Eddy Portnoy

Eddy Portnoy, a contributing editor for Tablet Magazine, teaches Yiddish language and literature at Rutgers University.

Mr. Israel

Rafael Halperin—who died last month—was an ordained rabbi, an ambitious businessman, and a middling politician. He was also a professional wrestler.

Paschal Lampoon

Forget Purim. Passover has a rich comedic tradition all its own, with parodies of the haggadah mocking everything from rabbis and the rich to Mussolini and Hitler.

Print War

How the relationship between a reporter and his editor shook the Yiddish press


When immigrant Lower East Side moms rioted over tonsillectomies

Silent Minority

How Jewish tradition marginalized the deaf

Death Toll

Back when the Yiddish press relished covering suicides

Nosing Around

A look at a pseudoscience that hinged on the shnozz


In early-20th-century Warsaw, making sure people observed the Sabbath was serious business

Politics and Poesy

In early 20th-century Poland, poet Shmuel Nadler took off his yarmulke and took up with the Communists

Divorce Court

Long before Jerry Springer, divorcing couples fought it out before Warsaw’s rabbinical court

Fine Young Criminal

The story of a yeshiva boy who turned to the gang life and lived to write about it

Big Man

The Coney Island attraction who made wrestling history

Manhood, Interrupted

The grisly aftermath of a broken engagement

Flexing Some Muscle

The boxers and strongmen who turned the image of the Jewish nebbish on its head

The Futurist

You might not have heard of Naftali Imber, but you’ve heard his most famous work

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