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The Uncivil Servant: “Thy Father’s Chair”

AN INTERVIEW WITH THE FILM’S CO-DIRECTOR, ANTONIO TIBALDI by Mitchell Abidor   THY FATHER’S CHAIR is the day-by-day account of the cleaning of the Borough Park apartment of Shraga and Avraham, twin Orthodox brothers who are, as I wrote here a year ago, “kosher Collyer brothers,” hoarders who haven’t cleaned their flat since their parents’ death […]

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The Mathematical Girl

Ruth Lawrence, a child prodigy in math who at the age of 10 placed first among 530 candidates in the Oxford University entrance exam in that subject, was born in Brighton, England on this date in 1971. Her parents were both computer consultants, and her father gave up his work when she was 5 to […]

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The Uncivil Servant: Manipulating the Immutable

CENSORSHIP IN THE JEWISH TRADITION by Mitchell Abidor Discussed in this essay: Changing the Immutable, by Marc B. Shapiro. Litman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2015. ANY SYSTEM that claims to represent eternal verities is eventually forced, either tacitly or openly, to confront the fact that nothing, in fact, is eternal; that the circumstances that made […]

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Dough Rises

by Esther Cohen I ACTUALLY didn’t think I would like Dough, a British movie directed by John Goldschmidt and starring Jonathan Pryce, which is opening around the country on April 29th. It’s full of clichés, yet in the end I enjoyed watching. Even though viewers could predict what would happen, almost completely, the movie was […]

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Orthodox Women, Escaping

by Susan Reimer-Torn From the Spring 2016 issue of Jewish Currents FAIGY MEYER BECAME a tabloid headline last July when she leapt to her death from a Manhattan rooftop bar. Faige (shown below) was not a fictional character, nor did she write a memoir. She was a 30-year-old woman who had left behind her ultra-Orthodox […]

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December 18: The Mathematician of Biology

Mathematician Samuel Karlin, whose wide-ranging interests included mathematical applications for DNA analysis, game theory, economics, and population studies, died at 83 on this date in 2008. The author of 10 books and 450 scientific papers, he made significant contributions to the understanding of how random variables are governed by the laws of probability, how mathematical […]

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Wednesday Night Fiction: Mahmoud

by Jeffrey Kassel WHEN I VISIT the old neighborhood to see my sister or visit my late mother’s house, I usually stop off at Essen Mart, a glatt-kosher heaven on Avenue M in Brooklyn. The neighborhood used to be secular, then Orthodox, now khasidic. Essen Mart makes wonderful soups, and I usually bring home a […]

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September 11: Studying Talmud All Around the World

Rabbi Meir Shapira of Lublin (1887-1933), at a European Orthodox Congress in August, 1923, proposed that Jewish men all over the world simultaneously study the same page of the Babylonian Talmud and pursue their study for a seven-and-a-half-year cycle of daily reading that would lead to the completion of the Talmud’s 2,711 pages. Agudas Israel […]

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April 12: Democratizing Torah Study

Nechama Leibowitz, an Orthodox Litvak woman who democratized Torah study in Israel in the 1940s by mailing out stencils of questions on the weekly Torah portion to anyone who requested them, collecting people’s responses, and returning them with her comments and insights, died at 91 on this date in 1997. Leibowitz, sister to Israeli philosopher […]

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