Killing the Buddha

Repent, Ye Wall Street

I do not normally look forward to Yom Kippur. It has always been, for me, a somewhat dutiful holiday, whereby the moral struggles of everyday life, as if they didn’t weigh heavily enough on us already, are magnified by lumping them into a year’s worth of sinful action and, by the magic of the ritual,…

Teddy Club in Haifa. Photo by permission of Janine Sarai.

Black Among Blacks

2Pac and MLK in an Ethiopian Café in Israel.

Chava Rosenfarb

For Every Life Saved

The last Yiddish writer. A story from the newest book to come out of KtB, Sweet Heaven When I Die.

Killing the Buddha

A Debate Not for the Faint of Foreskin

Okay, here goes. Ready? The length of what follows should make this obvious: gird your loins. “Barefoot Intactivist,” from New York, wrote in last week about Gordon Haber’s ever-controversial essay “Uncovered” (see other discussions here and here): I applaud that you tried to approach this subject with logic, reasoning, and facts, but unfortunately you had…

Protest in conjunction with the American Academy of Pediatrics Annual Meeting, by dbking, via Flickr.

Our Sons’ Willies

As expected, we’ve gotten a lot of mail about Gordon Haber’s circumcision essay, “Uncovered.” People get worked up about penises. Let’s start positive. Jessie Bennett, from Boston, writes: I’m just writing to say how grateful I was to read Gordon Haber’s completely sane, thoughtful piece on circumcision. It so closely mirrored my own thoughts on…

Protest in conjunction with the American Academy of Pediatrics Annual Meeting, by dbking, via Flickr.


A father assuages his post-circumcision conscience.

Refugee seder.

A Refugee Passover in Israel

From strangers in the land of Egypt to infiltrators in Zion.

photo by Matthew Fishbane.

Black African Rabbi Aims High

Matthew Fishbane of Tablet magazine has a great two-part long piece of narrative journalism about the Abayudaya of Uganda, who have been Jewish since a colonial-era chieftain decided to follow the five books of Moses. A century later, a descendant of those African Jews became a rabbi and ran for parliament. Fishbane joined him on…

Killing the Buddha

Shabbat and the Gospel Choir

There is exactly one day of the year when I make sure I get my ass to temple, and it’s not the day you’re thinking. Yom Kippur is too obvious and Rosh Hashanah is too mundane. But every year I go for the service commemorating Martin Luther King, Jr., the night where my synagogue acknowledges…

Heavenly Protest

Aharon Friedman: Messiah Stopper

What’s stopping the Messiah from coming? It’s you, Jewish husbands who refuse to give your wives “gets” and thus create agunots—women who are legally divorced but cannot marry again in the Jewish faith—at least according to Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld of Washington. Regarding the refusal of Aharon Friedman, a Republican tax counsel on the House Ways…

Photo by Rachel Signer.

Failing to Fast

Eating my way through Ramadan in Senegal.

Maccabees killing a Hellenizer.

What’s the Real Story of Hanukkah?

Our friends over at Obit are taking a super-revisionist approach to the Hanukkah story: Some time ago, a group of fanatics grew irritated and agitated by the lack of zeal demonstrated by some of their co-religionists, many of them wealthy and educated. A number of these non-zealots were assimilating at a fast pace into modern…

Killing the Buddha

Sukkah City

Looking up through kosher structures.

"Repas de Notre-Seigneur et des apôtres" by James Tissot, c. 1886-1894. Brooklyn Museum.

Jesus and the Sukkah

Why did they have to build a church over Christ’s Table?

Killing the Buddha

The Heart of Dixie in Jerusalem

What does college football have to do with the Holy Land? The University of Alabama’s Crimson Tide, the third-ranked Southeastern Conference team that just beat Duke 62 to 13, has an Arab Israeli fan in Jerusalem, I discovered on a walk between the Jewish and Christian quarters this summer. An Old City alley called Muristan tees off into…

Mount Azazel by deror_avi

Azazel’s Home for Wayward Goats

A Yom Kippur midrash.

"JM 7-2" by Katie Chao, via Flickr.

Kind of Like Jews

Noahidism is a religion for everyone and no one.

"people-watching" by left-hand via flickr.

Transparent on High

A maggid’s psychic powers.