Text and City

Rabbi Mishael Zion | Text and the City | BeShalach Shabbat Shira 2014Release, pleaseRelease, please, this bound oneBy the power of your right handReceive the song of your people,      Exalt us, Lord, and make uspure. Almighty one, protect   ...

Rabbi Mishael Zion | Bronfman Fellowships | Text and the City | Emor 2013 Hillul – to vacate, desecrate, defame, violate, pollute. Baruch Goldstein ruined my Bar Mitzvah. On Purim of 1994 Goldstein entered the shared mosque/synagogue which is Me’arat haMachpelah,...

Rabbi Mishael Zion | Bronfman Fellowships | Text and the City | Kedoshim 2013 Hollywood (of the 20’s and 30’s) was a community of Utopians: Genteel utopians on the right who envisioned a brave new world of decent upright, upper-middle-class Americans; ...

Rabbi Mishael Zion | Bronfman Fellowships | Text and the City |Originally Published in The Jewish WeekAll eyes were on President Obama in Israel last month as he visited Mount Herzl and Yad Vashem. Watching the moving images of the president visiting the graves of...

Published in honor of Yom haZikaron 2012 One. The Mountain of Memory Jerusalem has not one, but two holy mountains: The Temple Mount in the east, and Har Herzl in the west. Har Herzl, or Har haZikaron, “the Mountain of Memory” has a very deliberate architecture: On its highest point rests...

Rabbi Mishael Zion | Bronfman Fellowships | Text and the City | Pesach 2013 From "A Night to Remember Haggadah"illustration by Michel Kichka Cereal has become a scarce commodity in our home. All traces of pasta long since devoured. The pantry is being purged of...

Otto Geismar, Germany 1927 Republishing from 2012: A Meditation on the Wicked Child Based on A Night to Remember: The Haggadah of ContemporaryVoices  Of the four children of the Haggadah, the Rasha, the Wicked one, stands out. His siblings are all described through...

Rabbi Mishael Zion | Bronfman Fellowships | Text and the City | Ki Tisa 2013 The principal crime of the human race, the highest guilt charged upon the world, the whole procuring cause of judgment, is idolatry.  The idolater is likewise a murderer. Do you inquire whom...

Rabbi Mishael Zion | Bronfman Fellowships | Text and the City | Purim 2013 Purim is a post-Zionist holiday if ever there was one. As the closing credits of the Megillah roll by, Mordechai and Esther stay happily situated in Persia, never batting an eye towards the...

Rabbi Prof. David Hartman, 1931-2013 By Mishael and Noam Zion originally published at The Times of Israel If you walked into his class, you were probably going to get yelled at. The most boring thing you could say to him was “I agree with you.” His sharpness – and fallibility – managed to...

When a sage dies – all are considered his relatives. All tear, all remove their shoes, all eulogize, and all partake of the meal of comfort, even in the public square. (Tosefta Moed Katan 2:17) מורי ורבי Rabbi David Hartman z”l passed away this morning in Jerusalem. David was a teacher...

Rabbi Mishael Zion | Bronfman Fellowships | Text and the City | Yitro 2013 This installment of “Text and the City” will most probably fail. It is an exploration in three languages spanning texts from three millennia. The first (Hebrew) word in the Bible’s most famous...

Rabbi Mishael Zion | Bronfman Fellowships | Text and the City | BeShalach 2013 In honor of the “Shabbat of Song,” named after the Song of the Sea read this week, I offer three poems. The Parasha, BeShalach, describes how a terrified nation of refugees,...

Rabbi Mishael Zion | Bronfman Fellowships | Text and the City | Bo 2013 What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you tell it. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Living to Tell the Tale In the opening verses of this week’s Torah portion...

Rabbi Mishael Zion | Bronfman Fellowships | Text and the City | VaEra 2013 “If at a full moon you wish to seize and to bind a man and a woman so that they will be with each other, and to annul spirits and blast demons and satans, and to bind a boat, and to free a man...

Hidden among the shreds saved from the Cairo Geniza, and deep within a tome of ancient magical Jewish manuscripts, is a book known as “The Sword of Moses” [חרבא דמשה]. One part disclaimers, two parts magical recipes, and a whole lot of gibberish in the middle, it is a fascinating and loopy...

Rabbi Mishael Zion | Bronfman Fellowships | Text and the City | Shemot 2013 I am not a big believer in New Year’s Resolutions, whether they come in Tishrei or in January. They feel like a tokenistic, gratuitous act, to be flicked off like a dry scab a few weeks into the New Year. Yet...

Rabbi Mishael Zion | Bronfman Fellowships | Text and the City | VaYigash 2012 “There is no revenge for the blood of a little child – such a revenge has yet to be devised by Satan,” wrote Hayyim Nahman Bialik about a very different massacre over a century ago. In lieu of vengeance, Bialik...

Hanukkah 2012 | Rabbi Mishael Zion | Bronfman Fellowships | Text and the City | If New York City has a holy of holies, a symbolic heart to the entire project, it is Rockefeller Center’s statue of Prometheus. In shimmering gold he rises, holding the fire stolen...

Rabbi Mishael Zion | Bronfman Fellowships | Text and the City | VaYishlach 2012 A city! It is the grip of man upon nature. It is a human operation directed against nature, a human organism both for protection and for work. It is a creation.    Le Corbusier, The City of...

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