Menachem Wecker is an author at Religion News Service.
All Stories by Menachem Wecker
A restored medieval depiction of the Crusades shows how England embraced Islamic culture
By Menachem Wecker — January 10, 2023
(RNS) — Floor tiles from Chertsey Abbey in England, the subject of a new exhibition, resemble Muslim and Byzantine silks that crusaders brought back as souvenirs.
New museum exhibit seeks to show Samaritans are more than a biblical parable
By Menachem Wecker — September 19, 2022
WASHINGTON (RNS) — 'The Samaritans: A Biblical People,' opened Sept. 16 at the Museum of the Bible and includes artifacts spanning from the second century before the Common Era to contemporary paintings made in the past couple of years.
Ukrainian-American Jews pray, anxiously await news from family back home
By Menachem Wecker — February 25, 2022
WASHINGTON (RNS) — 'It’s scary, because they don’t know what’s to come.'
This Yom Kippur, many Jews will wash their hands of a certain injunction
By Menachem Wecker — September 15, 2021
(RNS) — Those that cleanse themselves of sins thusly do so with a rabbinic stamp of kosher approval.
The painting behind Taliban fighters in Kabul presidential palace is worth a thousand words
By Menachem Wecker — September 9, 2021
(RNS) — The scene depicted in the enormous painting represents something of a mixed symbolic bag for the Taliban foot soldiers posed before it.
Game changer: How mahjong helped Jewish and Asian Americans overcome racism
By Menachem Wecker — July 13, 2021
(RNS) — Today, a new book on mahjong and its cultural journey in the US suggests that there is much to learn from the game’s history, particularly how to put the rising anti-Asian and anti-Jewish hatred of our time in context.
Hasidic Jews feel like the only minority New York officials are comfortable targeting
By Menachem Wecker — October 19, 2020
(RNS) — 'We’re an easy target. The last remaining group that it’s acceptable to target and vilify are Orthodox Jews,' said Barry Spitzer, who represents the Brooklyn neighborhood Borough Park and is the first Hasidic district manager in the state.
High Holy Days during COVID-19 mean financial, spiritual challenges for synagogues
By Menachem Wecker — September 25, 2020
(RNS) — For synagogues, COVID-19 brings spiritual, technological and financial challenges for synagogues during the High Holy Days.
How the Black Plague turned the Shroud of Turin into a beloved relic
By Menachem Wecker — August 11, 2020
(RNS) — The Shroud of Turin and other relics have often provided comfort in times of great struggle.
Pandemic forces Jews to be flexible on ritual circumcisions
By Menachem Wecker — June 19, 2020
(RNS) — Finding someone to perform a bris during the coronavirus pandemic is a challenge. Some Jewish mohels say they are busier than ever; others have shut down their work.
Jews around the world prepare for a Passover different from any other
By Menachem Wecker and Jonathan Harounoff — April 8, 2020
(RNS) — Despite the COVID-19 crisis, more Jewish households worldwide are now expected to host their own Seder — virtually or in person — than ever before.
Amid rising anti-Semitism, Orthodox Jews weigh safety with being conspicuously Jewish
By Menachem Wecker — January 27, 2020
(RNS) — For Orthodox Jews, the current wave of anti-Semitic attacks raises questions about how to keep safe while remaining identifiably Jewish.
Gottlieb’s triple self-portrait captures complexity of High Holidays services
By Menachem Wecker — October 8, 2019
(RNS) — An 1878 painting by Jewish Galician artist Maurycy Gottlieb captured the sometimes-tedium of being in synagogue on the High Holidays. It may also allude to emotional conflict that he was experiencing at the time.
The idea that God — or someone — is always watching comes to life with technology
By Menachem Wecker — October 3, 2019
(RNS) — Modern technology has brought the idea that a higher power is always watching — and has a recording device handy — to life.
Mister Rogers’ Jewish neighborhood
By Menachem Wecker — May 23, 2019
(RNS) — A new exhibit of photos of Fred Rogers is on display at the Pittsburgh Jewish Community Center, in the neighborhood where he made his home.
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