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Jewish Journal

Tag: Literature

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  • Prague’s longtime chief rabbi leaves colorful and controversial legacy

    August 25, 2014 | 3:32 pm

    When the novel “Altschul’s Method” hit the shelves in Czech bookstores this March, it was hailed as a brilliant political and psychological thriller combining elements of science fiction, alternate history and Jewish mysticism.

    But it became a true literary sensation when it was...

  • How to organize your books

    By Marty Kaplan

    June 30, 2014 | 1:34 pm

    It’s a sin to throw away a book.

    I don’t mean e-books.  If they’re cluttering your e-reader, all you have to do is delete them, and you don’t even have to do that, since you can pretty much fit the Library of Congress on a thumb drive.

    But physical books – the creepy retronym...

  • Eight books to light your Chanukah season

    By Jonathan Kirsch

    November 27, 2013 | 12:12 pm

    The early arrival of Chanukah coincides with Jewish Book Month, which suggests a convenient shopping list for gift-giving. Here are eight books I am planning to give this year to the book lovers among my family, friends and colleagues. Some of these books already have been reviewed...

  • After the fall

    By Jonathan Kirsch

    November 27, 2013 | 11:47 am

    Perhaps no single Bible story is quite as familiar as the fateful encounter in the Garden of Eden between God, Adam and Eve, and that damned snake, an episode that entered Western theology as “the Fall.” It may appear to be a kind of biblical fairytale, but Ziony Zevit reveals the...

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  • Yiddish yesterday, today and tomorrow. Interview with Thomas Soxberger

    Ian Shulman

    April 18, 2013 | 1:25 am

    Thomas Soxberger was born in 1965 in Lower Austria. He moved to Vienna to study History and Jewish Studies. In the early 1990s Thomas participated in Yiddish Summer Programmes in Oxford. 1998-2000 - Master Degree in Yiddish Studies at London University. After moving back to London,...

  • Philip Roth — still (a)roused

    By Danielle Berrin

    March 28, 2013 | 8:49 am

    The camera opens on a frazzled Philip Roth.

    He is futzing with the horseshoe of hair he has left, rubbing his face and furrowing his unruly brow as a look of supreme unease settles over his face. For a man who recently announced his retirement, he seems a bit stressed. And for a...

  • Joyce fans celebrate Bloomsday in Westwood

    June 19, 2012 | 12:50 pm

    More than 100 James Joyce enthusiasts, performance artists and Irish descendants gathered at Westwood’s Hammer Museum on June 16 to celebrate Bloomsday. Taken from the name of Leopold Bloom, the assimilated Jewish protagonist in Joyce’s monumental book, “Ulysses,” the event...

  • Leaving the an insular, Hasidic world

    February 10, 2012 | 12:22 pm

    “Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots” by 25-year-old Deborah Feldman (Simon & Schuster: $23.00) is painfully good. Through a narrative voice that is almost hypnotic, she puts you immediately in the center of her chaotic world.  Flashes of adult wisdom seem...

  • Eclectic Fare Reflects L.A.’s Vibrant Lit Scene

    By Jonathan Kirsch

    September 7, 2011 | 9:33 am

    Author tours are not what the used to be, and bookstore closings are reducing the number of venues where you can meet writers face to face. But the offerings for this fall season turn out to be remarkably rich, diverse and likely to prove memorable — an encouraging sign of the...

  • Moroccan murder mystery weaves web of deception

    By Jonathan Kirsch

    August 2, 2011 | 5:43 pm

    From the opening passage of “The Honored Dead: A Story of Friendship, Murder, and the Search for Truth in the Arab World” by Joseph Braude (Spiegel & Grau: $26), we suddenly find ourselves in an atmospheric scene right out of “Casablanca” — an empty alleyway in the storied...

  • The Story of the Storyteller

    By Dikla Kadosh

    July 12, 2011 | 12:47 pm

    “Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness,” a film by Joseph Dorman, opens Friday, August 5 at Laemmle’s Town Center 5 in Encino. The film tells the story of the monumental literary figure, who not only left behind a body of work that includes “Fiddler on the Roof” and other...

  • ‘Jerusalem’ — ancient symbol, modern struggles

    By Jonathan Kirsch

    March 29, 2011 | 5:25 pm

    Blood has been spilled yet again in the streets of Jerusalem in recent days, and so there is a certain urgency that inevitably attaches itself to “Jerusalem, Jerusalem: How the Ancient City Ignited Our Modern World” by James Carroll (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $28). Carroll...

  • Jewish ‘Neighborhood’ Chronicler Wins Zócalo Book Prize

    By Jonah Lowenfeld

    March 10, 2011 | 10:27 am

    How well do you know your neighbors?

    For writer Peter Lovenheim, whose book “In the Neighborhood” won the First Annual Zócalo Public Square book prize today, the answer turned out to be: Not all that well.

    That’s probably the case for most Americans, and for American Jews....

  • Jewish Children’s Book Awards: Winning literature tackles complex issues

    February 25, 2011 | 10:12 am

    After taking a look at the latest award winning literature for Jewish youth, one could easily conclude that the time has come to put aside K’Tonton and All of a Kind Family, and get real. Many of the winners and honor books recently awarded either the prestigious Sydney Taylor Book...

  • Religion’s power in the face of death

    By Jonathan Kirsch

    February 23, 2011 | 6:25 pm

    Contemporary Bible scholars tend to look at religion as the object of study rather than the source of inspiration, or so we might conclude from their writings.  But something quite different can happen when they are confronted with the kind of life experiences for which religion has...

  • Poetic Master of Biblical Translation Receives Award

    April 22, 2009 | 4:00 am

    Robert Alter is the 2009 recipient of the Robert Kirsch Award, a lifetime achievement award named after my late father and given each year by the Los Angeles Times. It will be my honor to hand the award to Alter, a role I have been asked to perform on a few memorable occasions over...

  • In which the writer discovers Nextbook’s new read on culture

    By Tom Tugend

    July 10, 2008 | 12:58 am

    "A man should live, if only to satisfy his curiosity."

    The Yiddish proverb, tacked to the wall of my study, came to mind when curiosity -- and the assignment to entertain my visiting young grandsons -- led me to the Nextbook festival.

    It's a personal embarrassment, or the fault of...

  • Calendar Girls picks and clicks for April 12- 18

    By Dikla Kadosh

    April 10, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    SAT | APRIL 12

    (POLISH JEWS)
    Jews have lived in Poland for more than a thousand years. Once the largest Jewish community in Europe, Polish Jews contributed immensely to the development pick gifof that country. Unfortunately, the only thing the world tends to remember about Polish Jews is...
  • Calendar Girls picks, clicks and kicks for February 16 - 22

    By Dikla Kadosh

    February 14, 2008 | 5:00 pm

    SAT | FEBRUARY 16

    (SHABBATON)
    pick gifThe provocative opinions of Jonathan Rosenblum, a Yale Law School grad, rabbi and an outspoken journalist, have put him at the forefront of Israeli politics. A columnist at the Jerusalem Post and a leading spokesperson representing the Orthodox...
  • A different attic’s holocaust secrets

    By Sandee Brawarsky

    December 27, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    Joseph Hollander left the untold story of his life packed up in a suitcase, waiting to be found.

    His son, Richard Hollander, found the suitcase in the attic of his parents' Westchester house in 1986, after they were both killed in a tragic car accident. The younger Hollander...

  • Briefs

    April 5, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Kollek a British Spy?
    The late Teddy Kollek reportedly spied for Britain against the hard-line Jewish underground in British Mandate Palestine. Citing declassified documents, the Israeli newspaper, Yediot Achronot, reported last week that Kollek, who is best remembered as Jerusalem's...
  • Home and Jerusalem

    By Rob Eshman

    March 15, 2007 | 8:00 pm


    Israel according to Hollywood:
    Click the BIG ARROW for the trailer from "Exodus" (1960)

    The two greatest Jewish inventions of the 20th century are, to my mind at least, Hollywood and Israel. Jews founded Hollywood to help the world escape reality; they founded Israel to help Jews...
  • A Different Israel

    By Tom Teicholz

    November 2, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    When Israel is discussed these days, more often than not it is in terms of an existential crisis, or "the situation," or as the subject of international news headlines. However, reading recently published works by three different Israeli fiction authors, Etgar Keret, Benjamin Tammuz...
  • Guide to Torah fleshes out flat characters in stories

    By Robert J. Avrech

    October 19, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    "Between the Lines of the Bible: A Study From the New School of Orthodox Torah Commentary," by Rabbi Yitzchak Etshalom (Yashar Books)

    Besotted with Torah.

    That's the phrase that springs to mind when reading Rabbi Yitzchak Etshalom's "Between the Lines of the Bible: A Study From...

  • Posters by Czech Students Bring Back Lost ‘Neighbors’

    By Robert David Jaffee

    August 24, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    The Czech nation, in its many incarnations, has figured prominently in Jewish lore and literature. It has spawned the Golem and Franz Kafka, to say nothing of the recent Maurice Sendak and Tony Kushner collaboration, "Brundibar," a play that was staged by the Berkeley and Yale...

  • Play’s Gay Theme Reflects Background of Creator

    By Robert David Jaffee

    August 10, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    "We have always existed, even though we've been hidden from history. The friends we met in childhood, it turns out they were gay. We gravitate to one another."

    So speaks playwright Zsa Zsa Gershick when asked why her four principal characters are all gay or sexually experimental in...

  • Life vs. Death

    By Tom Teicholz

    July 19, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    In college, I wrote the same literature essay over and over again. Regardless of the novel, its plot or its country of origin, I found that I could always work up four pages on the subject of "Life vs. Death."

    My ideas on this subject were not particularly original. In a high...

  • Eluding Death Gives Life to Roth Novel

    By Sandee Brawarsky

    June 8, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Eluding death is the central issue of life for Philip Roth's nameless leading character in his newest novel, "Everyman" (Houghton Mifflin). A thrice-married and divorced retired advertising executive, Roth's lonely everyman wants to keep on with the messy business of his life -- "he...

  • The ‘Chosen’ Ones Across the Street

    By Robert David Jaffee

    April 27, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    It has long been a cliché that Los Angeles does not respect the culture of the book. It is true that this town famously eviscerated Faulkner and Fitzgerald, that Hollywood suits to this day treat screenwriters the way Henry VIII treated his wives. Yet, it is also true that Los...

  • 7 Days in The Arts

    By Keren Engelberg

    March 23, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Saturday, March 25

    Hollywood Fight Club's current production "A Lively ... and Deathly Evening With Woody Allen" brings to the stage three written works by the Neurotic One. Woody Allen's "God," "Death Knocks" and "Mr. Big" all deal with existential dilemmas as only Allen can.

    ...
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