Friday, April 18, 2014 Nisan 18, 5774
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I am generally opposed on principle to books like Mazel Tov , which is subtitled Celebrities' Bar and Bat Mitzvah Memories . Its bare-bones premise, expressed by the title and its accompaniment, makes it seem like a pure product of the celebrity culture, which will simply pander to the gossipy, People -magazine-loving side of our personalities. These lowest-common-denominator kind of...
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About a month ago, while discussing Jerome Rothenberg's ambitious three-part poem called Tryptych , which touches on numerous and sundry Jewish themes, I asked what I think is still one of the central aesthetic questions of our time: Can art of any kind encompass the enormity of the Holocaust? Now that we're well into the new millennium, you would think...
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Seasoned author takes on a new topic
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The question at the heart of Janet Malcolm's new book Two Lives: Gertrude and Alice -- how did a pair of elderly Jewish lesbians survive the Nazis? -- is unmistakably intriguing; more than a little provocative; startling, actually, despite the fact that we live in an age when the concept of a private life has become downright laughable. Secrets are...
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Sharansky reminds us democracies can't defend themselves without 'identity'
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Jonathan S. Tobin
Some 31/2 years ago, former Prisoner of Zion and Israeli cabinet minister Natan Sharansky was George W. Bush's favorite author. Sharansky earned an unexpected boost when the resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. invited him and co-author Ron Dermer to the White House and told the world that everyone should read their book, The Case for Democracy: The Power of Freedom...
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In Kate Simon's classic work, Bronx Primitive , in which she sketches masterful "portraits" from her New York immigrant childhood, she explains in the chapter titled "Forebears" that her parents were skeptics, and as such met all the bubbe meises (grandmother's tales) about the beautiful life in the shtetl with a raised eyebrow, even two. In typical fashion, Simon writes...
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