14
Apr

Romeo and Juliet Brings Teens Together in Israel

(Photo: H. Parker Rolfe, Bryn Mawr College)

(Photo: H. Parker Rolfe, Bryn Mawr College)

A production of William Shakespeare’s classic tragedy, Romeo and Juliet, has not only captured the imaginations of Israeli teens, it has brought youth of all backgrounds together and made them think about settling conflict and achieving peace. The Times of Israel reports that a British production of the play has been enjoyed in the Holy Land, and has broadened the young minds of Jews, Muslims, and Christians:

“That’s the great thing about this play,” (director Paul) Stebbings said. “It’s not just the tragedy about two people who kill themselves. It’s about how their death causes a reconciliation. We forget that in the romance.… I can only say that (the audience) should be able to see that conflict is not as important as the…

   
Posted in: Christians / Israel / Jews
14
Apr

The Racism of BDS

(Photo: flickr/ Takver)

(Photo: flickr/ Takver)

Anthony Hardy Williams – a state senator, civil-rights activist, and leader in the African-American community – takes the BDS movement to task for racism. While BDS would like to see itself as progressive, it too often resorts to prejudice, as in its recent attacks on Chloé Simone Valdary, an African-American undergraduate student who is also the founder of a pro-Israel organization:

Just as Jews stood with African-Americans during the fight for civil rights in the 1960s, so too must we as leaders of the Black community stand together today with Chloé Simone Valdary, on the one hand, and the Jewish community, on the other hand.

Don’t dismiss this incident as a one-off. It represents a deeply troubling trend in an anti-Israel movement that goes way beyond honest criticism of Israeli…

   
Posted in: African Americans / Allies of Israel Association / Anthony Hardy Williams
8
Apr

Passover Coke: Time Machine in a Bottle

(Photo: flickr/16828091@N04)

(Photo: flickr/16828091@N04)

This time of year is especially joyful for the Jewish people, with Passover around the corner. However, it is a joyful time for aficionados of Coca-Cola, as well.

For Ashkenazi Jews (those descended from the Jews of Central and Eastern Europe, and more than 80% of the world’s Jewish population), the formula of Coca-Cola is changed back to its truly original recipe due to dietary restrictions and is sold in bottles with yellow caps during Passover:

The colored cap means the Coke is made with cane sugar, so it tastes the way it did back in the day, before high fructose corn syrup took over the world. Corn, of course, is kitnyiot, that category of grains and legumes that are forbidden to Ashkenazi Jews during the holiday along with the more obvious foods like bread…

   
Posted in: Ashkenazi / cane sugar / Coca-Cola
2
Apr

What We Can Learn from Noah

noahposterDespite the fact that Noah and his animal-packed ark grace the walls of countless nurseries, the story is rather sobering. Just ten generations into creation, humans had screwed things up so badly that God no longer looked at man and thought “very good;” He now looked at us with regret. And because of that regret He was starting over, a process that involved massive destruction and countless deaths.

We know a lot about the ark that housed the seed of the restart – it was 450 feet long and 75 feet high, and housed Noah, his family, and a pair of every animal on the planet – and yet we don’t. How did all of that humanity have enough drinking water for the duration of their journey? How did the animals not eat each other – and Noah’s family?…

   
Posted in: bible / Black Swan / Darren Aronofsky
2
Apr

The Jewish Roots of “Strange Fruit” and “Blood on the Leaves”

(Photo: flickr/jasonpersse)

(Photo: flickr/jasonpersse)

April is National Poetry Month, and we here at 4Zion will be bringing you poems, poets, and anything poetic from time to time as the month progresses. We’ll start with an article about how one of today’s musical superstars re-purposed an old standard that actually came from a Jewish poem.

Say what you will about Kanye West, but his musicianship is extraordinary, as is his taste in music. On his 2013 track, “Blood on the Leaves,” West samples Nina Simone’s haunting rendition of “Strange Fruit,” a hymn of lament over Southern lynchings of African Americans. We have noted our love for Nina Simone before, but today we bring you a Tablet article by David Meir Grossman that tells the story of this song’s Jewish writer, Abel Meeropol, and how he…

   
Posted in: Abel Meeropol / Billie Holiday / Blood on the Leaves