Archive | Books & Poetry

Pogrebin tells of her Jewish life, beliefs

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Questions for Letty Cottin Pogrebin Letty Cottin Pogrebin says she is interested in “probing the many ways there are to be Jewish in America.” Photo by Mike Lovett Writer Letty Cottin Pogrebin said she grew up in a “very left-wing family” in Jamaica, Queens, and “it was not blacks that bothered anybody; it was non-Jews.” […]

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Posted in Books & Poetry, USA0 Comments

Khamenei lauds ‘Merchant of Venice’

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As the world marks the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on Monday tweeted that he too, is a fan of The Bard, and highlighted “The Merchant of Venice” — famous for its derogatory depiction of Jewish moneylender Shylock — as being in “accordance with Western values.” “I have read […]

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Posted in Books & Poetry, Middle East, Theatre, Film & TV0 Comments

Ancient Jewish wisdom and modern science

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By Stanley Tiger SAN DIEGO –Passover in the 21st Century presents Jewish people with new dilemmas unimagined in previous eras: Should I have regular white flour matzah, whole wheat matzah, egg matzah, any of the flavored matzahs, and more recently “gluten free matzah.” We also have the choice of salted or unsalted matzah, domestic or […]

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Posted in Books & Poetry, Jewish Religion, Lighter Side0 Comments

Yeshiva University essays prayers of Shabbat

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From Within the Tents: The Sabbath Prayers, Essays by the Rabbis and Professors of Yeshiva University edited by Rabbi Daniel Z. Feldman and Dr. Stuart W. Halpern; Maggid Books, New Milford, CT;  ISBN 978-1-59264-446-9 ©2014, $29.95, p. 295 plus Appendix By Fred Reiss, Ed.D. WINCHESTER, California –Hermann Cohen, arguably the greatest German-Jewish philosopher of the nineteenth […]

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Posted in Books & Poetry, Jewish History, Reiss_Fred0 Comments

A fictional variant on the life of Frye

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The House of Dreams by Kate Lord Brown, © 2016 St. Martin’s Press; ISBN 978-1-250-08453-8; 304 pages plus author’s note and acknowledgments; $25.99 By Donald H. Harrison SAN DIEGO – This historical novel paints a picture of international rescue worker Varian Frye as he smuggles artists and poets out of France in 1940 and 1941 […]

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From the Jewish library: ‘Slave, My True Story’

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By Sheila Orysiek SAN DIEGO — One of the most dramatic stories of the Hebrew Bible is told in the Book of Exodus;  the story of the enslavement of a people and their flight to freedom.  Though this epic event is recounted every year during the Passover Seder, the possibility of such an enslavement still […]

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A shaggy dog story for Israel Independence Day

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Shmulik Paints the Town by Lisa Rose (illustrated by Catalina Echeverri); Kar-Ben Publishing; ISBN 978-1-4677-5239-8; 32 pages; $17.99. By Donald H. Harrison SAN DIEGO – Have you ever told your child a shaggy dog story?  Like the one about the man who convinces the manager of the movie theater to let him and his dog […]

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From the Jewish Library: U.S. Grant and the Jews

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  When General Grant Expelled the Jews  by Jonathan D. Sarna, Publisher: Schocken, 2012 By Sheila Orysiek SAN DIEGO — The American Civil War tested the character, fortitude as well as the civic structure of the United States such as in suspending the Writ of Habeas Corpus.  The outcome of the war would determine if […]

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‘Fairy Tales’ tells of family’s Anschluss ordeal, recovery

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Fairy Tales (nonfiction) by James Josef Allina; PublishAmerica (c) 2013; ISBN 9781462659692; 182 pages, $13. By Donald H. Harrison SAN DIEGO —Fairy Tales is a two-part memoir. The first part, in the voice of the author’s uncle, Josef Benesch, focuses on living conditions for Jews in Vienna after the Anschluss with Nazi Germany  The second […]

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Posted in Books & Poetry, Harrison_Donald_H, Jewish History0 Comments

Go beyond brisket with Passover recipes that celebrate the diversity of the Jewish table

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Long before shakshuka, the saucy egg dish so popular in Israel, hit tables in Canada, and pomegranate molasses and za’atar became pantry staples for many, Evelyn Rose and Joyce Goldstein were transforming the world of Jewish cuisine. One of Evelyn’s guiding principles was that food should have ta’am – a quality that makes it taste […]

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Posted in Books & Poetry, International, Travel & Miscellaneous0 Comments

Are you a clifihead?

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By Dan Bloom CHIAYI CITY, Taiwan —  If you grew up in the 1970s (or later) and were a die-hard ”Grateful Dead” rock band fan, you probably remember how fans often called themselves “Deadheads” in the ensuing decades, and still do today. The nickname arose when a large number of fans began travelling to see […]

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Posted in Bloom_Dan, Books & Poetry, The World We Share0 Comments

Chava Rosenfarb’s Yiddish works on tap at UCSD

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LA JOLLA, California (SDJW)–The Holocaust Living History Workshop of UCSD will present the life and works of Chava Rosenfarb, described as “one of the great Yiddish writers of the second half of the 20th century” in a two-part, free program Wednesday, May 4, at the UCSD Geisel Library (Seuss Room). At 3 p.m., the workshop […]

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Posted in Books & Poetry, San Diego Calendar0 Comments

Palestinian novelist denounces anti- Semitism

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A Palestinian Arab author condemned anti-Semitism last month, Palestinian Media Watch reports Tuesday – defying, on Palestinian Authority (PA) official television, the constant undercurrent of hatred against Jews the PA instills in its national consciousness. “The world is trying to split us apart,” author Ounallah Abu Safieh stated in a March 14 interview. In his […]

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‘Sage Advice’ unlocks some Pirkei Avot mysteries

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Sage Advice: Pirkei Avot Translation and Commentary by Irving (Yitz) Greenberg; Maggid Books, New Milford, Connecticut; ISBN 978-1-59264-444-5 ©2016, $24.95, p. 336 plus index By Fred Reiss, Ed.D. WINCHESTER, California — Pirkei Avot, literally meaning “Chapters of the Fathers,” but often translated as “Ethics of the Fathers,” is part of the Talmud, the written form […]

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Posted in Books & Poetry, Jewish Religion, Reiss_Fred0 Comments

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