Thursday, November 27, 2014 Kislev 5, 5775
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There's a certain kind of Depression photograph that many people recognize instantly, and that they may even be able to call up in their minds' eye. For example, there's the now iconic portrait of an impoverished mother, dressed in a worn, loose-fitting housedress, staring out into the middle distance, her hand on her chin, as if trying to divine where...
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A High Holiday work that stresses accountability
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For Reuven Hammer, the High Holidays are associated with the sights and sounds of an upstate New York autumn - leaves turning color, chestnuts falling from the trees, the nip in the air. "I can almost feel myself again in the front yard of the building we always called the 'little shule,' which was not really a synagogue, and certainly...
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The silence in German homes poisoned the atmosphere, within and without
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Earlier this year, the Israeli novelist Aharon Appelfeld published a memoir, titled The Story of a Life, about his childhood spent on the run from the Nazis, and I praised it as an extraordinary document. Only in the last section of the work, where Appelfeld described his adjustment to living in Israel, did the intensity lessen; for the rest of...
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Michael Grana says he knew from the age of 10. That was back in 1963. "I was infatuated with Barbra Streisand," he explains. "I bought black liquid eyeliner and would lock myself in the bathroom and practice drawing her Nefertiti-like eye extensions. One day the maid knocked. 'Open up. I need the Comet,' she said. 'Give me a minute," I...
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When readers become deeply attached to a popular or classic novel, they're often not happy with what's done to it when it's adapted to film. The more beloved the work, in fact, the more extreme the reaction. But I just discovered that the reverse is sometimes true. When you're not so impressed with a piece of fiction, it can, at...
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