Tablet Magazine - a new read on Jewish life

03 June 2023
14 Sivan 5783

Hot off the Press

The Tab, Tablet’s curated weekly digest, collects recently published articles, newly relevant archival hits, recipes, an insert from our afternoon newsletter The Scroll, and more. Laid out in an attractive PDF for reading on a tablet or desktop, or to be printed on a few sheets of letter-size paper, The Tab takes you into Shabbat and through the weekend, for free. Enjoy!

Vol. 2, Issue 20: May 26 - June 1 • Haredim and COVID, air piracy, women in American synagogues, Yiddish summer camps, and more


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The Tablet Profile is about more than just a person. It’s about the historical, political, and intellectual contexts that shaped the influential people whose ideas and actions move the world. Peering behind the veneer of celebrity and beyond the prevailing social-media psychodrama, Tablet finds the deeper veins of American mythmaking that bring to light the compelling life-stories of amazing individuals.

Patrik Svensson
Patrik Svensson
Arts & Letters section icon
The Rower

A story about karma

Knud Christiansen was not a big thinker or a person in the news. Still, I feel confident in saying that he was one of the greatest men or women I have been lucky enough to meet—and arguably, in terms of his personal impact on the lives of others, one of the greatest men of the 20th century, which awarded its highest accolades of fame and power to people who caused unaccountable destruction and suffering. Our sole encounter, which took place in either 1983 or 1984 in a clock repair store located on the corner of Lexington Avenue and 61st Street in Manhattan, may have lasted as long as 15 minutes, though it was probably shorter. I remember it was raining outside, which is why I took shelter in his shop. To combat the tedium of my high school years, in the 1980s I had adopted the habit of time travel, whether via paintings in museums or novels and history books, which transported me to places far beyond the boringly familiar if not yet entirely manicured confines of the Upper East Side. The man behind the counter, with a long white beard, in a dark woolen watch cap, reminded me of an old sea dog in a Patrick O’Brian novel. He was smoking a pipe, and the smell of his tobacco in the closed space with the sound of the rain beating down against the plate glass window remains as vivid to me as the image of the man himself. The smoke from his pipe seemed to symbolize the passing of time, curling up toward the ceiling in front of a wall of broken clocks of all shapes and sizes, most with tags hanging down from one part or another to indicate the name of the owner and the nature of the repair that was needed. Given the significance of clockmaker iconography in 17th- and 18th-century European painting and thought with which I was familiar (my high school girlfriend worked at the Met), it is not surprising that this image remained fixed in my head as a kind of homespun illustration of the idea of God. ...

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@tabletmag has an alchemical knack for taking topics that look like tabloid fodder or partisan clickbait and turning them into information-rich deep dives that teach you a wealth of unfamiliar history and culture.

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