Last week, Booknik squinted, spoke his mind, listened to rabbi’s opinion, tried to become a fifth member of a quartet, remembered the war, declared his love to three
oranges cities, and took part in an untimely Purimspiel.
An Oblique Gaze of a Security Agent
Harbin, by Yevgeny Antashkevich
Last year, Yevgeny Antashkevich won the Russian Federal Security Service award “for the best work of literature about the activities of Federal Security Service organs,” as the wording goes. This is his only shortcoming, as Booknik’s reviewer Anna Andreyeva believes. Mr. Antashkevich defined his novel as “a biographical legend,” and this term is used by “special services,” meaning “the aggregate of true and made-up data about a person who performs a secret task in an enemy country.” The novel is a work of fiction yet it is based on true biographies and events that took place in the Chinese city of Harbin.
…and many other true stories in the Books & Reviews section.
Adolf Solomonovich Shayevich is the head rabbi of Russia, as the Congress of Jewish Public Organization of Russia believes. He is also the rabbi of the Choral Synagogue in the Spasoglinishchevsky Alley in Moscow. He spoke with Booknik’s meticulous reporter Lyudmila Zhukova, and told her in what manner a common soviet engineer managed to become the Chief Rabbi of the Soviet Union, why Jews have to come out into city squares, and why it is no good to “force people into religions.”
The Aim Is to be Liked
Leonid Barats is a co-founder of Quartet And Theater, an actor, and a playwright. He told Booknik’s reporter Katerina Kudryavtseva about his love to Jewish cuisine, his dislike to Jewish celebrations, and Vladimir Putin’s sense of humor.
…and much other talking in the Articles & Interviews section.
To Understand in 24 Hours
24, created by Robert Cochran and, Joel Surnow
The end justifies the means no matter how you may wince at this statement. In principle, no one subscribes to this for it is unethical and ungraceful. However, in practice, everyone solves this issue on the case-to-case basis. Does this particular end justify these particular means? Everyone has his or her own uncrossable line, and every one finds his or her own motives to cross it. Booknik’s film critic Nastik Gryzunova shares her and other people’s impressions of eight seasons of the popular TV series.
Our Drama is War, the Second World War eyewitness’s memoir by Samuil Shafransky
“Those few Jews who had not been able to escape the action were shot to death in Drobitsky Yar. My cousin Liza Levitina died there. The superintendent with some civilian police members went around houses revealing Jews. They came to Liza. “Do you have Yids here?” a policeman asked. The mother-in-law said, “Yes we do but she is very good.” Liza ended up as all of them did, in Drobitsky Yar.
…and many other memorials in the Columns & Columns section.
The famous author and blogger Marta Ketro writes about her fleeting romance. “Moscow had drunk so much blood from me that everything was very serious indeed. Jerusalem takes a part of one’s soul. Yet in Tel Aviv there is so much momentous happiness that I will mumble as I leave, something about everything so good while we were together, thank you, I will come back some time, it was wonderful, you are very beautiful, I liked it very much, bye-bye. And I will hide my arms and hands behind my back, not to embrace this city too tight.”
…and many other love stories in the Stories & Essays section.
I Don’t Take Part in the War, the War Takes Part in Me
On the Victory Day, Booknik suggests we all remember some war poetry, written by people who died in it, or survived it.
Hebrarium, the Lexicon of Jewish Whatnots: Ya
What did Jews do at fairs? Why cannot you touch Torah with a naked hand? What can you see at Yad Vashem? Watch the last episode of our Hebrarium with Booknik’s video wizard Kirill Chichayev who has finally depleted his Hebrew vocabulary.
The Klezmatics: Makht Oyf
The wild and crazy Purimspiel at the Yiddish Fest grand stage, featuring the Klezmatics musicians as Ahasuerus, Aman, Queen Esther, and many others. The music created by the people, and the lyrics, too.
…and much other fun in the Video Blog section.