When then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton was spotted toting the novel Devil in a Blue Dress on the campaign trail in 1992, he catapulted author Walter Mosley out of obscurity and into the spotlight. Clinton talked up the book, the first of the Easy Rawlins series of detective novels, to a Wall Street Journal reporter saying that it was important “for all Americans” to see “the way it was from a black person’s view…in the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s.” Mosley soon became a literary star, noted for his portrayal of black protagonists in largely white worlds.
Perhaps you’ve heard of Maimonides (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, Rambam) and Nachmanides (Rabbi Moses ben Nachman, Ramban), two medieval scholars whose works are quoted frequently even today. You may not, however, have heard of Gersonides.
One does not often associate preachers with Judaism. There are, however, certain distinct personalities in Jewish history who are known for their ability to inspire through their oratory.
Recently @JewishTweets mentioned, in passing, a website created specifically to give cheers or jeers to those who would or would not say “Merry Christmas.” Many of the jeers were given to local municipalities–once again raising the issue of separation of church and state.
Is being frugal a Jewish trait? After all, being “tight-fisted” is one of the most common slurs against Jews.
Last night/early this morning, North Americans were able to view a complete lunar eclipse. While this is not a rare occurrence, it is always a fascinating event.
We’re all familiar with that feeling, best summed up by loveable Jewish South Park character Kyle Broflovski: “I’m a Jew. A lonely Jew. On Christmas.” The lonely holiday season starts earlier every year. First, the local Target clears out the Halloween costumes and dusts the shelves. Then come the decorations: Red and green everything, from placemats to socks to Hershey®’s Kisses®. Then there’s someone ringing an annoying little bell outside of every supermarket. All this is before the carols are pumped into every radio station and Muzak system. Before you know it, you’re feeling excluded–Bah Humbug!–and craving Chinese food, left to wonder if there are any good movies playing.
The 48 chapters of the Book of Ezekiel are filled with wondrous visions. Ezekiel’s first vision is of a fiery chariot drawn by creatures with four faces (of a man, a lion, an ox and an eagle) and four sets of wings.
The general rule of Jewish fast days is that they cannot occur on Friday. This rule is meant to protect the joy and happiness of Shabbat, for the sages felt that entering Shabbat hungry after a full day of fasting might diminish the joy and happiness of the holy day.
Great leaders can move mountains…or at least, masses of people. Ezra the Scribe was just such a leader, and it was his charisma and wisdom that inspired the Jews to leave their Babylonian exile and return to the land of Israel.