 1902

These are members of the American Colony, a Christian community in Jerusalem founded by immigrants from the United States and Sweden. The image is...

Supermarket Epiphanies in Israel

There I was, in dire gloom, cart frozen well distant from the cash register. I was sorely aggrieved. Until I remembered a flash of soul-searching during my flight when I promised I would try to improve my grumpiness a bit and seek alleged silver linings even in dismal circumstances. What could I do save give my commitment the old college try.

Hands Behind Our Backs

A reader sent us this image. We don't know who shot it, we don't know the exact circumstances, but we do recognize the scene:...

Satellite Images Show Crews Hiding Evidence at Iran Nuclear Site

New satellite images show possible recent nuclear activity at the Parchin facility in Iran as well as attempts to hide evidence of past activity.

‘Media Be Dead’ and Other Mild Observations

MEDIA BE DEAD Almost 200 years ago, French painter Paul Delaroche declared, allegedly, "From today painting is dead," after he had learned about Daguerre's discovery...

Holocaust Days of Remembrance and Traditional Coconut Pyramids

Here's the text that accompanies this image on the Pentagon-run website DefenseImagery.mil: "During the Holocaust Days of Remembrance U.S. Air Force Capt. Jennifer McGee, with the 12th Contracting Squadron, helps Madison Angelito and Alex Barner make coconut pyramids, a traditional Jewish dessert, at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas." There are Days of Remembrance? More than one? Needs checking. Also: traditional Jewish coconut pyramids? Whose tradition? Help...

1 Shekel Sells for a Million Dollars

We knew the Israeli economy was in good shape, but this is ridiculous. Well, not if the shekel in question was minted just under...

Matisyahu Goes Blonde in Jerusalem

The 32-year-old ultra-Orthodox rapper Matisyahu has surfaced in Jerusalem with a new bottle-blonde hair, AFP reports. He is sporting a completely new image, with bleached...

Seeing Israel Anywhere, Every Day

I haven’t been to Israel in six years. That might not sound like a lot of time to some people, but might sound like an eternity to others

Anguish That Does Not Go Away: The Singles Problem (Part Three)

The woman in her mid-thirties who initiated this discussion a few weeks ago bemoaned what she considers the indifference and the insensitivity of most people to the plight of singles.

Divine Encounter and the Sacred Doorway

Our encounters with the Divine are precious moments of personal religiosity. We believe that when we pray we are speaking directly to God and that at that moment we are in the Divine presence. And yet we are seldom conscious of the awe and fear we should also feel.

Norway: Image And Reality

The two despicable terror attacks in Oslo and on the island of Utoya carried out by Anders Breivik propelled Norway onto center stage. Norway is a country that normally draws little attention - even Swedes and Danes who can read Norwegian are generally uninterested in what happens there. The only annual event that regularly generates publicity for Norway is the awarding of the Noble Peace prize.

Lilith by Siona Benjamin

Siona Benjamin's exhibition "Finding Home: The Art of Siona Benjamin" is simply beautiful. Set in the spacious lobby gallery of the JCC Manhattan, it allows for a peaceful (when the kids, nannies and crowds subside) contemplation of this complex artist's meditations on biblical women, war, exoticism and contemporary society.

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