Monthly Archives: March 2016

Jesus, President Obama & Bernie: The Messianic, American Politics, and a Sense of Humor

Originally posted on Schlemiel Theory:
Writing on the apostate Jewish Messiah, Sabbatai Zevi, Gershom Scholem argued that there are two kinds of messianic ideas: one is restorative and the other is apocalyptic. The latter idea is, for Scholem, the most…

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Rat and Bear (Peter Fischli & David Weiss)

On view at their retrospective at the Guggenheim, Peter Fischl and  David Weiss’ film Least Resistance is a murder mystery that follows the antics of Rat and Bear, two louche art snobs out and about in Los Angeles.  

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CFP (Franz Rosenzweig Society) (Rome)

International Congress of the Franz Rosenzweig Gesellschaft – Call for Papers The conjunction “and” in Franz Rosenzweig’s work: I and the Other, philosophy and theology, time and redemption, Judaism and Christianity In his Introduction to Hermann Cohen’s Jüdische Schriften (Berlin, 1924) … Continue reading

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“Feel the Bird” – Birds, Saints, Rabbis, Animation, and Bernie

Originally posted on Schlemiel Theory:
During a recent Bernie Sanders rally in Portland, Oregon (March 25, 2016), the crowd went wild when a little bird appeared on his podium. Taken together, the images of the bird, a smiling Bernie Sanders,…

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Polin Museum Rising From the Rubble (Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett at Syracuse)

Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett is this year’s Rudolph Lecturer hosted by the Jewish Studies Program at Syracuse University.      

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Rowdy Shushan Purim Night (Brooklyn)

I was privileged to join up with the amazing musicians of the Neshomo Orchestra for their Shushan Purim gig at a very famous  Haredi high-school yeshiva in Brooklyn. The yeshiva builds a stadium pit with a long table along the entire … Continue reading

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Rowdy Life (Baroque Purim)

Marc Epstein describes this Esther scroll (probably German, ca. 1700) as a “folksy Baroque style.” Busy, crowded, full of life and charming architectural features, the illumination captures the rowdy urban milieu of the story. It’s a little like Where’s Waldo?. The … Continue reading

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(BDS) UC Regents Report (Free Speech & Intolerance on Campus)

The regents of the University of California passed today the “Regents Policy: Principles Against Intolerance.”  It is a circumspect statement condemning anti-Semitism while upholding in no uncertain terms the principles of free and critical speech. Instead of muddling into the … Continue reading

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(A Throw of the Dice) Gothic Purim (Regensberg Pentateuch)

Queen Esther and Ahashverosh, the hanging of Haman and sons, and the triumph of Mordechai –no cheerful image this, this gothic illumination from the Regensberg Pentateuch (1300). The image is reproduced in the sumptuously illustrated Skies of Parchment, Seas of … Continue reading

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Purim

Originally posted on 120 words of Torah:
The two antitheses of spirituality are determinism and chaos. They threaten us with depression and fear, respectively, and in repressing these feelings we become lethargic and cynical. The Purim story plays this out and…

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