Moment

Articles from Vol. 33, No. 4, July-August

Anita Diamant: A Mikveh of Her Own: The Queen of Jewish Lifecycle Books and Author of the Best-Selling the Red Tent Is the Founder of the World S First Freestanding Pluralistic Mikveh
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] THANKFULLY, ANITA DIAMANT does not sigh when I ask her the question she has been asked countless times. She smiles graciously, accustomed to fielding inquiries about The Red Tent, one of the first contemporary novels to transcend...
A Shtickl on Shtick
Jack Benny's shtick was that he would forever remain 39 and stingy. Lewis Black screams and Jerry Seinfeld "yada-yadas." Sarah Silverman is charmingly and unexpectedly vulgar. These days you don't have to be a Jewish comedian to have a shtick. It...
A Spiritual Moment
There's a line in the Psalms that says, "Today, if you could only listen to God today!" Imagine what today would be like if we could only hear God's voice. Imagine what this world would be like if we could see God's light shining forth from every lonely,...
Backstabbing in the Ivory Tower
History Lesson: A Race Odyssey By Mary Lefkowitz Yale University Press 2008, $25.00, pp. 208 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] This short but important book is the personal account of an acrid controversy that erupted at Wellesley College during...
Franz Kafka and Bruno Schulz: Cockroaches and Crocodiles
The Street of Crocodiles and Other Stories By Bruno Schulz Penguin Classics (New edition) 2008, $15.00, pp. 160 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] An American friend recently asked me a seemingly impossible question: "What would you recommend to...
From the Editor
Every Moment contains plenty of serious subjects to keep the neurons in your brain firing, and this one is no different. In the last issue, I spoke with Israeli writer Amos Oz, who eloquently put forth his view that the only path to peace between Israel...
Gangsters Genes Guns & Gamblers: These Days, It's Almost Cool to Be Related to a (Dead) Jewish Mobster
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] BENNY GAMSON, AKA Benny the Meatball, was short, squat and sharp-eyed. He was a small time mobster, a gonif, a petty thief and crapshooter who branched out into organized crime in the corrupt Los Angeles of the 1940s. In 1945,...
He Who Does Not Rise Again
The Lazarus Project By Aleksandar Hemon Riverhead Books 2008, $24.95, pp. 304 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] From Cervantes to Proust to Joyce, long before the clatter of postmodernism, the best narrative fiction has come from imaginative literary...
If Not Peace Now, What?
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Many Israelis, perhaps even a majority according to some polls, believe that the time has come for Israel to follow the 2003 Road Map to create two states--one Jewish, the other Palestinian. Yet, others in Israel and in the...
Meyer Lansky's Step-Granddaughter Speaks
Cynthia Duncan grew up enjoying regular sleepovers at the Miami Beach apartment of Meyer Lansky. She was close to her grandmother, Thelma, known as "Teddy," Lansky's second wife, and she adored her step-grandfather. "My grandfather was a really nice...
My Google Seder
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The e-mail invitation came at the last minute. Not that Google didn't know Passover was on its way, but apparently it would have been un-Google-like to plan too far in advance. So the message arrived just a few days ahead...
Scandal in the Rabbinate
Once, the rules seemed clear: Reform or Conservative converts knew that some Jews wouldn't accept them as members of the tribe. Orthodox conversions were honored by everyone, including Israel's state rabbinate. They were the gold standard. It has...
The City at the End of the Sea
There are many reasons to see Jellyfish, which won the 2007 Camera d'Or at Cannes, but a straightforward one is to watch a movie from Israel about relationships other than those between Jews and their enemies. Like In Treatment, the HBO drama that...
The Death of Jewish Lodz
Ghettostadt, Lodz and the Making of a Nazi City By Gordon J. Horwitz Belknap Press 2008, $29.95, pp. 416 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] This is a remarkable book. With honorable modesty and an unerring tone, Gordon J. Horwitz has accomplished...
The Failure of Religious Zionism
A recent ruling by a panel of Israel's Supreme Rabbinic Court upheld a lower court decision retroactively annulling a conversion to Judaism 15 years ago. The court's argument was that since the convert no longer followed Orthodox practices, she must...
We Are Not One
When I was growing up in the 1970s in a heavily but not predominantly Jewish New York suburb, it was verboten to criticize Israel in polite company. The underlying argument went something as follows: "Jewish history is one long story of the goyim...
When Money Grows on Jewish Trees
No matter how much they emphasize their differences from one another on the campaign trail, Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama and Republican nominee John McCain share a common denominator: Jewish fundraisers. Penny Pritzker serves as Obama's...
Who Cares What Women Wear (or Don't Wear)?
Sephardi Modesty is one of the most fundamental of Jewish values, but is widely misunderstood and frequently dismissed as provincial, old-fashioned, outmoded or chauvinistic. Modesty is the art of directing focus away from oneself. Its relevance...
Wyatt Earp and His Jewish Wife
Everyone else called her Josie. He called her Sadie. Josephine Sarah Marcus was a showgirl from a prosperous San Francisco German-Jewish family. He was an itinerant lawman, gambler and saloon owner who was known as a sharpshooter. They met and fell...