Author Archives: zjb

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics. http://religion.syr.edu

A Painted Memory (Shana Tova u’Metuka)

This year during Coronavirus, alone at home with family, an apple and honey and a Machzor, this painted memory by Mayer Kirshenblatt is even more dream-like than it was last year. The memory builds upon the passage of time and … Continue reading

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Neo Hasidism (A Review of the New Anthology)

            Excellent critical review here at Jewish Currents by Daniel Craft of the 2-vol anthology edited by Arthur Green & Ariel Evan Mayse: A New Hasidism: Roots A New Hasidism: Branches Craft argues that Neo-Hasidism … Continue reading

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Thinking About Chabad (Joshua Shanes)

Joshua Shanes pours out here at FB about his 10 years at Chabad, what drew him into and then away from the community. And the FB post opened a torrential flood of responses, especially modern orthodox and Jewish Studies academics. … Continue reading

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(Things) Mishnah Shabbat is Beautiful

    cedar bast [lekhesh], uncombed flax [ḥosen], raw silk [kalakh], willow bast [petilat ha’idan], desert weed [petilat hamidbar], nor green mosspitch [zefet], wax [sha’ava], castor oil [shemen kik], burnt oil [shemen sereifa], fat from a sheep’s tail [alya], tallow … Continue reading

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(Ugly Mugs) Aesthetic Philosophy Fab 4

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(Coronavirus) Shofarot on Broadway (Sunday at 4:00)

from Sarah Kayla Jacobs here. אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָֽׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּֽנוּ לִשְׁמֹֽעַ קוֹל שׁוֹפָר on September 14, 2020 Covid-19 has upended the world. Most things that until March we took for granted are worse. I don’t have to go into a litany of … Continue reading

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770 Selichot (Habad)

What we are learning about conservative religion and haredi Judaism, paideiac communities and the larger public good, about religious “law” and “ethics” during this time of pandemic is nothing good.

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Rational Religion and Aesthetic Philosophy (Maimonides)

Was it a gentle, gnostic melancholy? A critical theorist and colleague friend who I am positive is “definitely not religious” makes an offhand comment in the early months of the pandemic about “the cruelty of nature.” The anthropomorphism caught my … Continue reading

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Platonic Cave (Sloan Gorge Preserve)

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Black-Jewish Prisms (Jews for Black Lives Matter Movement)

  Itself atypical for reasons I will note below, the recent statement of support from across the mainstream liberal and progressive spectrum of the Jewish community for the Black Lives Matter movement raises critical questions about what Jewish things Jews … Continue reading

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