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


The <i>Economist</i> Strikes Again The Economist Strikes Again
Friday, January 7, 2011 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The Economist is a curious publication.  A weekly newsmagazine published in London, it largely hews to a classical liberal (or libertarian) line in economics and a correspondingly conservative line in politics. In contrast to most newsmagazines today, it is also a rousing success.
The Huguenot Connection The Huguenot Connection
Monday, January 3, 2011 by Allan Nadler | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In the darkest hours of the Holocaust, the safest place for Jews in occupied Europe may have been the southern French hamlet of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon.
Land of the Crescent Moon? Land of the Crescent Moon?
Tuesday, December 21, 2010 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

When an Islamist suicide bomber accidentally detonated two of the three explosive devices he had brought to a bustling Stockholm shopping district in early December, Sweden's Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt urged his fellow citizens in the "Land of the Midnight Sun" not to jump to hasty conclusions about any jihadist connection.  But that may prove tricky.
Summoned Home Summoned Home
Thursday, November 18, 2010 by Allan Nadler | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In June 1934, the celebrated American Yiddish poet Jacob Glatstein (a/k/a Yankev Glatshteyn, 1896-1971) received an urgent summons to return to his native Lublin, Poland, where his mother lay at death's door. At the precise moment when so many Jews were desperately trying to make the reverse journey, Glatstein found himself on an unanticipated and almost certainly unwanted return home.
The Non-Zionist The Non-Zionist
Monday, November 8, 2010 by Yehudah Mirsky | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The YIVO Institute in New York recently marked the 150th birthday of perhaps the most eminent among its founders: the historian and nationalist ideologue Simon Dubnow (1860-1941). Massively influential in its time, Dubnow's historical writing has been overshadowed by the work of later generations of scholars. In the meantime, the cause he championed—Diaspora Jewish nationalism—was throttled by the Holocaust.  Yet the man and his ideas may be ripe for rediscovery.
The Mad Mystic of Bratslav The Mad Mystic of Bratslav
Monday, November 1, 2010 by Allan Nadler | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav (1772-1811) is the strangest and most paradoxical leader in the history of Hasidism, and one of its most original, albeit mad, geniuses.  Nahman has been an object of both literary fascination and considerable scholarly research. He also shares center stage with Franz Kafka (1888-1924) in Rodger Kamenetz's Burnt Books.
The Azeri Exception The Azeri Exception
Friday, October 29, 2010 by Aryeh Tepper | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Someone forgot to tell the republic of Azerbaijan that Jews and Muslims cannot live together in peace. Somewhere between twenty and forty thousand Jews reside in that Shiite country, which sits on Iran's northern border and enjoys diplomatic, economic, and military ties with Israel. Can this last, and for how long?
Who is Ed Miliband, and What Does He Want? Who is Ed Miliband, and What Does He Want?
Tuesday, October 26, 2010 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

With the Conservatives now in power in Britain, the Labor party has been sorting out not only its personnel but its policies, including toward Israel and the Middle East. In his campaign for the party's leadership, in which he narrowly edged out his brother David, Ed Miliband pledged to visit the area to see first-hand "what is happening on the ground."
Was Lenin Jewish? Was Lenin Jewish?
Monday, October 25, 2010 by Ruth R. Wisse | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The Bolshevik Revolution undertook to change history. In line with that aim, its leaders set out to control the writing of history. The scholar Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern, who was born and studied in the Soviet Union, learned the hard way that history is shaped by how information is managed and made available. Confronting the challenge head-on, he has published a book, Lenin's Jewish Question, about the ancestry of the man who masterminded the 1917 Revolution and became the iron-fisted dictator of the early Soviet state. 
Rebranding Poland Rebranding Poland
Monday, September 27, 2010 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

According to the organizers of a recent Jerusalem conference marking the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Israel and Poland, the time has come for Jews to recognize the plain truth: Poland is Israel's best friend in the European Union. Moreover, they add, it is time to take a more nuanced view of Polish Jewish history altogether, to focus less single-mindedly on the killing fields implanted on Polish soil by Nazi Germany and more broadly on the preceding 1,000 years of Jewish civilization.
Page 10 of 12« First...89101112
Editors' Picks
Secular Saint? Daniel Johnson, Standpoint. Tony Judt is revered by atheist hagiographers and graces the secular pantheon, but his legacy is a share in the moral decay of Europe which will leave no civilization to remember him.
Berlin's Kosher Kitsch Mara Delius, Standpoint. Fewer than 70 years after World War II, eating kosher is Berlin's latest bohemian craze. But with restaurants inspired by German culture in the 20's and 30's, historical sensitivity is not on the menu.
Hitler Slept Here Aimee Neistat, Haaretz. For six months, an American writer traveled Germany, interviewing locals and exploring the legacy of Nazism. What did he find? A still-extant obsession with Jews.
Frankly, My Dear Alan Brill, Book of Doctrines and Opinions. The Frankist movement led many Jews to convert to Catholicism and join the lower nobility in Poland. But this was no ordinary assimilation, as Jewish theology came to infuse the whole gentry.
Mourning, Melancholia, and Maimonides Jon Sommer, Zeek. Perhaps because a number of medieval Jewish philosophers were also mathematicians and astronomers, their writings on suffering offer commonsensical guidance still useful today.
Newton the Theologian Aron Heller, Associated Press. Known for revolutionizing empirical science, Isaac Newton was also an influential theologian. His writings on Scripture and mysticism (as well as his prediction of the apocalypse) have now been digitized in Israel.
Tramp Stamp Tom Whitehead, Daily Telegraph. Suspecting his Communist sympathies, the CIA and MI5 began investigating Charlie Chaplin. Would his missing birth certificate verify the speculation that he was really a Russian Jew?
The False Crusade Peter Frankopan, New York Times. The medieval narrative of the First Crusade as a Papal expedition to conquer Jerusalem is still rarely questioned; yet the roots of the Crusade lie not in Rome but rather in Byzantium.
The Grapes of Roth Daniel Johnson, Literary Review. The correspondence of Austrian-Jewish writer Joseph Roth displays his sparkling wit and contrarian sensibilities, but testifies above all to his terminal decline into alcoholism.
From Slovakia to Flatbush Binyamin Rose, Voz Iz Neias?. The busiest synagogue in Flatbush traces its roots to a bunker in rural Slovakia, where its founder, Yechezkel Shraga Landau, led a community in hiding during the war.