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The Politics of Yiddish The Politics of Yiddish
Monday, April 29, 2013 by Ruth Wisse | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Jews who hold on to, or reach back for, the Yiddishkeyt of Yiddish yearn not merely for a declining language but for the social and political ideal that seems embedded in it.  
The New Rosh Hashanah The New Rosh Hashanah
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 by Elli Fischer | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The Jewish New Year is characterized by an uneasy combination of stock-taking and solemn celebration.  Yom Ha’atzma’ut, as the birthday of the Jewish state, is beginning to acquire a similar character.
Back When the Jews Built Like Jews Back When the Jews Built Like Jews
Thursday, March 21, 2013 by Ben Greenfield | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In December 1872, authorities in Florence halted elaborate plans for a grand synagogue and criticized the city's Jews—for not building more Jewishly.
Shani Boianjiu and the Past and Present of Jewish Literature Shani Boianjiu and the Past and Present of Jewish Literature
Wednesday, March 20, 2013 by Melissa Weininger | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Israeli writer Shani Boianjiu's first novel, composed in English, is a rare contemporary addition to the Jewish tradition of transnational literature. 
Eizenstat on the Jewish Future Eizenstat on the Jewish Future
Friday, March 15, 2013 by Jerome A. Chanes | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In his new book on the Jewish future, Jewish diplomat Stuart Eizenstat sees Jewish destiny evolving in the friendly competition between the sovereignty of Israel and the pluralism of America.
Coming Home Coming Home
Thursday, March 7, 2013 by Ella Taylor | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

I’ve visited and lived in Israel since then, but mostly I’ve been in London and the United States.  By most measures, every city in which I’ve put down roots in is an easier place to live than just about anywhere in Israel.
Go to Ammon and Moab Go to Ammon and Moab
Monday, February 25, 2013 by Daniel Gordis | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Imagining themselves to be the wise men consulted on Vashti’s fate, the Rabbis deferred to the Jews’ enemies, saying, “from the day when we were exiled from our land, wisdom has been taken from us."
Where Does the Modern Period of Jewish History Begin? Where Does the Modern Period of Jewish History Begin?
Friday, January 18, 2013 by Michael A. Meyer | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In this classic 1975 Judaism article, Michael Meyer argues that there is no value in "setting a definite terminus for the beginning of modern Jewish history."
Which Land Is Our Land? Which Land Is Our Land?
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 by The Editors | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

After David Ben-Gurion urged young American Jews to make aliyah, the American Jewish Committee responded by resolving to "forcefully discourage Israeli propaganda for immigration from America."
If I Forget Thee? If I Forget Thee?
Tuesday, January 15, 2013 by Allan Arkush | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

As a recent seminar at New York's Mechon Hadar testified, throughout Jewish tradition, everyone—even the anti-Zionists—recognizes that the Land of Israel has more sanctity than any other place.  But what follows from that?
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Editors' Picks
Education, Education, Education Maristella Botticini, Zvi Eckstein, PBS. "The literacy of the Jewish people, coupled with a set of contract-enforcement institutions, gave the Jews a comparative advantage in occupations such as crafts, trade, and moneylending."
. . . at Israel’s Expense Michael Freund, Jerusalem Post. "At a time such as this, when aliyah is dwindling, it is incumbent upon every Orthodox Jew in America and elsewhere to look in the mirror and ask himself with unadorned honesty: Where do I really belong?"
The Land of No Anti-Semitism Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz. Azerbaijan’s Jews, citizens of a pro-Israel nation with a venerable Jewish heritage, are sure that "there is no anti-Semitism here and there never has been."  But they depend on the president's favor.
The Festival of Exile Adin Steinsaltz, Jewish Journal. The story of Megillat Esther, says Steinsaltz, "looks like a simplistic melodrama" but "takes on a serious meaning as the mirror of Jewish history."
Isaiah Berlin's Liberal Zionism Arie Dubnov, Jewish Chronicle. An advocate of individual liberty, Isaiah Berlin defended Zionism not for liberating the Jewish nation but for giving individual Jews a choice: whether to live in Israel or the Diaspora.
Refreshing Tu Bishvat Elli Fischer, Jewish Week. "Diasporic Jewish existence is like a dried fruit: flavor and freshness are sacrificed in the interest of durability and portability."
Josephus the Jew Benjamin Balint, Wall Street Journal. Yigael Yadin called Josephus “a great historian and a bad Jew.”  But a new book argues that if Josephus was a traitor, “it was to a reckless nationalism he never favored, not to Judaism.”
Rain Check Arnold A. Lasker, Daniel J. Lasker, Conservative Judaism. The date on which we begin praying for rain is based on Iraqi agricultural cycles and a calendar mistake.  But it’s not likely to change before the Messiah comes.
Satisfaction? Shimon Peres, eJewish Philanthropy. Jews feel “at home in the 21st century,” a time of constant change, says Israel’s President—because “what characterizes Jews above all is dissatisfaction."
Sovereignty without Statehood? Aryeh Cohen, Justice in the City. While Israel is predicated on Jewish national sovereignty, American Jews enjoy a different sort of sovereignty that comes from “the unfettered equal access of Jews to the levers of power.”