Yeshiva University News » 2012 » December » 05

Yeshiva College Dramatics Society Celebrates 100th Production by Honoring Longtime Member

On December 2, the Yeshiva College Dramatics Society (YCDS) celebrated one of its most beloved members with a reception and special performance of its 100th production, 12 Angry Men.

The play was originally performed by the founding cohort of YCDS in 1965 and is the first to be repeated in the society’s history. Members of that original cast joined other YCDS alumni for the evening honoring Rabbi Dr. John Krug, who first became involved with YCDS 42 years ago as a student actor and has served as lighting director in both a faculty and volunteer capacity ever since.

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Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks Discusses The Merchant of Venice, Modern-Day Anti-Semitism 

Hundreds gathered on the morning of November 30 to hear Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks and Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik in a conversation on Torah, law and literature titled “The Merchant of Venice: A Jewish and British Reflection.” The event was the second one of the year hosted by Yeshiva University’s Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought, and marked Sacks’ second visit as a Straus Center guest.

Chief Rabbi Sacks and Rabbi Soloveichik discuss The Merchant of Venice at YU’s Straus Center event.

Sacks and Soloveichik, director of the Straus Center, began their discussion focusing on Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. In the play, Shylock’s obsession with justice is juxtaposed with Portia’s compassion, epitomized by her line: “The quality of mercy is not strained,” and continuing: “Therefore Jew, though justice be thy plea…we [Christians] do pray for mercy.”

“Shakespeare here is expressing the medieval stereotype of Christian mercy against Jewish justice,” said Sacks. “[However,] justice and mercy are not opposites. The false contrast between Judaism and Christianity in The Merchant of Venice is testimony to the cruel misrepresentation of Judaism in Christian theology until recently.” Read the rest of this entry…

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