Vox Tablet

Crossing Over

Journalists Steve and Cokie Roberts, a non-observing Jew and a Catholic, have hosted Passover Seders together for four decades. They share the rituals from their interfaith observance in a new haggadah.

Purim 2011

From hamantashen to designer costumes to newfangled groggers—anything and everything you might need to better enjoy the Festival of Lots

Thumbs Up

This week’s parasha, an exhaustive account of ritualistic slaughter, can teach us a lot about video games, a medium governed entirely by the mechanics of prescribed motions

Be Happy

We’re commanded to be happy on Purim, and it turns out the acts required for proper observance—from donning costumes to celebrating with others—provide useful tricks for brightening moods year round

Seriously Groggy

The Purim tradition of drowning out Haman’s name with noise dates back to medieval times. But in our increasingly cacophonous lives, an illustrator wonders: Does the grogger need to be reinvented?

Dressed Up

With Purim approaching and a costume in order, seeking sartorial inspiration from the Book of Esther, European paintings, Elizabeth Taylor, and several style gurus, one of whom recommends an edible hat

Man Bites Dog

This week’s parasha—a careful account of the ritualistic sacrifice of animals—has much to teach us about animals, compassion, forgiveness, and Michael Vick

Against Accountability

In this week’s parasha, Moses stands out as the epitome of accountability. But as teachers all over the country can attest, sometimes what we need is exactly the opposite.

The Fires Next Time

As Egyptians rejoice in toppling the Mubarak regime and rebel forces in Libya threaten Qaddafi’s hold on power, a writer wonders: What will the next revolutions be?

‘Proud to Be Jewish’

Natalie Portman, Oscar winner and face of Dior Cherie perfume, condemned Dior designer John Galliano’s anti-Semitic outburst. In 2005, she spoke about her deep Jewishness for the book Stars of David.

Intertwined

Boy met girl. Boy married girl. But girl is Jewish, and boy is not. Now I’m a goy, part of a growing community of non-Jews with Jewish spouses, Jewish children, and a special connection to Judaism

On the Mountain

Gutzon Borglum, the monomaniacal sculptor of Mount Rushmore, was an anti-Semite, but also the kind of wise-hearted artist praised in this week’s parasha

In Defense of Bernie

Like Moses, who staked his place in history to defend his people after the Golden Calf debacle, Madoff, too, realized that the true value of money isn’t always what it seems

Radio Daze

This week’s parasha introduces a medium for distinguishing truth from falsehood. On the radio, where actors are hired to read scripts and pretend to be real people, things aren’t so simple.

Built to Last

God wants his people to build opulently, as he instructs Moses in this week’s parasha. While today they mostly don’t, there’s always Ralph Lauren, who built a new Beaux Arts mansion in New York.

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