Miscellaneous

Jews have a prayer for everything, from eating a new fruit to using the toilet. So what does the Talmud say about an eclipse? “The Sages taught: When the sun is eclipsed it is a bad omen for the entire world.” It's been a rough couple weeks as it is. Are things [...]
Fri, Aug 18, 2017, Continue reading at the source
Despite being outlawed, anti-Semitic, anti-Islamic, and anti-immigrant graffiti and stickers often get sprayed onto German walls and telephone polls nonetheless. A group of graffiti artists and one spirited septuagenarian have taken matters into their own hands, making it their mission to cleanse their parks and neighborhoods of these hateful messages. Transforming [...]
Wed, Aug 16, 2017, Continue reading at the source
Emma Goldman's ideas on labor were radical. She abhorred the aristocracy, championed the working class, and detested the very notion of business. She also sold ice cream. Goldman and her lover Alexander Berkman were living in Worcester, MA in the early 1890s when they decided to return to their Russian homeland [...]
Mon, Aug 14, 2017, Continue reading at the source
He's not a household name anymore, but in 1908, John Arthur “Jack” Johnson of Galveston, Texas, became the first African-American heavyweight champion of the world. And to whom did he credit his success? Why that would be “Chrysanthemum Joe” Choynski, the son of Jewish immigrants from London and Grudziadz, Poland. Choynski [...]
Wed, Aug 09, 2017, Continue reading at the source
It turns out Anne Frank might owe her literary immortality to a young American editorial assistant named Judith Jones, who'd followed her love of French cooking to Paris in 1945. Five years later, Jones, who died earlier this week at age 93, was working at the Paris office of the American [...]
Fri, Aug 04, 2017, Continue reading at the source
The history of women can feel riddled with gaps, especially during times when education was the privilege of men. But one 17th-century Jewish woman, known as Gluckel of Hameln, left us a priceless window onto the lives of women, Jewish daily existence, and religious observance in Germany–in Old Yiddish, no [...]
Thu, Aug 03, 2017, Continue reading at the source
A Jewish kid from Arkansas pulls off the ultimate reinvention and makes himself a cowboy. In the process, he becomes a motion-picture pioneer — not least by filming the first on-screen pie-in-the face, and pretty much inventing the genre. This is the story of Maxwell Aronson, who was better known [...]
Tue, Aug 01, 2017, Continue reading at the source
In 1936, Germany barred its own high jump champion from participating in the Olympics – even though she was on track to win gold. At a championship meet one month before the Olympics, a Jewish girl named Gretel Bergmann leapt 5 feet 3 inches, and placed first at a meet [...]
Thu, Jul 27, 2017, Continue reading at the source
Menashe, a new dramatic film by filmmaker Joshua Z. Weinstein and out with A24, was shot entirely in Brooklyn's Hasidic neighborhood of Borough Park; the language spoken is Yiddish; and much of the tension of the film rises from the strict and complex halacha of the ultra-orthodox. But Menashe is [...]
Thu, Jul 27, 2017, Continue reading at the source
In the winter of 1944, a well-to-do Jewish family from Florence escaped deportation to Auschwitz by hiding in a cave they dug in the Italian countryside. Seventy years later, the three, no-longer-young Anati brothers returned to find the cave they hid in with their parents, and reunite with the villagers [...]
Mon, Jul 24, 2017, Continue reading at the source