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Arts & Culture

Kosher Fiction Kosher Fiction
Friday, November 11, 2011 by Eitan Kensky | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Haredi adventure stories are a curious but popular genre. There is the 2005 Yiddish-language film A gesheft ("A Deal"), the story of a Hasid-gone-bad out for revenge on the pious man he wrongly blames for his childhood misfortunes.
The Holy Land of England The Holy Land of England
Thursday, November 10, 2011 by Liam Hoare | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The King James Bible, along with the Book of Common Prayer, Shakespeare, and Milton, transformed the English language, introducing a vibrant lexicon that is used to this day.  It also fused biblical mythology with concepts of English national identity.
Among the Truthers Among the Truthers
Wednesday, November 9, 2011 by James Kirchick | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Do we live in the age of conspiracy? In April, after repeated prodding by then-Presidential candidate Donald Trump, Barack Obama felt compelled to release his "long form" birth certificate to dispel rumors that that he was not a natural-born U.S. citizen.
Ladies in Waiting Ladies in Waiting
Wednesday, November 2, 2011 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The winter session of the Knesset began this week and, in what is surely a sign of the times, two of its most closely watched stories involve female political leaders.  One is a rising star; the other is struggling to stay alive.
The Great Orthodox Comeback The Great Orthodox Comeback
Tuesday, November 1, 2011 by Lawrence Grossman | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The resurgence of Orthodoxy may be the most profound, and is certainly the most surprising, transformation of Judaism in the past 60 years. 
Creating the Master Race Creating the Master Race
Friday, October 28, 2011 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The Museum of Jewish Heritage in Lower Manhattan's peaceful Battery Park is an unlikely place to explore some of the 20th century's most horrific evils.  Deadly Medicine, an exhibit on Nazi racial science, is a sobering examination of the intertwined history of science and evil.
The Yiddish Silver Screen The Yiddish Silver Screen
Thursday, October 27, 2011 by Nahma Sandrow | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Nobody is sure exactly how many movies were ever made in Yiddish. James Hoberman's exhaustive study Bridge of Light (2010) lists some hundred such films, made in the 20th century primarily in America, Germany, Austria, Romania, Poland, and Russia.
Portrait of the Artist as a Self-Hating Jew Portrait of the Artist as a Self-Hating Jew
Tuesday, October 25, 2011 by Dan Kagan-Kans | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The French author Irène Némirovsky lived through one world war and died at Hitler's hands in the second. Born to a wealthy Jewish family in Kiev at the turn of the last century, she came of age just in time to flee revolutionary Russia for Paris.
In Egypt, with Liberals In Egypt, with Liberals
Wednesday, October 19, 2011 by Michael J. Totten | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

American relations with the Arab world have been strained for decades; Israel's relations with the Arab world barely exist. But the Arab world itself is not all of a piece. The outright enemies of Israel and the West—preeminently, Syria and Iran—are political totalitarians.
Jonah and the Music of Yom Kippur Jonah and the Music of Yom Kippur
Thursday, October 6, 2011 by Michael Carasik | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Leviticus 10 tells us that Aaron's sons Nadav and Avihu died for bringing "strange fire" before the Lord in the wilderness. As a result of their deaths, according to Leviticus 16, God instructed Moses to ordain an annual Day of Atonement.
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Editors' Picks
Letting the Facts Speak Suzanne Ruta, Forward. Lewis Gittler’s 1949 film The Earth Cries Out told the story of Jewish refugees traveling to Mandate Palestine—with a cast of real refugees in an Italian internment camp.
Drawing a Line Sarah Glidden, Jewish Quarterly. Angoulême is proud of its history as the center of France’s comics and animation industry.  The city is less keen to acknowledge the role it played during the Second World War. (Comic)  
Poet of the Palmach Sigal Arbitman, Eran Swissa, Yehuda Shlezinger, Israel Hayom. Haim Hefer wrote songs that built Israel’s character and gained the status of national anthems.  He died on Rosh Hashana at age 86. 
The Maestro and the Maestro Jon Kalish, Forward. Few outside the cantorial world know Yitzhak Meir Helfgot.  But when famed violinist Itzhak Perlman listens to him, he gets goose bumps. 
Was Bach an Anti-Semite? David Conway, Jewish Chronicle. His St. John Passion has anti-Jewish passages, and Hitler loved him.  But in light of Bach’s life, it is no surprise that his work was preserved by Jews.
All About the Benjamins Brían Hanrahan, Los Angeles Review of Books. Sustained financially by his friend Gershom Scholem for much of his life, the revolutionary Marxist Walter Benjamin has posthumously become a commercial success.
Paralympic Pioneer Blair Thornburgh, Forward. A refugee to England from Nazi Germany, Dr. Ludwig Guttmann’s groundbreaking treatments for traumatic paraplegia provided the platform for what has become the Paralympics.
Raising Hellman Elaine Showalter, Times Literary Supplement. Lillian Hellman was called a Stalinist, a liar, a self-hating Jew, “the Ancient Mariner in drag,” a woman who “judged the Soviet Union in terms of how well it observed her comfort.”  Was she just misunderstood? 
Crooked Timber , National Library of Israel. S.Y. Agnon wrote his first book “without pause, working for four consecutive days, from four in the morning until four in the afternoon, feeding on bread and olives, not yielding from the act of writing."
Ecce Maslow Algis Valiunas, New Atlantis. When Abraham Maslow’s mother found her son feeding stray kittens milk from one of her good dishes, she dashed the tiny animals’ brains out. Maslow wondered why he didn’t turn out psychotic.