Doing Good and Doing Right

JMDerech asks: I was at the local Judaica store the other day and as always, I headed to the music section of the store. I browsed all the new titles and all the old ones. Looked at sales. Played the “guess which covers were designed by Sruly Meyer” game (it’s usually the good ones). And […]


Mississippi Fred MacDowell cites Joseph Almanzi’s poem הומפירזמוס, thereby providing as good an opportunity as any to mention one of the most bizarre bits of Biblical exegesis that I have ever seen, R. Efraim b. Shimshon’s reiterated assertion that the Biblical Benjamin was a werewolf: וּלְקַחְתֶּם גַּם-אֶת-זֶה מֵעִם פָּנַי, וְקָרָהוּ אָסוֹן–וְהוֹרַדְתֶּם אֶת-שֵׂיבָתִי בְּרָעָה, שְׁאֹלָה.1 למה […]

Diabolists and Counterfeiters

Leonard Lopate recently interviewed the novelist Anne Rice; they discussed Rice’s long and complicated religious history, and her latest novel Of Love and Evil, the second installment in her series Songs of the Seraphim (excerpt). From the interview: Lopate: In this novel, Malchiah [an angel] sends Toby [O’Dare, a (former?) assassin] back to sixteenth-century Rome […]