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Haaretz wonders “What does a Jewish-Kashmiri dialogue group have to talk about?”

The Forward interviews French-Moroccan Jewish comedian Gad Elmaleh, a man “well on his way to global stardom.”

Jeffrey Goldberg investigates Bruce Springsteen’s recent performance of Hava Nagila.

Nextbook isn’t the only one talking cheese for Shavuot. The Los Angeles Times likewise makes the rounds.

Sonia Sotomayor’s being touted as the first Hispanic who might serve on the Supreme Court. NPR asks what about Benjamin Cardozo? JTA compiles additional observations.

In Love and Obstacles, Aleksander Hemon “offers another report on his always-evolving, always-mixed feelings about his generous, oblivious adopted country,” says Adam Kirsch. Nextbook spoke with Hemon last year.

An etiquette no-no: texting at the table while breaking the Yom Kippur fast.

Rudi Stettner praises Albania, particularly because of its attitude toward Jews during World War II.

Read more in the Filter or post a comment.

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the scroll

The Scroll

We Are Renovating is undergoing renovation and will, over the next two months, be posting limited content; some of it will be new and much of it will highlight favorite pieces from our archive. If you are interested in contributing to Nextbook and have a story idea, please send it along. We look forward to unveiling a robust, new site later this spring and we appreciate your continued interest.
Posted on 03.02.09 by The Editors

The Scroll

Redemption Songs

We have, by now, heard the story of the Holocaust—and the stories of the Holocaust—in many different ways: the Hebrew school horror tales of our childhoods, the academic analyses of our college days, the black-and-white melodramas of Spielbergian tearjerker. We have not, however, typically discussed the Holocaust over whisky and upscale pub grub in hip performance spaces.

That changed last night when Clare Burson, a young Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter, took the stage at Joe’s Pub, in lower Manhattan, to perform “Silver & Ash,” a song cycle about her grandmother, who at 19...
Posted on 02.27.09 by Jesse Oxfeld

The Scroll

Rainbow Coalition

For an album with a much-celebrated wide range of cultural influences, the Idan Raichel Project's Within My Walls (released today in the U.S.) is remarkably cohesive, even a tad bit homogenous. Musicians from South America, Africa, Eastern Europe and the Middle East come together to create a recognizably "world music" sound. Raichel himself can sound a bit like an Israeli Enrique Iglesias, and the music is a little melodramatic—it's the kind of anthemic sound that's much more appealling if you can belt out the lyrics along with the recording, which will...
Posted on 02.24.09 by Hadara Graubart

The Scroll

The Right Direction

Back in December, the awesome blogger at proposed a GPS system for the ultra-Orthodox that would steer drivers clear of "untznius [immodest] billboards, strip clubs, movie theaters, kosher style restaurants with unreliable hechsherim [certifications], and modern orthodox neighborhoods where married so called 'frum women' do not cover their hair." And, to replace the "voice of the robot woman which has caused so many men to to sin and lose concentration," he suggested this dream scenario: "Imagine if the person giving you directions was none other then your favorite Rebbe."

Well, today...
Posted on 02.20.09 by Hadara Graubart

The Scroll

Hear No Evil

Forget violence, profanity, or sexual content in today's popular music, for some people, there's a greater danger to innocent ears—women's voices. For men who abide by the rabbinic law of kol isha, which prohibits them from hearing women singing, the risks of trespass lie everywhere. Some can't be avoided—one never knows when a Céline Dion trill might come piping out of a neighboring car, for instance—but for those unmarked CDs that feature female vocals, the band Stereo Sinai offers a new solution, a sticker that warns, "Rabbinic Advisory: Woman...
Posted on 02.19.09 by Hadara Graubart

The Scroll

What a Card!

Last year, a friend who was abroad sent me an e-card with this touching message: "I'd like to take you out for your birthday when it's convenient for me." Tickled, I clicked through to the Web site SomeECards and spent more time than I care to admit perusing the twisted offerings, with their simple lines of text accompanied by often incongruous graphics that seem lifted from young adult novels from the 1970s or Victorian-era romances. I have since sent people such cheerful birthday greetings as "I hope this gets me out of having...
Posted on 02.13.09 by Hadara Graubart

The Scroll

Out of Context

I recently wrote an article about two bands striving to freshen traditional Jewish music by translating it into genres more appealing to contemporary ears—indie rock and reggae. Of course, there's another form practically crying out to be Jew-ified: Euro-style dance club music. To that end, Diwon, DJ and founder of recording label Shemspeed, has remixed a recording of "Lecha Dodi" by Benyamin Brody with beats by hip-hop artist Akon. The song, which is about welcoming the "Sabbath bride" and preparing for a day of rest and reflection, is perhaps...
Posted on 02.12.09 by Hadara Graubart

The Scroll

A Little Bit of Magic

He may not be popping steroids anymore, but A-Rod is still trying to summon mystical help from somewhere. Check out his kabbalah bracelet at the 25-second mark here....
Posted on 02.09.09 by Marissa Brostoff

Cheese, Glorious Cheese


Cheese, Glorious Cheese
A taste of Shavuot Audio
05.26.09 COMMENTS (2)

A Mouthful


A Mouthful
A father's rumination on teeth, lullabies, and the ineffable Audio
05.19.09 COMMENTS (0)

The Things We Carry


The Things We Carry
What happens when your inheritance includes a life-threatening genetic mutation? Masha Gessen finds out. Audio
05.11.09 COMMENTS (0)

More Audio


Say It Out Loud A film by Artifact Pictures
More short films

book of the day

cover Savyon Liebrecht
Apples From the Desert
Anger lurks behind the scenes of Savyon Liebrecht's stories: the muted fury of Holocaust survivors' children, the seething of women made powerless by Israeli and Arab men.

More than this rage, however, what propels Liebrecht's fiction is the eloquent physicality of her characters' epiphanies. In "A Married Woman," a divorcee realizes she won't leave her ex-husband as she polishes the glass covering their wedding picture; housekeeping binds them as much as the Holocaust both survived. In the title story, an Orthodox mother discovers the value of her daughter's kibbutznik life when she learns the particulars of her daughter's work, tending an orchard. "Apples love the cold," her daughter's lover tells her. "At have to let the desert cold in."

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