Ask the Rabbis // Sin
“In contrast with other views, we are not born sinners, but by virtue of the human condition and our free will, we are bound to act sinfully from time to time.”
Jewish Word // Kinehora
In 2004, the stoic, cowboy-esque Clint Eastwood unexpectedly proved himself more Tevye the Dairyman than Dirty Harry. In response to a reporter’s question about the chances of his movie, Mystic River, winning the Best Picture Oscar, Eastwood cried, “Kinehora!” He explained that it was a Jewish expression used to ward off a jinx, one of countless protective folk actions intended to avoid, fool or attack evil spirits.
Becoming Jan Karski
One of the lesser-known heroes of World War II was Jan Karski (1914-2000), an officer in the Polish Underground resistance who infiltrated the Warsaw Ghetto twice… This past April, actor David Strathairn took on the role of Karski in a dramatic reading of Derek Goldman’s play, Remember This: Walking with Jan Karski, at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.
Our Man in Warsaw: Konstanty Gebert
Born in 1953 when Poland was under communist rule,Konstanty Gebert viewed his Jewish lineage as a “biographical accident” until he was 15.
2014 Spotlight on Poland
PREVIEW OF THE CORE EXHIBITION OF THE MUSEUM OF THE HISTORY OF POLISH JEWS
My personal journey to Jewish identity has taken place by way of the past. Like many immigrants from Eastern Europe, my grandparents and great-grandparents rarely spoke of the Old Country, leaving me to spend years trying to piece together the clues. This longing to know more about my family’s origins led me to genealogical research and DNA testing, to towns and shtetls in Ukraine, and to Moment.
Hungary at the Turning Point
It’s a few days before the May 25 European Parliament elections, and the streets of Budapest are awash with colorful campaign posters urging Hungarians to vote for delegates to represent their country in Brussels. It would be a shining display of democracy in action, a comforting reminder of Hungary’s ten-year membership in the European Union after decades of repressive communist rule, if not for the fact that…
Test-Tube Burgers: Holy Cow?
In Genesis, God granted humans dominion over animals. In modern times, that dominion has spawned one of the planet’s biggest threats: a livestock industry that spews greenhouse gases, guzzles resources and renders the lives of billions of animals brutish and short. Last August, vexed by the problem, a Dutch physiologist named Mark Post came up with a solution: a burger no cow had to die for. He called it the “test-tube burger.”
Visual Moment // Pink Phones, Midcentury Modernism & More
Did you ever wonder about the origin of the distinctive round thermostat that regulates the temperature in your home? Or how about the pink Princess phone every teenage girl once coveted or those eye-catching images that promoted such films as The Man with the Golden Arm, Anatomy of a Murder or Exodus? All these items, it turns out, are evidence of the vital role that Jewish architects, designers and patrons played in the development and dissemination of modernism in America.
Opinion // Max Steinberg: A Real American Hero
Not so long ago, American Jewish children learned from their parents to love the State of Israel. Even secular, assimilated American Jews gave their kids charity boxes to collect nickels and dimes to plant trees there, as the parents do in Woody Allen’s 1987 film Radio Days. But that was a time when Jews remembered the tragedy of the ship St. Louis, with its hundreds of Jewish refugees fleeing Nazis and not a single country willing to take them in.