The role of music in Jewish life was elevated by a Polish rabbi known as the Baal Shem Tov, who is credited with founding the Chasidic movement in the 18th century. He taught that melody is one of the paths to divine service.
Swenson was awarded the medal for the bravery he showed in the 2009 Battle of Ganjgal, one of the costliest battles of the Afghan War. Another soldier involved in the battle received his Medal of Honor two years ago. Swenson's honor was delayed because the Army lost his paperwork.
On Tuesday night, Eleanor Catton became the youngest person to be awarded the Man Booker Prize in its 45-year history. Catton's book The Luminaries and those of her fellow finalists make up what has been hailed as perhaps the best shortlist in a decade, and they have been my companions for the past few weeks. It's a list spanning continents and styles, with a debut novel at one end and, at the other, one by a veteran who speculated that his latest book could well be his last.
When sisters Kate and Anna McGarrigle sang together, their voices were almost magically beautiful. Their songs — such as "Heart Like a Wheel," which was famously covered by Linda Ronstadt — could be at once achingly fragile and tremendously powerful. They performed songs written by each, and sometimes co-wrote their material, until Kate's death in 2010.
On Wednesday, the stock market cheered the debt ceiling deal in Congress. The Dow gained 206 points and all the major indexes closed higher.
Investors of course have been watching the showdown in Washington very closely, since a default could have been a global financial disaster. At the same time, economists are trying to figure out how much the jitters and uncertainty over all this has been hurting the economy.
You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.
In central Florida, the arrests of two middle school girls have shaken the community. The pair is charged with felonies in a case of alleged cyber-bullying that led to a suicide of a 12-year-old girl. Authorities say the suspects bullied the girl for more than a year, taunting her in-person and then online. The abuse continued even after the girl changed schools.
From member station WMFE in Orlando, Nicole Creston reports.
In New York there is no shortage of artists. But recently, one artist caused a flurry of excitement around the city. Banksy, elusive, British and best known for his graffiti art, and for the month of October he staged what he calls a residency on the streets of New York. Everyday, he unveils a new work on his website and identifies the neighborhood it's in, but not the exact address.
Stephen Nessen, with member station WNYC, caught up with one of several Banksy fans who are racing to be the first to locate the daily street art.
Today, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced its annual class of nominees. In total, there are 16 bands and artists up for induction and we're going to tick through a few in a not-so-veiled attempt to play some rock on our airways, starting with a 1990s mainstay, Nirvana. We'll take our teenage angst in flannel please.
(SOUNDBITE FROM SONG, 'SMELLS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT')
NIRVANA: (Singing) Well the lights out, it's less dangerous. Here we are now, entertain us...