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Being Alive: Chava Rosenfarb and Tree of Life

January 30 marked Eight years since the passing of Chava Rosenfarb, one of the most significant, albeit underrated, Yiddish writers of the late 20th century. Rosenfarb was born in 1923 in Lodz, Poland. At that time, Lodz was about one-third Jewish, and the experience of growing up in a city with such a strong and […]

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International Holocaust Remembrance Day: The horrors of status in the Lodz Ghetto

“Filth, lack of discipline! Let us glimpse the site where the tragedy took place…Shattered windows, broken doors, dismantled floors…working bathrooms in only one home…How much time does it take for a European to lose his semblance of culture in conditions like these? None. Can you preserve culture with draconian punishments like denying soup or benches? […]

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Fischer King: Geniuses and One Deranged Master in the Jewish Game of Kings

He was paranoid, provocative, racist and chauvinist. But most people forgave him all of it, because he was a singular genius with an IQ over 200 and the memory of a Google server farm. Bobby Fischer, World Chess Champion from 1972-1975, harbored neuroses that spilled over into his personal and public lives. As a teen, […]

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Political Zionism vs. Spiritual Zionism: The Ugly Battle

The match was about to start. In one corner of the ring, a skinny Jew with a goatee, round glasses on his nose, and a deep penetrating stare. In the other corner, an imposing looking man wearing a modern top hat and a thick beard from which only a pair of black piercing eyes could […]

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Kosher Tartan: A Clan for Scotland’s Jews

Tartan, a checkered pattern that is formed when the same set of colored bands intersect horizontally and vertically, is one of the defining visual features of Scottish culture. Tartan is taken so seriously, in fact, that there is official legislation defining tartan and the process of registering it officially. Historically, tartan was associated with the […]