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Wednesday, October 28, 2020

CATEGORY

Soul of Hollywood

‘The Leftovers’ and God’s Cosmic Hug

The month of Tishrei had always been a riddle to me until I saw HBO’s television series “The Leftovers.”  In the heart-racing opening scene of...

Fortnite and the Power of Rosh Hashanah

The popular video game Fortnite Battle Royale by Epic Games may not seem to have anything to do with Rosh Hashanah, but it does. The...

Imagine Dragons and Orthodox Judaism

Dan Reynolds is the Grammy Award-winning lead singer for the rock band Imagine Dragons. Last summer, Reynolds organized LoveLoud, a controversial music festival to...

Baron Cohen Exposes Who America Isn’t

Sacha Baron Cohen did a cannonball jump back into the American television pool this week with his new Showtime series, “Who Is America?”  Four cringe-inducing...

Familial Bonds in ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’

Hollywood churns out superhero movies faster than a speeding bullet, films that can seem oversaturated with formulaic stories that prioritize CGI explosions over human...

Mister Rogers’ Lessons for a Broken World

“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” the documentary about Fred Rogers, host of the long-running children’s TV show “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” could not be more...

Pixar’s Questions and Answers About Jewish Identity

I have learned a lot from Pixar films. They have a special ability to create incredibly entertaining films with deep lessons about humanity, empathy...

Finding God in ‘The Americans’

Six intense seasons of the Russian spy drama “The Americans” on FX culminated in a brilliant payoff. The series finale provided the audience with...

Han Solo and the Torah of Living Between Tensions

Han Solo’s perfect blend of charisma, kindness and cockiness make him everyone’s favorite sidekick. But Han’s real magic is a Torah secret of learning...

The Royal Wedding of Shavuot

Last Saturday, the world was transfixed by the fairy-tale royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Markle was the embodiment of a Disney...

Reclaiming Our Mystical Mojo on Shavuot

It is time to take back mysticism, and Shavuot is the perfect time to reclaim our mystical mojo. Modern man has become skeptical and cynical....

‘Avengers: Infinity War’ and the Power of Evil

One of the most endearing elements of superhero stories is that the good guy always wins, but in the real world, that’s not always...

Connecting With My Roots in “Disobedience”

“Disobedience” is a film about forbidden love in an insular Orthodox Jewish community and about the choice of whether to stay or leave. It’s...

The Jewish Dimensions of ‘Ready Player One’

I recommend putting on the glasses and watching “Ready Player One” — Steven Spielberg’s latest high-octane adventure story, about a boy who saves the...

Exodus As Performance Art?

Most of the stories in the Bible are written using a traditional storytelling narrative format. It reads like a book. There is one glaring...

Movies that Stirred My Passovers

The best Bible stories are religious epics. The best Hollywood filmmakers are some of the greatest storytellers in the world, and I have been...

The Emotional Mission of ‘7 Days in Entebbe’

Operation Thunderbolt ranks as one of the most dramatic events in the brief history of the State of Israel. The miraculous story of Israeli...

Trusting Our Flaws

While watching Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time” I felt I had been transported to the study halls of my yeshiva — and not in...

Watching the Watchers

Every year, Hollywood creates a handful of culturally significant movies that captivate a wide audience and sweep us away on what can be described...

Purim Parallels in ‘Black Panther’

Marvel’s latest blockbuster, “Black Panther,” is an epic sermon on multiculturalism and the struggle to tame identity politics. Its grand themes of personal identity...

The Magic of Empathy

It’s common knowledge that  “unscripted” “reality TV” is far from real. Ironically, modern scripted television is often critically acclaimed because of how real the...

A Charedi Sitcom that Teaches Co-Existence

Our world is in the midst of a massive social experiment. “Shababnikim,” the surprisingly popular Israeli sitcom about the lives of four yeshiva students,...

Joseph and Paddington

It is unanimous. Movie review site Rotten Tomatoes aggregated all 176 critic reviews of “Paddington 2” and every single one has been glowing with adulation...

Spielberg Goes Biblical

The credits were rolling when it hit me: “The Post” was over. Time to go home. “Why am I still sitting here?” I looked...

Mrs. Maisel and the Jewish Revolution

I was delighted when “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” won the Golden Globe for best television series — but not for the reason you think....

Pixar and the Zohar

If you’ve seen the trailer or any advertisements for “Coco,” you already know that it’s Pixar’s most Mexican film yet. What you don’t see...

Jedi-ism and Judaism

The loudest noise coming out of Hollywood this holiday season is “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” Even if the last thing you want to...

Smashing Idols in Tinseltown and Beyond

According to the familiar Midrashic legend, Abraham’s father, Terah, was a craftsman and salesman of idols. But Abram (Abraham’s original name) scoffs at the...

Ex-Chasids Find Strength in Their Brokenness

“One of Us,” the story of three millennials at various stages of exiting the insular Chasidic community, is hardly groundbreaking within the subgenre of...

New Articles

Philadelphia BLM Protesters Call Jews ‘Synagogue of Satan’

A video circulating on social media shows a group of Black Lives Matter (BLM) protesters in Philadelphia telling Jews to leave, with one protester...

On Campaign Trail, Candidates and Surrogates Court Jewish vote

With election day a week away and early voting in full force throughout the country, U.S President Donald Trump and former U.S. Vice President...

Former IDF Chief Medical Officer To Lead Israel’s COVID-19 Fight

One of Israel’s top public health experts is praising the decision to name Prof. Nachman Ash to lead the country’s coronavirus efforts following Prof....

France is Cracking Down on Radical Islam – With the Blessing of its Jewish Minority

(JTA) — As the French government rolls out a controversial plan that amounts to its most robust crackdown on religious activity in decades, it...

US to Extend Bilateral Agreements with Israel into Judea and Samaria, Golan

The United States and Israel will eliminate territorial restrictions for bilateral agreements in a ceremony on Wednesday. The move will build upon a policy shift...

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