Menachem Wecker

Menachem Wecker is an author at Religion News Service.

All Stories by Menachem Wecker

Billy Graham drew less from Old Testament as years went by, new exhibit shows

By Menachem Wecker — August 14, 2018
WASHINGTON (RNS) — Poring over some 1,300 sermon notes from 'America’s pastor,' Museum of the Bible associate curator Anthony Schmidt has tracked Graham's evolution as a preacher from the Cold War into the 2000s.

Celebrating a medieval ‘Miracle of Amsterdam’ in city better known for its vices

By Menachem Wecker — April 6, 2018
AMSTERDAM (RNS) — Walking quietly past strip clubs, sex shops, restaurants and expensive clothing stores, the writer was struck by the 673-year-old celebration’s endurance and power against all odds.

5 things Netflix’s ‘One of Us’ won’t teach you about Hasidic Jews

By Menachem Wecker — November 9, 2017
(RNS) — A new documentary falls short in its portrayal of an often misunderstood community, writes Menachem Wecker.

Orthodox rabbi to host ‘alternative Yom Kippur’ service in beer garden

By Menachem Wecker — September 25, 2017
WASHINGTON (RNS) — Jews are supposed to abstain from food and drink on the most holy day of the Jewish year. So why is this rabbi holding services in a bar?

Jewish Trump supporters resist calls from other Jews to renounce the president

By Menachem Wecker — August 28, 2017
(RNS) — Calls from Jewish critics to Jewish supporters of Trump to renounce the president have created rifts within families and the larger community.

Despite smuggled antiquities purchase, some say criticism of Bible museum is unfair

By Menachem Wecker — August 3, 2017
WASHINGTON (RNS) — Questionable artifacts haven't cast doubt on the reputations of other museums and institutions in the same way as occurred after the Museum of the Bible's acquisition of thousands of items from Iraq in a sale that was 'fraught with red flags.'

Artist’s drawing of a herring on a bialy gains an audience in Bialystok — and Hollywood

By Menachem Wecker — July 31, 2017
(RNS) — That a symbol of Jewish folkways would command attention in Hollywood reflects the ways many Jews think about their identity.

Mormon missionaries pound Italian pavements with chalk

By Menachem Wecker — November 11, 2014
BOLOGNA, Italy (RNS) Mormon missionaries are trying new methods of getting their message out.

Hollywood’s depiction of nuns a case of ‘Veiled Desires’

By Menachem Wecker — October 16, 2013
(RNS) Author Maureen Sabine sheds light on the paradox of having charismatic and photogenic actresses playing chaste nuns.

Winners and losers in the Pew Research poll on American Jews

By Menachem Wecker — October 4, 2013
(RNS) Among the winners in the new Pew Research Center poll on American Jews, the Orthodox movement and Israel. Losers include the Conservative movement.

‘God is the best artist’ takes off on social media

By Menachem Wecker — August 22, 2013
(RNS) The notion of God as an artist is hardly new. But when Twitter and Pinterest users take to their smartphones to snap pictures of sunrises and sunsets and attribute those “masterpieces” to God, they are exhibiting a new sort of adoration.

PBS series ‘Life of Muhammad’ explores diverse opinions of prophet

By Menachem Wecker — August 15, 2013
(RNS) Narrated by Somai-born journalist Rageh Omaar, the PBS series "The Life of Muhammad" presents the Muslim prophet in a respectful, positive light, though it doesn’t shirk from the controversies that surrounded him.

Orthodox Jews to observe July 4th without music

By Menachem Wecker — July 1, 2013
(RNS) Many Orthodox Jews will silence their TVs and avoid live music performances on July Fourth to commemorate a three-week mourning period for the Jerusalem Temple.

Crucifixion images no longer command auction prices

By Menachem Wecker — June 18, 2013
(RNS) Cultural factors that may be contributing to the declining sales prices of Crucifixions are changing worship styles that rely more on words and music and less on visual images, and an unwillingness to openly and publicly display one’s religious commitments.

Artists Blend American, Muslim Identities on Canvas

By Menachem Wecker — July 4, 2007
c. 2007 Religion News Service (UNDATED) When the Prophet Muhammad saw the pillow his young wife, Aisha, had decorated for him with pictures of animals, he rebuked her: “Don’t you know that angels do not enter a house wherein there are pictures; and whoever makes a picture will be punished on the Day of Resurrection?” […]
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