Monthly Archives: April 2007

Yom Hazikaron 2007

This entry was posted in History on by .

A painful and moving tribute to those who gave their lives for Israel.

Posted on April 23, 2007

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The Envelope, Please

This entry was posted in General on by .

MJL has been nominated for a Jewish and Israeli Blog Award for Best New Blog.

Are you an avid reader of Mixed Multitudes? Just think that Daniel Septimus is really clever?

You can show your love by voting for us here.

Posted on April 23, 2007

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Money For Nothing

This entry was posted in Culture on by .

Congratulations to MJL contributor Saul Austerlitz on the publications of his first book, Money for Nothing: A History of the Music Video from the Beatles to the White Stripes (Continuum).

You can purchase Saul’s book here.

After that, revisit some of Saul’s recent MJL articles on Contemporary Israeli Film; Sarah Silverman; Borat; and Steven Spielberg.

Posted on April 23, 2007

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Anti-Semitic Liturgy

This entry was posted in Beliefs, Practices on by .

In light of Eli Stern’s op-ed about interfaith dialogue that I blogged about yesterday, this news story about Orthodox Christians confronting their theology is of note:

“Sadly, there are some Orthodox Christians who propagate disgusting anti-Semitism under the banner of Orthodoxy, which is incompatible with Christianity,” said Rev. Innokenty Pavlov, professor of theology at Moscow’s Biblical Theological Institute….

Unlike the Catholic and Protestant churches, the Orthodox Church has never removed anti-Semitic passages from its liturgy, which still refers to Jews as Christ killers, said Dr. Dmitry Radyehsvky, director of the Jerusalem Summit, a conservative Israeli think tank that co-sponsored the visit.

He said the anti-Semitic passages were most conspicuous during Easter services, and included statements such as “the Jewish tribe which condemned you to crucifixion, repay them, Oh Lord,” which is repeated half a dozen times, and “Christ has risen but the Jewish seed has perished,” as well as references to Jews as “God-killers.”

MORE…

Posted on April 20, 2007

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Klinghoffer Watch

This entry was posted in Beliefs on by .

Thanks to LastTrumpet over at Jewschool for weighing in with a critique of David Klinghoffer’s latest Forward op-ed.

It’s hard not to respond to every item that the uber-conservative Klinghoffer writes — but if someone else is doing it, I can take the week off — along with a deep breath.

I will say that LastTrumpet is on the money in finding Klinghoffer’s critique of Gershom Scholem’s Zohar research to be the most unfortunate.

For previous editions of the (tentatively titled) Klinghoffer Watch, see I, II, III.

Posted on April 20, 2007

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Fundamentalist Relativism

This entry was posted in Beliefs on by .

In this week’s Jewish Week, Rabbi Eliyahu Stern addresses an issue I raised a few weeks ago in reference to Meir Soloveichik’s recent rejection of theological interfaith dialogue.

Stern takes a similar approach to me, arguing that we must be allowed to criticize another person’s theology if that theology can potentially inspire hatred and violence. Stern tells the fascinating story of Abraham Joshua Heschel meeting with the Pope in 1964 on the eve of Yom Kippur to try to persuade him to make changes to Nostra Aetate, the Catholic Church’s post-Holocaust statement regarding interfaith relations.

The church ultimately did make these changes, which paved the way for the interfaith reconciliation that flourished between Catholics and Jews in the last third of the 20th century.

Stern also coins a fascinating and appropriate term for those who believe we must stay out each other’s theological business: Fundamentalist Relativists.

These fundamentalist relativists, writes Stern, believe that:

Religious people are meant to live in an eternal state of cognitive dissonance where they are suppose to befriend, live alongside and work with those whom they passionately and absolutely believe are going to burn in hell.

Only 60 years after the Holocaust these religious figures portray theologically oriented interfaith dialogue as some “liberal� experiment undermining the uniqueness of each religious experience. I am sincerely sorry to disappoint them but Rabbi Heschel’s concern was far more simple, sober and practical: He, like Rabbi Greenberg, did not want to see the death of six million more Jews or, for that matter, any other people. The issue is not about being Orthodox, Reform, Conservative or Liberal, it’s about cherishing human life.

A must read.

Posted on April 19, 2007

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Yiddish Policemen

This entry was posted in Culture on by .

Michael Chabon’s new novel The Yiddish Policemen’s Union won’t be published until May 1, but the Forward has jumped the gun with an early review by Mark Oppenheimer.

Like Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America, Chabon’s novel has a counterfactual premise: The Jews in Palestine lost the 1948 war, and to mitigate this tragic event, they were given a homeland — for 60 years — in Alaska. The book takes place in 2008, at the end of this lease, and it is also a murder mystery/detective novel of sorts, focusing on an alcoholic Jewish cop, Meyer Landsman.

For the most part, Oppenheimer raves about the book:

The Yiddish Policemen’s Union� is all things to one people. It’s a noir homage; it’s a work of literary realism; it’s an allegory; it’s a very funny satire. It manages to be thematically Jewish — concerned with questions of religious observance, historical rootlessness and internecine battles over authority — while deftly moving among genres that wouldn’t ordinarily lend themselves to what is, in the end, just another story about some poor, defeated Jews. “The Yiddish Policemen’s Union� is a funny, sad, tough, totally compelling book, but above all, it is the least artistically parochial novel I have read in a long time. It positively disdains categories and generic boundaries.

MORE…

Posted on April 18, 2007

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All the President’s Meals

This entry was posted in General on by .

Okay. This has nothing to do with anything Jewish, but it’s a great story, so here goes.

A friend of mine, in from England, was visiting her aunt in Washington DC the other night. They went to a Thai restaurant for dinner, and in walked none other than George W. Bush.

The funny part?

The President dined with a table full of company — but was the only one who used a fork instead of chopsticks.

True story.

Posted on April 18, 2007

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Kvetching About Minyan

This entry was posted in Practices on by .

A lot has been written about the independent minyan movement, but most of that writing isn’t so funny. Not that it’s supposed to be.

But this review of Kehilat Romemu — New York’s self-described inspirational, Kabbalistic, transdenominational, integral congregation — on David Kelsey’s blog is beautifully hilarious — and helpfully evocative at the same time:

First of all, they have a minhag that everyone has to be touching the bread, by touching someone who is touching the bread. This was perhaps the goofiest things I have witnessed at a minyan ever (and I have been to K.O.E.). But then they go and pass the bread not in a plate, but by their hands. One to the other. I was at the end of the table. It’s really disgusting. THAT was stupid. They should stop that. It’s not spiritual, it’s not apikorsus. It’s narishkeit that does nothing for anyone.

But I’ll probably go back, though not on a regular basis. But I have friends who go there, and like being with them, and met some nice new people as well, like this one girl who told me she fell of a cliff and her dormitory burned down, and that’s why she was wearing a sweatshirt.

MORE…

Posted on April 17, 2007

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Balkan Beat Box

This entry was posted in Culture on by .

Balkan Beat Box’s new album, NU MED, is available on iTunes today and will go on sale May 15th.

Balkan Beat Box

If you want a sneak preview, you can hear the first single — “Digital Monkey” — here.

Posted on April 17, 2007

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

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