“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”: What’s the Allure?

by Elliot B. Gertel   THE CW NETWORK’S Crazy Ex-Girlfriend began with Jewish lawyer Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom) running into her irresolute summer-camp crush, Filipino-American Josh Chan (Vincent Rodriguez III), and then leaving a high-powered New York job in order to stalk him in his home town of West Covina, California. Rebecca is obsessed and devious, […]

Read More

Hanging with the Idolaters

An India Travelogue, Part 10 by Lawrence Bush Click for Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9.   IT’S INTERESTING being an American Jew in India, where most of the folks I speak with associate Jews exclusively with Israel, period — meaning that they associate us with conservatism, occupation of the Palestinian people, and cooperation with the U.S. military machine. The […]

Read More

Rethinking the Exodus Story

A Curmudgeonly, Skeptical Look by Bennett Muraskin   THE PASSOVER HAGODE celebrates the liberation of the ancient Israelites from slavery in Egypt, but provides few details. Its source document is the Book of Exodus — which on this holiday deserves a closer look. Because Pharaoh fears that the burgeoning Israelite population will become a threat to his rule, he […]

Read More

Next Year in New Jersey

by Rebecca Boroson   “THIS IS A NIGHT for Elijah,” says 7-year-old Bram. The wind is battering the trees and sending the clouds running for cover. And it does, indeed, seem like a night for the biblical prophet, for whom Bram will open the door during the seder — and who may invisibly, if he deigns, […]

Read More

What’s Going to Happen to American Democracy?

by Dusty Sklar Discussed in this essay: How Democracies Die, by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt. Penguin/Random House, 2018, 320 pages.   THESE DAYS, all sane Americans are wringing their hands over the threats to our democracy posed by the Trump presidency and the Republican power monopoly in Washington. Two thoughtful Harvard professors of government have now […]

Read More

The Horse in Jewish Religious Text

by A.D. Paul   THE TORAH’s attitude to horses reveals a range of perspectives, based on the different experiences of the ancient Jewish people. Unlike the pig and the dog, which are not only forbidden as food but are widely scorned throughout the Torah, the horse, also forbidden as a food, often symbolizes great strength and courage, as […]

Read More

The Freewheeling Jonathan Lethem

by Pam Black   A Gambler’s Anatomy, Jonathan Lethem’s tenth and most recent novel (2016), is a romp of a read, laden with lush language, cynical wit, and bizarre twists. It follows Alexander Bruno, a jaded, 50-ish backgammon ace and ladies’ man, to secret, international, high-stakes gambling parlors, where he fleeces the rich with his superior gaming […]

Read More

Elijah at the White House, 2018

Another Short Play by Joel Schechter Characters: Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump, Melania Trump, Jared Kushner, Secret Service agents, Children 1, 2, 3, Stormy Daniels and other guests. Setting: A Passover dinner table in the White House. We hear the Trump family singing a song about Elijah.

Read More