Arts & Culture

The Hipster Beard: Creepy or Essential?

The Hipster Beard: Creepy or Essential?
By November 8, 2007

[Note: The following is an opinion piece on the creepiness of hipster beards, those scraggly face-warmers sported by young, underemployed, flamboyantly-dressed men in cities across the nation. For a defense of these beards, see Andy Selsberg's response.] One of the … Read More

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The Friday 5: Top Alternative Bagel Toppings

The Friday 5: Top Alternative Bagel Toppings
By November 2, 2007

Don't get me wrong: a bagel with cream cheese is one of the most perfect foods. But sometimes I just want something more…substantial. Sometimes I feel like getting creative, and there's nothing wrong with a little experimentation! So if you're … Read More

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The Kingdom Breaks Through the (Smoke) Screen

The Kingdom Breaks Through the (Smoke) Screen
By October 21, 2007

(Welcome, Stumblers!) The Kingdom, still playing in major movie houses, may be the most important recent contribution to the public discussion of U.S.-Saudi relations. Surprisingly and even hearteningly for those who follow developments in the desert monarchy, the film begins … Read More

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The Nation Pans “The Israel Lobby”

The Nation Pans “The Israel Lobby”
By October 19, 2007

What a carnival it has been seeing the liberal-left react to the ungenerous reviews of The Israel Lobby. Surely a sign that knee-jerk charges of anti-Semitism and the reductio ad Hitlerum hobble any substantive debate about Israel – ah, if … Read More

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Diamond in the Rough

Diamond in the Rough
By October 1, 2007

In his new collection, The Family Diamond, Edward Schwarzschild, author of the novel Responsible Men asks if being good is the same as doing the right thing. After all, a person with good intentions, a relatively clear conscience, strong personal … Read More

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Year-Round Cultural Atonement

Year-Round Cultural Atonement
By September 18, 2007

Whether you’re Orthodox or atheist, you’ve no doubt encountered non-Jewish works of art that resonate with fundamentally Jewish teachings about repentance and forgiveness. Yom Kippur asks us to atone for 24 hours straight, which seems like a power cleanse for … Read More

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Music, Moonshine, and Mahjong

Music, Moonshine, and Mahjong
By September 1, 2007

Over the past 18 months, I have dedicated my personal life primarily to researching the facts surrounding the 1927 recording – in St. Paul, Minnesota – of "The Moonshiner’s Dance, Part One," which Harry Smith included as entry 41 within … Read More

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Snapshots: An Excerpt

Snapshots: An Excerpt
By September 1, 2007

Acclaimed author Michal Govrin’s Snapshots, excerpted here for the first time, received Israel’s 2003 AKUM Prize. Govrin’s hybrid text draws from traditional Jewish sources and both modernist and postmodern poetics. The novel’s collage of letters, drawings, and photographs reveals the … Read More

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