Hot-Ticket Comedian Ashley Blaker to Perform Four Shows in Israel in March
Ultra-Orthodox comedian Ashley Blaker is in high demand. But he’s made sure to slip four shows across Israel next month into his busy schedule. Those are after a show at London’s Soho Theatre, before recording a new BBC radio show and before he takes up residence for 35 consecutive gigs in New York’s off-Broadway Gramercy Theater. It turns out the kippa-clad, tzitzit-wearing, joke-cracking Blaker is the hottest thing since sliced bread – or Jackie Mason.
Orthodox Jew, Unorthodox Boxing Teacher
A punch line might be expected when a boxer and a rabbi walk into a cultural center on the Upper East Side. But in this case, the boxer and the rabbi are the same person, and his influence at the 92nd Street Y is no laughing matter, unless you want a right cross to the chin. Yuri Foreman, born an Orthodox Jew in Belarus, is a world champion super welterweight. After a Golden Gloves championship as an amateur and a North American title as a pro, he defeated Daniel Santos in 2009 to become the World Boxing Association’s super welterweight champion. He continues to practice a unique spiritual approach to the sport.
What Luxury Modest Clothing Brands Forget
Once a niche subculture battling the increasingly exposed mainstream, modest fashion has officially gone viral. New York Times fashion critic Vanessa Friedman declared last spring that long sleeves and even-longer skirts are “[t]he defining sartorial style of the 2010s.” Women of all faiths, and even some who lack it, have hopped aboard. “When you have [a] very rare and expensive jewel[,] you keep its beauty hidden in order to keep its value,” writes Orthodox Jewish fashion blogger Rachelle Yadegar. “That’s why I think dressing modestly is so beautiful.”
Hair Suits! How Ancient Beard Traditions Shape the Face of Modern Jerusalem
Facial hair is trendy worldwide these days, but in Jerusalem beards have never gone out of style, projecting religious mysticism, nationalism and ideals of masculinity. For men of all faiths in the holy city, a beard can be an important statement of religious devotion, connecting past generations to God through the tangled strands of history. Nowhere is this more visible than in Jerusalem’s Old City, where bearded ultra-Orthodox Jews, Christian clerics and devout Muslims all come into contact in a densely packed mix of some of the world’s most sensitive holy sites.
Gangster Rapper Nissim Black on Becoming an Orthodox Jew
“We make Judaism cool.” Ex-gangster rapper Nissim Black or ‘D Black’ has embraced Orthodox Judaism and has now changed his music to fit his new lifestyle. His postivity is a far cry from how he used to rap and a compelling part of his ability to make Judaism his own.
Israel Appoints First Female Ultra-Orthodox Judge
She’s breaking the glass ceiling, all the way from the Orthodox enclave of Bnei Brak. Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked has appointed Chavi Toker to head the Jerusalem Magistrate Court on Thursday — making Toker Israel’s first female Haredi judge.
In Find of Biblical Proportions, Seal of Prophet Isaiah Said Found in Jerusalem
The hand of the Prophet Isaiah himself may have created an 8th century BCE seal impression discovered in First Temple remains near Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, according to Hebrew University archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar. “We appear to have discovered a seal impression, which may have belonged to the prophet Isaiah, in a scientific, archaeological excavation,” said Mazar this week in a press release announcing the breathtaking discovery.