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Arts & Culture

Gender Trouble Gender Trouble
Monday, January 16, 2012 by Yehudah Mirsky | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Suddenly, it seems, gender segregation is everywhere in Israel—buses, army bases, Jerusalem sidewalks, Beit Shemesh schoolyards and, above all, the front pages. What is going on here? Why is all this happening now? Let's begin with the second question.
Among the Literati Among the Literati
Thursday, January 12, 2012 by Erika Dreifus | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Some days, I can't help thinking back 25 years to my high-school French course, which is where I first encountered the concept of the juste milieu—the happy medium—and the difficulty of achieving it. Why is the happy medium so elusive? Why do I more often feel caught betwixt and between or, even among my fellow Jewish-American writers, alone?
The Couch and the Confessional The Couch and the Confessional
Tuesday, January 10, 2012 by Joseph J. Siev | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Sigmund Freud's last book, Moses and Monotheism, was published in 1939, a year after  he fled, mortally ill with cancer of the jaw, from Nazi-occupied Vienna to London.  The book is famous for its speculations that Moses was not Jewish and that the people he led out of Egyptian slavery murdered him.   
Judaism on Steroids Judaism on Steroids
Monday, January 9, 2012 by Micah Stein | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Ryan Braun, the reigning MVP of baseball's National League, is having a rough offseason. On December 12, ESPN reported that Braun had tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug (PED) after a league-mandated drug test revealed elevated levels of testosterone in his system.
The Whole Damn Deal The Whole Damn Deal
Friday, January 6, 2012 by Suzanne Garment | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

On April 2, 1979, President Jimmy Carter recorded in his diary that he had asked Robert S. Strauss to be his Mideast peace negotiator. Strauss answered, "I've never even read the Bible. And I'm a Jew." Observance-wise, Bob Strauss, who spent 50 years as a consummate practitioner of American politics, wasn't much of a Jew.  
The State of Christianity The State of Christianity
Thursday, January 5, 2012 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

On a sun-drenched day during the week before Christmas, Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre was crowded with pilgrims from Nigeria. They were taking turns kneeling and praying at a marker on the spot where, sacred history has it, Jesus was crucified, entombed, and resurrected.
Goodnight, Vienna Goodnight, Vienna
Wednesday, January 4, 2012 by Daniel Johnson | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The Jews of Vienna did not merely understand the world: they took Marx's point and changed it, too. From Freud's psychoanalysis to Wittgenstein's philosophy, from Mahler's music to Herzl's Zionism, they made a unique contribution to modernity.
The Mughrabi Bridge to Nowhere The Mughrabi Bridge to Nowhere
Tuesday, January 3, 2012 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

From the southern end of the plaza in front of Jerusalem's Western Wall, a temporary wooden bridge ascends eastward to the Mughrabi Gate, the only one of the 11 gates into the Temple Mount area that is accessible to non-Muslims.
Highlights of 2011:<br />Part II Highlights of 2011:
Part II

Friday, December 30, 2011 | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Part II of our round-up of the past year's most popular features on Jewish Ideas Daily. (Part I is here.)
Highlights of 2011:<br />Part I Highlights of 2011:
Part I

Thursday, December 29, 2011 | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

A two-part glimpse back at some of the year's most popular Jewish Ideas Daily features that you might have missed. Here, part I.
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Editors' Picks
Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Gil Student, Torah Musings. Asimov’s Foundation novels are not Jewish—but one rabbi sees them as an “oasis of right-thinking in a barbaric world,” a “metaphor for the Jewish people in exile."
Overlord dir. Stuart Cooper, Criterion Collection. Cooper's 1975 film, set just before the D-Day invasion, follows a young British soldier from basic training to the vicious battle on the beaches of Normandy. (Video; free link, expires November 19th)
Rome, Open City dir. Roberto Rossellini, Criterion Collection. Filmed in the immediate aftermath of the war, Rosselini's 1945 drama, set in Rome, 1944, portrays the doomed struggle of the Italian resistance against their Nazi occupiers. (Video; free link, expires November 19th)
Ballad of a Soldier dir. Grigori Chukhrai, Criterion Collection. A milestone of Soviet cinema, Chukhrai's 1959 film, about a Russian soldier returning home on leave, contrasts the devastation of war with the endurance of love. (Video; free link, expires November 19th)
Night and Fog dir. Alain Resnais, Criterion Collection. Featuring real footage from Auschwitz and Majdanek, Resnais' 1955 documentary Nuit et Brouillard made audiences worldwide witnesses to the brutality of the concentration camps. (Video; free link, expires November 19th)
MetaSpiegelman Eitan Kensky, Forward. A new documentary examines the life and work of Art Spiegelman, creator of MetaMaus—who would prefer not to be known as the Elie Wiesel of comics.
Copland's America Stephen Brown, Times Literary Supplement. Unlike other musical chroniclers of the American West, the Jewish composer Aaron Copland was not of pioneering stock.  But it was Copland who came to define the Western sound.
A Jewish Disneyland? Ellen Barry, New York Times. With Moscow's new Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center, Vladimir Putin is appealing to Jews who fled the country to return—while Shimon Peres thanks Russia for "a thousand years of hospitality."
Reinman's Tragicomedy Gideon Remez, Tablet. It was a long, winding journey that took Paul Reinman, born Reinmann, from drawing the great synagogue of Worms, Germany to inking comics in America. 
The Shtetl Remedy Elizabeth Alpern, The Jew and the Carrot. Now that it’s cold season, you could place your hopes in chicken soup and a flu shot.  Or you could try cupping, blood-letting, eating garlic cloves, drinking milk-and-alcohol mixtures . . . (2010)