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

Arts & Literature

The Twenty-Seventh Man The Twenty-Seventh Man
Wednesday, November 28, 2012 by Diana Muir Appelbaum | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

On the night of August 12, 1952, a group of Yiddish writers was executed on Joseph Stalin’s orders for the crime of writing while Jewish.  The executions were the tragic culmination of the grand romance between Jewish intellectuals and Marxism.  
Meet Sholem Aleichem Meet Sholem Aleichem
Tuesday, July 19, 2011 by Nahma Sandrow | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In the 1880's, the Ukrainian Jew Solomon Rabinowitz began his literary career under an assumed name—assumed because he was writing in Yiddish, rather than a respectable language such as Hebrew or Russian. The pseudonym he chose was Sholem Aleichem.
Editors' Picks
Melville in Jerusalem David Sugarman, Tablet. Hoping to find spiritual uplift, the author of Moby-Dick made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land only to find Jerusalem “half melancholy, half farcical, like all the rest of the world.”
The Writer’s Life David Rakoff, Salon. “Please,” they seem to beseech, “what alchemy, what ethereal fire transforms our wordy soup of glottals and fricatives into language and that language into writing . . .” (1999; by the recently deceased humorist) 
Job the Trotskyist Isaac Bashevis Singer, New Yorker. “There is no worse lowlife than a Jewish Chekist, Yevsektsia member, or plain Communist. They spit on the truth. They’re ready to kill and torture over the least suspicion.” (Fiction; Translated by David Stromberg)
The Jewish Writer and the American Soul Adam Kirsch, Tablet. If John Updike found himself in a literary culture dominated by Jews, it was not because Jews were shy of America—it was because they loved the country and found it ready to reciprocate their love.