Jewish Ideas Daily has been succeeded and re-launched as Mosaic. Read more...

Arts & Culture

The Book of Numbers The Book of Numbers
Monday, March 19, 2012 by Lawrence Grossman | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Jewish ambivalence about demography goes back a long way. The Bible, in several places, meticulously enumerates each tribe's population even while warning that conducting head counts can bring dire consequences.
Martyr in Waiting Martyr in Waiting
Friday, March 16, 2012 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad operative Khader Adnan, currently under administrative detention in Israel, has announced the end of his 66-day hunger strike in exchange for a commitment by Israeli authorities to set him free on April 17. His pending release raises a moral dilemma.
Ron Silver’s Risk Ron Silver’s Risk
Thursday, March 15, 2012 by Adam J. Sacks | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Three years ago today, Ron Silver—actor, director, producer, radio host, and political activist—died of esophageal cancer at the age of 62. Today he is sorely misremembered; but his legacy is worth fighting for.
Heschel in Yiddish and Hebrew Heschel in Yiddish and Hebrew
Wednesday, March 14, 2012 by Yehudah Mirsky | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Standing at Sinai, "All the people were seeing the thunder" (Exodus 20:15), seeing the sounds. The word "revelation" would be somewhat misleading, since nothing was unveiled: The mountain was wreathed in cloud and smoke.
AIPAC and the Politics of Reaffirmation AIPAC and the Politics of Reaffirmation
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Politics is a matter of emotions as much as intellect, and rituals and ceremonies are central. The annual AIPAC policy conference in Washington, D.C. is, perhaps above all, a ceremony of reaffirmation of the relationships among American Jews, non-Jewish Americans, the American state, and Israel.
Old-New Leonard Old-New Leonard
Friday, March 9, 2012 by Peodair Leihy | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

After 60 years of publishing and recording, seventysomething Leonard Cohen has something else to say; and, lo and behold, the "Camp"—the Bergen-Belsen of the remembered newsreels of his childhood—comes up. He also gets the "Eye"—Jerusalem's Eye of the Needle—in there, a Jewish metaphor from the Talmud and the New Testament.
Footnotes to <i>Footnote</i> Footnotes to Footnote
Friday, March 2, 2012 by Michael Fagenblat | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Director Joseph Cedar's film Hearat Shulayim (Footnote) takes place in the Hebrew University Talmud Department, the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, and the (unnamed) Shalom Hartman Institute—the Jerusalem cloisters of the small network of Israel's talmudic academic elite.
Jews, Damned Jews, and Sociologists Jews, Damned Jews, and Sociologists
Thursday, March 1, 2012 by Yehudah Mirsky | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

What is this thing called Jewishness? What does it look like? What are its boundaries? Even the most neutral-sounding answer reflects some position on one side or the other of the crazy-quilt of conflicts that have defined and continue to define Jewish life over the last 200 years.
Gertrude Stein, Fascist? Gertrude Stein, Fascist?
Wednesday, February 29, 2012 by Eitan Kensky | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Does it say something that the most indelible portraits of Gertrude Stein come from the outside? Or, to frame the question a different way: what does it say when our most lasting impressions of a writer are based not on her words, but on the visions and appropriations of others?
Jazz, <i>Piyyut</i>, and Jewish Identity Jazz, Piyyut, and Jewish Identity
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 by Omer Avital and Aryeh Tepper | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The Israeli-born, New York-based Omer Avital is both a world-class jazz musician and a master of classical Arabic music. He recently visited the Tikvah Fund, oud in hand, for an evening of music and free-flowing discussion about jazz, piyyut [liturgical verse], and Jewish identity.
Page 8 of 31« First...678910...2030...Last »
Editors' Picks
Judaism's Intellectual Boot Camp David Brinn, Jerusalem Post. "One great religious leader can move a community, one great political leader can shoulder a nation, and one intellectual leader can change hearts and minds."
Harold Bloom’s Divine Obsession David Mikics, Tablet. Literary critic Harold Bloom dismisses halakhic Judaism as a "fossil."  But, 20 years after his work The Book of J, the Bible continues to obsess him.
Broadway and the Jews Sarah Rodman, Boston Globe. As they say in Spamalot, "You won’t succeed on Broadway if you don’t have any Jews."  A new documentary film emphatically agrees.
Finding Books Within Books Yitz Landes, Talmud Blog. Ancient Hebrew fragments that were used as bindings for Latin manuscripts are being rescued across Europe.  But they are not a European Genizah.
The Esther Code Rebecca Benhamou, Times of Israel. Just before Nazi Julius Streicher was hanged, he said, “Purim festival, 1946.”  A new book, claiming that the Book of Esther predicated the Holocaust, has become a best-seller in France.
Our Movies, Our Selves J. Hoberman, Nation. In 1947, the movies changed—partly because of Jewish critic Siegfried Kracauer, whose work showed the extent to which films reflect the mentality of a nation.
Portrait of the Artist as an Old Man Clive Sinclair, Jewish Quarterly. Yosl Bergner, age six, drew a scene of a Jewish corpse under a train.  Now 92, he still paints Jewish history: "Old memories attack me and I fight back by painting them."
Anti-Jewish Music David Nirenberg, New Republic. In The Music Libel Against the Jews, Ruth HaCohen argues that contempt for "Jewish" musical forms has defined Western music.  That same sentiment pervades the Arab world today.
Uncle Joe D. G. Myers, Commonplace Blog. “If anyone who is not his nephew is entitled to call Joseph Epstein ‘Uncle Joe,’ it is I. Or at least I once was.”
Berlin’s Black Christmas Mark Steyn, Spectator. “White Christmas,” by Irving Berlin, a Siberian Jew, helped define the holiday for Americans.  But for Berlin himself, Christmas was the day he lost his baby son.