Almost immediately upon my arrival in my first teaching job, I became the go-to guy for the Holocaust. Of course, this was partly due to my dissertation, but in larger part, I suspect, because of my Jewishness. This was fine with me for a number of reasons. First, as a junior faculty member, this identification, though merely professional, could only help in my quest for tenure. An expert on the Holocaust carried infinitely greater weight, I thought, than an expert on ministerial instability during the French Third Republic.
: My life as an accidental Holocaust expert—and why I decided to quit
posted by timshel
on Feb 25, 2012 -
Is Facebook chametz?
An interview with two rabbis about their Facebook group
, encouraging Jews to consider giving up Facebook for Passover next week
. While the word "chametz"
strictly refers only to leavened bread, which is prohibited during Passover, the group is inspired by a Chassidic interpretation that connects the leavening of bread to an "over-inflated sense of self."
posted by albrecht
on Mar 24, 2010 -
“We got a bit excited because we realized that people have collected
lots of dybbuk
stories, but our fragment
describes a real event, where you see how they come together and pray in order to exorcise the ghost from a widow,” [more inside]
posted by ServSci
on Dec 21, 2009 -
Chanukkah is the story of a group of warriors (the Maccabees, later the Hasmoneans
, led by Mattathias) who rose up against the Greeks (the Seleucids
), united the Jews, reclaimed the Temple (Beit HaMikdash
), and then lit one day's supply of oil which miraculously lasted for eight days, started a brand new holiday called Chanukkah, and brought Jewish sovereignty and peace to the land of Israel. Except that almost every part of that story is either wrong or completely misleading. [more inside]
posted by andoatnp
on Dec 21, 2008 -
Sadie tells Maurice, "You’re a schmuck! You always were a schmuck and you always will be a schmuck! You look, act and dress like a schmuck! You’ll be a schmuck until the day you die! And if they ran a world-wide competition for schmucks, you would be the world’s second biggest schmuck!" "Why only second place?" Maurice asks. "Because you’re a schmuck!" Sadie screams.
Some Jewish humor
posted by serazin
on Dec 7, 2008 -
For Orthodox Jewish mothers with small children, the Shabbat
can be challenging
. The answer, for many communities, is the establishment of an eruv
(discussed previously here
, in passing). This San Francisco Chronicle article
details the history behind Berkeley, California's unique instance
. This isn't the first time an eruv
has been attempted in the Bay Area: the failed effort to create one in Palo Alto was covered by the Chronicle
, as well as the Jewish News Weekly
. Berkeley isn't the only United States city with an eruv
—the Boston eruv
maintains a large list of domestic and international eruvim
—nor is it the city with the most unusual eruv
, or even the largest
. Inevitably, perhaps, there's a blog
entirely dedicated to the subject of eruvim
, and vigorous commentary
on the subject from several others
posted by scrump
on Jul 7, 2006 -
"They are demanding that I kill the children of my people with my own hands"
On October 4, 1939, a few days after Warsaw's surrender to the Nazis, Adam Czerniaków
was made head of the 24 member Judenrat, the Jewish Council (write "Czerniakow" in the linked page's search box)
responsible for implementing German orders in the Jewish community (interactive map of the Warsaw ghetto)
. On July 22, 1942 -- Tisha B'Av
, the "saddest day in Jewish history
" -- the Judenrat received instructions that all Warsaw Jews were to be deported to the East (exceptions were to be made for Jews working in German factories, Jewish hospital staff, members of the Judenrat and their families, and members of the Jewish police force and their families. Czerniaków tried to convince the Germans at least not to deport the Jewish orphans)
. Czerniaków kept a diary from September 6, 1939, until the day of his death. It was published in 1979 in the English language as the "The Warsaw Diary of Adam Czerniaków: Prelude to Doom
", edited by one of the most prominent
, Raul Hilberg
. More inside.
posted by matteo
on Feb 17, 2006 -
Bar Mitzvah Disco
• When We Were Shtetl Fabulous
"If you are Jewish, there would have been a golden year when it seemed like you attended a bar mitzvah disco almost weekly. Each one was like a pee-wee Studio 54, a potent cocktail of ritual, acne, insecurity, and hormones run amok." Help
at Bar Mitzvah Disco gather photos
, stories and details from Bar/Bat Mitzvahs from the 70s and 80s to publish in their forthcoming book on the subject.
posted by dhoyt
on Jul 31, 2003 -
The Shmaltz Brewing Company
out of San Francisco is the brewer of He'brew, the Chosen Beer. Be sure to try the Sammy Davis, Jr., which is a cocktail of Guinness floating atop He'brew Genesis Ale. L'Chaim!
posted by tdecius
on Oct 10, 1999 -