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Art and Torah

IN Talia Carner’s newest novel, Jerusalem Maiden, Esther Kaminsky, a young teenage girl growing up in the old world neighborhood of Meah Shearim at the turn of the last century, is gifted with a talent that, when expressed freely, goes against her community’s values. The thrust of Jerusalem Maiden becomes: Is religious devotion and expression of one’s passion irreconcilable?

To set the stage for this philosophical dilemma, Carner creates the insular world of a Jerusalem inhabited by devout, Ashkenazic Jews whose roles for men and women, and girls and boys, are prescribed; some of which are laws from the Torah, and others are the community’s attempts at controlling its adherents.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 24 May 2012 11:35 )

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Fiction portends pain, recreates home

IT is hard to know what kind of story David Grossman would have written in his newest novel, To the End of the Land, if his own son Uri wouldn’t have gotten killed in the final hours of the 2006 Lebanon War. In the novel, Grossman creates an Israeli mother, Ora, whose son Ofer has volunteered to go back into active duty at the outset of the war. She decides that if she goes away from home on a walking trip in the Galilee, she can protect her son from harm, and herself from having to answer th...
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The world to come

The world to comeWITH all the hoopla surrounding Dara Horn’s newest novel All Other Nights, I thought I would take a look back at some of her previous work, specifically, The World to Come. It is a must read. There’s a reason why everyone is excited about this doctoral candidate in Yiddish and Hebrew Literature at Harvard.  Horn is a novelist whose imagination at once inhabits its own universe while simultaneously dissecting the worlds of philosophy, history, psychology, mythology and faith. In The World ...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 03 March 2011 03:11 )

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Wherever you go

IN her first novel, Wherever You Go, Joan Leegant attempts to address an aspect of Jewish contemporary life — American religious Judaism and extremism in Israel — that has not yet gotten a full literary analysis. Through separate stories of three main characters, Leegant brings a number of questions to the fore: What function does Israel play for American Jewry in 2010? How can a Jewish state attempt to be a Democratic Jewish state with all the obstacles inherent in that oxymoron? Do presc...

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 30 November 2010 09:53 )

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Class distinctions

I NEVER thought much about Bombay, India, until I read Thrity Umrigar’s most recent novel, The Space Between Us. When I was done, I couldn’t help but realize that while she infuses her book with the real Bombay, in all of its color and contrasts — the red hot chili peppers and squalid water running through the streets, the dark slums and the gleaming luxury buildings — in truth Umrigar really wants to take the reader past her native city to a mental space we all occupy, the space we put ...

Last Updated ( Friday, 12 November 2010 09:17 )

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Shabbat Times

JTA News

Obama still wants cease-fire, faults Hamas for its rupture

Ron Kampeas President Obama said his team would continue to pursue a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, but faulted the militant group for violating the one in place with its apparent capture of an Israeli sold... [Link]

National Jewish security arm calls for enhanced security

Ron Kampeas The security arm of national U.S. Jewish groups called on Jewish institutions to enhance security because of a spate of attacks on Jewish targets in Europe in the wake of the Israel-Hamas conflict in ... [Link]

From the Archive: A Jewish tunnel to Israel

Julie Wiener Hamas wasn’t the first group to build tunnels in order to enter Israel. ... [Link]

Times of Israel, 5 Towns paper, remove posting pondering genocide in Gaza

Ron Kampeas The Times of Israel and the 5 Towns Jewish Times removed a blog post calling for genocide to be considered as an option in the Gaza conflict and the Times of Israel dropped the blogger. ... [Link]

The dilemma of Israel’s captured soldier

Uriel Heilman How will the Gilad Shalit experience influence how Israel deals with Hamas’ capture of Lt. Hadar Goldin? ... [Link]

Kerry calls for ‘immediate, unconditional’ release of soldier

Ron Kampeas U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Hamas must “immediately and unconditionally” release the soldier it apparently captured during a cease-fire. ... [Link]

Children suspected of vandalizing Jewish, Christian tombstones near Paris

Cnaan Liphshiz Children aged 11 and 13 are suspected of vandalizing at least 15 Jewish tombstones and six Christian ones at a cemetery near the French capital. ... [Link]

Lawyers of suspected Brussels shooter shown performing quenelle

Cnaan Liphshiz Attorneys representing the suspected killer of four people in Belgium’s Jewish museum posed for a picture while performing the quenelle gesture, which many believe is an anti-Semitic salute. ... [Link]

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