Wednesday, May 22
Among the highlights from our archives is this reflection on Herman Wouk's "plucky, unlucky" heroine Marjorie Morningstar by former editor Margot Lurie, first published October 18, 2010. Read More
Tuesday, May 21
Continuing our retrospective, we revisit Alex Joffe's critique of the unwillingness of Western universities to confront contemporary anti-Semitism, first published June 13, 2011. Read More
Monday, May 20
As Jewish Ideas Daily nears its re-launch, we look back at some of our highlights over the last three-and-a-half years—beginning with Aryeh Klapper's day-school proposal, first published May 14, 2012. Read More
Friday, May 17
Though best remembered today for his political philosophy, Jean-Jacques Rousseau was also a careful student of music. But his conclusions are undermined by the liturgical music of Ashkenazi Jews. Read More
Tuesday, May 14
In Jewish tradition, the holiday of Shavuot is said to commemorate the giving of the Torah at Sinai. But, as the Talmud often asks, mena hani mili, how do we know this? Read More
Monday, May 13
The Occupy rallies of 2011 were the largest Israel has ever seen. As I looked at the young couples in Tel Aviv protesting the inaccessibility of housing they could call their own, I thought of the land tenure reforms of Leviticus. Read More
Friday, May 10
Strange as it may sound, my idea of Israel did match reality. I’ve never imagined it to be some spotless utopia where everybody knows your name. It is a land haunted by terror and tragedy, fear and doubt. And yet it’s the land where God has chosen to reveal Himself to man. Read More
Thursday, May 9
The artifacts of Jewish cultural history have never looked so freshly inviting or unexpectedly contemporary as in a provocative new exhibition at New York's Jewish Museum. Read More
Wednesday, May 8
In his new book, Rod Dreher insists that communities are difficult to forge in America’s largest cities. But for traditional Jews, the demands of modern capitalism and community are not as incommensurate as Dreher assumes. Read More
Tuesday, May 7
Petitions (kvitlekh) addressed to the 19th-century miracle worker Rabbi Elijah Guttmacher provide something almost never found in hoary Hebrew tomes or official Polish documents: windows into the struggles and secret anxieties of everyday Jews in Eastern Europe. Read More
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Fallen Soldier Joseph Berger
, New York Times
. Boruch Spiegel, who was one of the last survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, escaped the Nazis via the sewers, only to return to the city to fight with Polish partisans a year later.
Archeology on the Battlefield Jesse Casana
, ASOR Blog
. From the Iraqi Revolt of 1920 to the upheavals of the Arab Spring, war and revolution have dictated the focus of archeological research in the Arab and Muslim Middle East.
Beef with the Butcher Nic Cavell
. In 1902, working-class Jewish women in New York rioted to enforce a boycott against price-gouging kosher butchers. A new "street musical" dramatizes their battle.
Tuesday, May 21
Ghosts of Scandals Past Rafael Medoff
. Seventy years ago, FDR used the IRS to target a group lobbying for the rescue of Jews from Nazi Germany; but Roosevelt's investigators ended up as sympathizers.
Go West, Young Man Jeremy Gillick
. Joining the Californian gold rush in the 1850s, Jews discovered a land with no established hierarchy, no significant anti-Semitism—and no rabbis.
Monday, May 20
Hanging in the Balance Lee Smith
, Weekly Standard
. Facing hostile actors on nearly every border, Israel aims to preserve the regional balance of power—a task made all the more delicate by American indifference.
Fatah’s Two Faces MEMRI
. On Nakba Day, Mahmoud Abbas endorses a two-state solution even as his party refuses to recognize the Jewish state and claims a right, which “never expires,” of return to Israeli land.
The Post-Yeshiva Synagogue Yonatan Kaganoff
, Torah Musings
. In American Orthodoxy, a fair number of synagogues have shifted from being places for whole families to gather to becoming places for men to pray and, especially, to study.
Friday, May 17
Boycotting the Boycott Charlie Laderman
. Instead of "respecting” the boycott, Spanish novelist Antonio Munoz Molina accepted the Jerusalem prize saying, "there is in Israel a society that is alive, democratic, pluralistic and open, in which I can recognize myself as a citizen."
Israel's Strongest Union Yoav Limor
, Israel Hayom
. "Simple arithmetic teaches us that contrary to the official announcement on Monday, the defense budget wasn't actually cut by 3 billion shekels. In fact, it was actually increased by 2.5 billion shekels."
Friends Again? Shashank Joshi
. The recent rapprochement between Israel and Turkey has repaired diplomatic ties, but the relationship is not about to be restored to what it once was.
The Samaritan Torah Chavie Lieber
. The Samaritan version of the Torah, recently translated into English, differs from the Masoretic text in 6000 instances—but has far fewer discrepancies with the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Nabokov's Jews Benjamin Ivry
. A sympathetic portrayer of Jews in his fiction, Vladimir Nabokov denounced anti-Semitism as "philistinism in all its phases" in both Russia and the United States.
Tuesday, May 14
Voice in the Wilderness Nathan Lopes Cardozo
, Cardozo Academy
. "Avraham found God in the desert and so the people of Israel received the Torah in a place of ultimate authenticity: The Desert of devastating conditions and great opportunities."
A Love Letter from God Jonathan Sacks
, Jewish Press
. "In giving the Torah to Israel, God was not asserting His power, dominance or lordship over Israel. He was declaring His love."
Where Worlds Collide Eli Rubin
. "At Sinai—the Torah tells us—'God descended upon the mountain.' From this point on, man would be able to enjoy a direct relationship with the essentiality of the divine self."
The Theology of Cheesecake Ben Elton
, Jewish Chronicle
. "It is anything but trivial to turn eating cheesecake into a religious experience, it is an example of the Jewish genius."