62.4 F
San Diego
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
If you walk through ankle-deep sewage overflow while batting away flies and choking on ashes of incinerated human remains, you’ll experience the India of author Tova Reich’s description.  You probably would prefer to visit Dante’s Inferno, or the Jewish Gehenna.  However, visiting Reich’s “Mother India,” and reading about it, are vastly different experiences.  The former would be horrifying; the...
Author Robert Mnookin, a Harvard Law professor, argues that Jewish peoplehood should have permeable boundaries. One should be able to escape Jewish identity, if one so wishes, or conversely be admitted within the Jewish “big tent” upon declaring oneself to be a Jew. Noting the difference between being recognized as a Jewish community member, in a general sense, and, more specifically,...
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll is a story about Alice who falls down a rabbit hole and lands into a fantasy world that is full of weird, wonderful people and animals. It is classic children's book that is also popular with adults. Personally, at 16, I found the book strange and uninteresting. However if I was 8-14 I would...
Why just watch the Macy’s parade when you can celebrate the holiday with flicks like “Fiddler on the Roof” and “The Ten Commandments?” In addition to cooking all day and eating to your heart’s content on Thanksgiving, what are you planning to do? Curl up in front of that TV with a hot chocolate in your hand and take a...
American Jewry is balkanized, divided into denominations ranging from the Haredi, who scrupulously and meticulously strive to obey both the Torah and oral laws, at one extreme, and Reform Judaism, whose roots lie in the rejection of Torah as divine word and rabbinic dicta on the other. Jack Wertheimer, in his newest book The New American Judaism, thoughtfully examines the full...
Sometimes art imitates life, and sometimes art dictates life. When I interviewed Perry Chen and his mom, Dr. Zhu Shen on Wednesday, I felt that art and life inform each other, with one or the other alternatively taking the lead. It has been six years since I met Perry and Dr. Shen, shortly after the passing of Perry’s dad,...
TO DESTROY JERUSALEM, Kaplan’s fifth gripping Middle East thriller, is his longest and most ambitious to date. A historical novel set in 1990, the action races around the globe from Jerusalem, to Rio de Janeiro, to London, and then to war torn Beirut as the antagonists attempt to separately smuggle plutonium into Israel and have the operational physicist breach...
This was a truly difficult book to read.  Not stylistically; the author has a clear and concise style.  The book’s content was severely off-putting, so filled is this novel with hate, stereotyping, and prejudice against the people of Saudi Arabia.  Even the title betrays the author’s animus; the brown beast of this novel is not an animal, but a...
Is there a word in Yiddish for smorgasbord?  If there were, it might be perfect to describe the contents of this charming “first Jewish baby book” that will be so fun for parents and grandparents to read to the toddlers in their family.  I can just imagine the interesting conversations, beyond the simple rhymes in the book, that one...
While the Basque people of Vitoria, Spain, were Christians, like the Jews, they were outsiders, not quite like the other Christians of Castile or other parts of newly united Spain.  So, when King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella began issuing edicts against the Jews, the Basques were never particularly quick to enforce them.  Besides, when illnesses had swept the region,...

Recent Posts