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The 550 residents of Kibbutz Tzuba, a few miles down the road from Jerusalem toward Tel Aviv, mostly just want to be "left alone in their own little patch," Yael Kerem says apologetically.

MAIL CALL: TAKING ON TERROR WITH 'POSITIVE STEPS'

Our Aug. 16 cover story on future attacks planned by Al Qaeda drew skepticism, much of it due to what readers feel is the Bush administration's politicization of the war on terror and its color-coded alerts. "The threat may be real," said one, "[but] the American people simply have no way of knowing.

SNAP JUDGEMENT: DVDS

'The Passion of the Christ' Directed by Mel Gibson What you get on the DVD of Mel Gibson's dramatization of the crucifixion of Christ--scheduled for release on Aug. 31--is exactly what you got in the theater, nothing more or less, unless you count the theatrical trailer.

An Easter Massacre

At this time of year, many of us contemplate miracles. Passover celebrates and reveres the freedom of the Israelites from Egypt. Jews fled from the pharaoh's army, across the desert toward the Red Sea.

MAIL CALL: PASSIONATE OPINIONS

Our Feb. 16 cover story on the crucifixion of Jesus, and the controversy surrounding Mel Gibson's movie "The Passion of the Christ," drew hundreds of responses.

JESUS CHRIST MOVIE STAR

Whatever you think about Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ," it's clear that everything Hollywood insiders knew was wrong. After a massive opening on Ash Wednesday last week--the film took in more than $26 million that day--we're not hearing much from all those folks who said nobody would turn out to see an uncompromisingly gory Christian movie in Latin and Aramaic.

SO WHAT'S THE GOOD NEWS?

I have no doubt that Mel Gibson loves Jesus. From the evidence of "The Passion of the Christ," however, what he seems to love as much is the cinematic depiction of flayed, severed, swollen, scarred flesh and rivulets of spilled blood, the crack of bashed bones and the groans of someone enduring the ultimate physical agony.

Who Killed Jesus?

MEL GIBSON'S POWERFUL BUT TROUBLING NEW MOVIE, 'THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST,' IS REVIVING ONE OF THE MOST EXPLOSIVE QUESTIONS EVER. WHAT HISTORY TELLS US ABOUT JESUS' LAST HOURS, THE WORLD IN WHICH HE LIVED, ANTI-SEMITISM, SCRIPTURE AND THE NATURE OF FAITH ITSELF.

INTERVIEW: 'YOU WANT ME TO PLAY JESUS?'

James Caviezel, the 35-year-old actor who first came to attention in Terrence Malick's "The Thin Red Line" and starred in "The Count of Monte Cristo," talks to NEWSWEEK's Sean Smith about the agony and the ecstasy of playing the Savior in the controversial "The Passion of the Christ."SMITH: Before you played this part, did anyone ever tell you that you looked like Jesus?CAVIEZEL: Not at all.

The Bible's Lost Stories

Fueling Faith And Igniting Debate, A New Generation Of Scholars Is Altering Our Beliefs About The Role Of Women In The Scriptures

'Love Makes Me Go Haywire'

Lisa Marie Presley has been a de facto celebrity since she was born to Elvis and Priscilla 35 years ago. But the L.A.-based mom--she had a son and daughter with her first husband, musician Danny Keough--has avoided the spotlight, marriages to Michael Jackson and Nicolas Cage notwithstanding.

Islam's Musical Drama

The spectators come prepared to sob and moan. In solidarity, they beat their hands against their chests to a strong, rhythmic drum beat. As scenes of battle unfold, they chant.

American Beat: Rewriting Rewritten History

Hollywood's PC police have done it again! In the name of political correctness (make that "overseas ticket sales"), Disney announced last week that it will edit some scenes in "Pearl Harbor" to avoid offending the Japanese.

A City That Echoes Eternity

One man, Jesus warned, cannot serve two masters. Yet Jerusalem is sacred stone and soil to Jew and Christian and Muslim alike. A place on the map like any other city, Jerusalem exists more vividly, more powerfully, more dangerously within the longitude and latitude of the religious imagination.

Ready For Their Close-Up

Judging from the response to our May 15 story "'Dinosaur' Mania," our readers found the subject itself fascinating. Some were excited about the special effects the new Disney movie is being praised for; others were skeptical about the dino stars' dialogue. "After watching a mockingbird chase a cat along the back fence," wrote one, "I have no trouble believing that birds are descended from Velociraptors." Admitted another: "I am a 42-year-old who still loves the critters." Dino Drama...

Timely Topic For A Holy Season

Many readers found our Cover Story on Jesus both praiseworthy and inspirational. It should be tucked inside the Bible of every Christian in America--and throughout the world," said a Roman Catholic priest. "At a time when we too often focus on the material side of life, it was good to see an article probing our spiritual side," applauded another reader.

The Other Jesus

To Christians, He Is The Son Of God. But The World's Other Great Religions Have Their Own Visions Of A Legendary Figure.

Millennium Madness

For most of the 1990s, the man who called himself only Elijah was one of Jerusalem's lesser curiosities, an American who claimed to be the Biblical prophet.

2000 Years Of Jesus

Historians did not record his birth. Nor, for 30 years, did anyone pay him much heed. A Jew from the Galilean hill country with a reputation for teaching and healing, he showed up at the age of 33 in Jerusalem during Passover.

Love Affair, With Paint

IT'S DIFFICULT TO DECIDE WHICH IS more interesting: the poignantly absurd personal life of the artist Stanley Spencer (1891-1959) or his quirkily great paintings.

Hail, Mary

THIS WEEK A LARGE BOX SHIPPED from California and addressed to ""His Holiness, John Paul II'' will arrive at the Vatican. The shipping label lists a dozen countries--from every continent but Antarctica--plus a number, 40,383, indicating the quantity of signatures inside.

All I Want For Christmas...

. . . is a Welshman who sings, Willie's guitar with gut strings, and a cheery bluesman named King. Plus books about trucks, teapots and tile to celebrate the season with style GEE, IT'S NOT SHAPING UP TO BE MUCH OF a Christmas here at NEWSWEEK.

His Adviser, And Her Guru

PRESIDENT CLINTON AND HIS WIFE HILLARY INVITED a group of communications and popular self-help authors to Camp David to help them dissect what had happened in the first two years of the presidency and to search for a way back after the Democrats' devastating loss of Congress to the Republicans in the 1994 fall election.

Do We Need Satan?

He is the evil one, the adversary, the prince of darkness, the Father of Lies. Among his many proper names are Satan, Lucifer and Mephistopheles. Skeptics dismiss him as "Old Scratch"; the Rolling Stones knew him as "a man of wealth and taste." But in every language he answers to his generic title: Diabolos, El Diablo, the Devil.

Retreat Into Silence

THE NIGHT IS COLD. A SILENT NIGHT. I am alone on a hill above the sluggish Shenandoah River and below the bare winter forest of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Like a handful of other guests, I have come for a long weekend retreat with the Trappist monks of Holy Cross Abbey outside Berryville, Va.

The Death Of Jesus

THE PASSION AND THE DEATH OF Jesus, which Christians celebrate this week, may well be the world's best-known story. For believers, it is the core of Christian faith and identity, the drama that gives Easter its meaning.

A Lesser Child Of God

OUTSIDE THE MAIN stream of Christian Bible study, iconoclas tic scholars are piecing together the portrait of a Jesus no one ever encountered in Sunday school.

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