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Jewish Journal

  • Portrait of a very human King David

    By Jonathan Kirsch

    1 week ago

    When Jews gather to pray, we invoke the Patriarchs and, in some synagogues, the Matriarchs, the Prophets and Mosheh Rabbenu.  The glorious King David, by contrast, is mostly mentioned in connection with the Psalms, whose authorship is attributed to him in pious Jewish tradition....

  • When David slays Goliath

    By Rabbi David Wolpe

    1 week ago

    An excerpt from the chapter titled “Young David” from Rabbi David Wolpe’s biography of King David, “David: The Divided Heart” (Yale University Press). Reprinted with permission.


    Divested of armor, David is ready. Goliath takes him for a harmless lad, an insult to his own...

  • The making of a beloved ‘Tradition’ with Barbara Isenberg

    By Jonathan Kirsch

    2 weeks ago

    Thanks to Barbara Isenberg and her effervescent and entertaining new book, “Tradition! The Highly Improbable, Ultimately Triumphant Broadway-to-Hollywood Story of Fiddler on the Roof, the World’s Most Beloved Musical” (St. Martin’s Press), the soundtrack to “Fiddler” is back on...

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  • ‘The Fame Lunches’: Daphne Merkin is still wishing for mother’s love

    by Elaine Margolin

    3 weeks ago

    If you were the wild child among more submissive siblings, who refused to be silenced and cried continually, and fought with all the others about their glaring hypocrisies; chances are you were not your parents’ favorite child.  If you sometimes made disturbing comments about...

  • ‘Woody on Rye’: Jewishness in the works of Woody Allen

    By Jonathan Kirsch

    August 20, 2014 | 1:41 pm

    A few years ago, I discovered that there is actually something called The Big Lebowski Studies, a tongue-in-cheek academic discipline wholly devoted to a single Coen brothers movie (and, if I may say so, hardly their best movie). Yet, as far as I have been able to tell, no such...

  • Understanding the Holocaust: ‘Why the Germans? Why the Jews?’

    By Jonathan Kirsch

    August 6, 2014 | 3:51 pm

    The Jew-haters among us, as recent headlines out of France and Belgium have reminded us, reach without interruption all the way back to antiquity. Still, the worst-case scenario of genocide in general and the mass murder of Jews in particular is what happened during the Shoah. And...

  • Ayelet Waldman’s new book is more than a Holocaust novel

    by Dora Levy Mossanen

    July 31, 2014 | 2:17 pm

    I devoured all 331 pages of Ayelet Waldman’s gripping and powerful novel, “Love and Treasure” (Alfred A. Knopf) in one 14-hour marathon on my flight from Los Angeles to Israel. Before the El Al plane made its descent into Ben Gurion Airport, I began this review with Waldman’s...

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