Category: Exploring Babylon

A Song of Reward and Punishment

Exploring Babylon Chapter 22 Here is further response to a long-ago comment of Max Ticktin (z”l), based on the words of Jeremiah and in a sort of homage to Leonard Cohen. “Has this song gone […]

Notes on Jeremiah: Max Ticktin’s Scribbles

Exploring Babylon Chapter 21 Several updates below. In addition to the many other things he left us, Max Ticktin z”l (1920-2016) left behind a lot of books, and his family kindly offered them to interested […]

Trauma and Migration Studies, The Book of Job, and Babylon

In follow up to the chapter on monsters and storytelling,which touched on the intersection of immigrant experiences and trauma, some thoughts on migration studies and #ExploringBabylon.

More on Monsters and Storytelling

Exploring Babylon Chapter 20.1 A Monster Chronology On March 15, I watched author Junot Díaz interact with a room full of youngsters, introducing his new book, Islandborn (Dial Books for Young Readers), discussing the writing […]

Monsters, Exile, and Storytelling

UPDATE: The event described here, including the brief interview with Díaz, took place on March 15, 2018. The piece below was posted on April 1. The New Yorker article, “The Silence: The Legacy of Childhood […]

Poverty and the White Horse’s Red Strap

Exploring Babylon Chapter 18-1/2 The previous chapter, “Exile, Passover, and Melting Pot,” looked at nine bible verses using the word “kur,” usually translated as “crucible” or “furnace.” This addendum shares the odd midrash on one […]

Exile, Passover, and Melting Pot

Exploring Babylon Chapter 18 “The Americas were far. The Americas were different. It was rabbinic exile.” This, writes Rabbi Oran Zweiter, is how European immigrant rabbis to the New World felt, beginning with Rabbi Isaac […]

Ezekiel, Exodus, and Babylon

Exploring Babylon Chapter 17 Recent scholarship concerning the prophet Ezekiel touches on some fascinating questions about the extent to which Judeans in Babylonian exile were acculturated and how cultural contact between Babylon and Israel might […]

Computing Failures and Babylon

The People’s calculations before the Golden Calf incident, like attempts to calculate the end of exile, yield disastrous results.

Lament for Mismatched Glassware

Exploring Babylon Chapter 16.1 At several points in the Megillah reading, the chant for the Book of Esther shifts to the Lamentations chant. The lament behind some verses seems clear: Mordecai’s introduction as a descendant […]