Wednesday, October 1, 2014 Tishri 7, 5775
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SPEAKING VOLUMES Over the course of the last 25 years or so, whenever people would rave inordinately about Paris as the most beautiful and romantic city in the world, I would always say, "Give me Prague or Budapest any time." I even touted these cities in the heyday of the Soviet bloc, in the late 1980s in particular, when I...
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Finally getting published?
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Several months ago, when I discussed the work of the little-known German writer, Grete Weil, I posed certain questions and discussed conundrums surrounding the fickle nature of reputation in the arts. Why is it, I wondered, that certain writers achieve fame far out of proportion to the reality of their talent -- and that such reputations persist, despite the evident...
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It's what all Haggadahs, old and new, have in common
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SPEAKING VOLUMES Every Passover, publishers unveil a string of the "newest" Haggadot, most of them capitalizing on a current societal trend that seeks to make the ancient book "more relevant" for a contemporary audience -- or, at the very least, more accessible. Over the last half-century or so, there have been Haggadot geared to the traditional family, the interfaith family,...
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The Rare Book and Manuscript Library at the University of Pennsylvania is now the home of a wealth of papers from bestselling novelist Chaim Potok. The writer -- a Penn alum -- was also a professor and a rabbi during his multifaceted career, as well as editor-in-chief of Philadelphia's Jewish Publication Society. The archive contains lectures, sermons, correspondence, promotional materials...
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... and tackling them with clarity and precision
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As he was writing Judaism: A Way of Being , David Gelernter printed portions of the work as several long essays in Commentary magazine. Reading each new installment, I remember thinking that the completed manuscript would surely be a distinctive piece of work. But little could I have known from these samples alone just how exceptional it would be, unlike...
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