At MCA Chicago, music tempts

At MCA Chicago, music tempts
Faith, it seems, can’t exist without temptation. The serpent seduces Eve with the promise of omniscience; the devil tests Jesus in the wilderness; and entrapment is also central to many Buddhist narratives. Without the presentation of dangerous blunders disguised as luscious alternatives, everyone would be a saint, which is to say there would be no... Read more »

A tale of 2 Chicago synagogues' approach to children

A tale of 2 Chicago synagogues' approach to children
In his presentation on “Law and Border” at the Limmud Chicago 2013 conference on Feb. 17, Rabbi Avi Finegold, an education consultant, outlined two very different approaches to the Jewish ritual called eruv. An eruv is essentially a loophole that allows observant Jews to carry things on the Sabbath. For Orthodox Jews, who do not... Read more »

5 reasons reporters shouldn't be fawning over new Art Institute mobile app yet

The Art Institute of Chicago has launched a new mobile application and outfitted its galleries with WIFI. For those who go to world class art museums, like the Art Institute, hoping to remain tethered to, rather than liberated from, their technologies, this is surely something to Tweet and Facebook about. That’s also been the unified... Read more »
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Look, ma has no hands! At Buena Park church, Mary is amputated

Look, ma has no hands! At Buena Park church, Mary is amputated
At 7 p.m. tonight, the parish council at St. Mary of the Lake Parish in Buena Park/Uptown met to discuss the two Mary sculptures in front of the church, which was designed by Henry Schlacks, on the 4200 block of Sheridan Rd. “We are looking for ideas as to how to replace the statue of... Read more »

Dry Jewish Humor Informs Irving Penn's Photos (on view at Art Institute of Chicago)

Iving Penn. ‘Underfoot’ exhibit view. Photo/Menachem Wecker Irving Penn’s photographic series depicting gum caked to the pavement and discarded matches and cigarettes offers a unique perspective on urban life. The 36 photos in the series “Underfoot” (1999–2001), which are on view at the Art Institute of Chicago as part of “Irving Penn: Underfoot,” portray larger-than-life... Read more »

Tabernacle architecture reflects divine will for Jews to engage the outside world, Chicago rabbi says

Tabernacle architecture reflects divine will for Jews to engage the outside world, Chicago rabbi says
Although popular misconception is often that Jews don’t missionize, there are Old Testament indications that observant Jews are supposed to dialogue and engage those who are outside of the community. In a mini-sermon during the Torah reading today at the modern Orthodox synagogue Anshe Sholom B’nai Israel Congregation, Rabbi Asher Lopatin drew on biblical verses... Read more »
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Picasso's (sort of) R-rated 'David and Bathsheba'

Picasso's (sort of) R-rated 'David and Bathsheba'
If there’s one thing one can say about David’s role in his 2 Samuel 11 encounter with Bathsheba it’s that he is absolutely conspicuous. No matter how chaotic and large scale a depiction of the scene a painter undertakes, the king is easy to spot. He’s the leering, dirty old man gazing down from the... Read more »

Beneath commercialized Valentine’s Day, elusive saint emerges in art history

For most people, the visual experience of and leading up to Valentine’s Day consists of a bombardment of the senses with hearts, Cupids and putti (winged babies), chocolates, and roses — all in a palette of pastel reds and pinks. Love is in the air, and it gets plastered on gift cards, kitschy tchotchkes, and,... Read more »

Exhibit finds music behind 'brutal and blank' architecture of Chicago public housing

Exhibit finds music behind 'brutal and blank' architecture of Chicago public housing
Music comes not from concert halls, rock clubs, iPads, and YouTube, but from the musicians’ lives — particularly their experiences of community and home. That’s the premise of The Sound, the Soul, the Syncopation, an exhibition of the National Public Housing Museum at the gallery Expo 72 on E. Randolph. “I grew up in the... Read more »
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On Cubs, Blackhawks and the pope's resignation

[View the story “Chicagoans respond on Twitter to pope’s resignation” on Storify] Chicagoans respond on Twitter to pope’s resignation Pope Benedict XVI’s announcement that he will resign at the end of the month has, as one would expect, sparked a vibrant debate from Chicagoans on Twitter. Here are some highlights. Storified by Menachem Wecker· Mon,... Read more »