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


Gaza Endgame? Gaza Endgame?
Wednesday, March 30, 2011 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

A March 26 meeting in Ramallah between an unofficial delegation of West Bank Hamas "parliamentarians" and Mahmoud Abbas, chairman of the Palestinian Authority and leader of the Fatah party, was ostensibly about reconciling the two factions.  Actually it was about much more.
Seeking Solomon Seeking Solomon
Tuesday, March 29, 2011 by Eve Levavi Feinstein | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

For traditionalists, the biography of King Solomon is enshrined in the Bible, in the narrative accounts in the books of Kings and Chronicles. The son of King David, who spent his career battling Israel's enemies, Solomon is depicted as ushering in an era of peace and prosperity. Yet the Bible also relates that Solomon took numerous foreign wives and concubines—one thousand in total—who led him to worship foreign gods and build shrines for their service.
Jewish Studies in Decline? Jewish Studies in Decline?
Monday, March 28, 2011 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Reports prepared recently for Israel's Council of Higher Education have brought despairing news about the condition of the humanities in the country's universities. Especially dispiriting is the report on Jewish studies, once the crowning glory of Israel's flagship Hebrew University—and, in the report's inadvertently nostalgic words, "an investment in the nurturing of the deep spiritual and cultural structures of Israeli public and private life." That investment has been producing ever smaller returns.
The Brothers al-Kuwaiti The Brothers al-Kuwaiti
Friday, March 25, 2011 by Aryeh Tepper | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Remember "Baghdad Bob," Saddam Hussein's information minister? During the Iraq war, as the cameras showed U.S. tanks rolling through Baghdad, he took to the airwaves to assure his fellow Iraqis that not a single enemy tank had penetrated the city's defenses. As it happens, "Bob," whose real name was Muhammad Said al-Sahhaf, was a long-time expert in manufacturing absurd lies for domestic consumption.
The Turkish Model The Turkish Model
Thursday, March 24, 2011 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Considering the current upheaval in the Arab world, some optimists foresee the possibility of Islamic parties coming to power by democratic means and the consequent emergence of Turkish-style political systems. But how firm is Turkey's own commitment to democratic principles?
Shakespeare, Much Improved? Shakespeare, Much Improved?
Tuesday, March 22, 2011 by Nahma Sandrow | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

One of the few things people think they know about Yiddish theater in America is that once upon a time there was a production, probably of King Lear, advertised as "translated and much improved." Joel Berkowitz's history, Shakespeare on the American Yiddish Stage (2002), quotes the line but never gives an attribution, which suggests that nobody ever actually said it. But someone might have.
The Fate of Muslim Moderates The Fate of Muslim Moderates
Monday, March 21, 2011 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The recent uprisings in the Middle East seemed, at least at first, to send a reassuring signal to Western observers: not only did genuinely moderate Muslims exist, and not only were they capable of finding a political voice, but there was reason to hope that, given time to organize and grow in strength, they might succeed in winning out against the voices of repression and Islamist extremism.
Toward a Pluralistic Middle East? Toward a Pluralistic Middle East?
Thursday, March 17, 2011 by Aryeh Tepper | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

As the Middle East lurches through the present confusion of civil war, revolution, and mass protest, decent people everywhere wonder about the chances of a more pluralistic and democratic order emerging. One way of measuring progress in that direction will be to track the treatment of minorities like the Berbers and the Jews.
Manger’s M’gilah, and Ours Manger’s M’gilah, and Ours
Wednesday, March 16, 2011 by Yehudah Mirsky | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Part of the strangeness of the biblical book of Esther lies, oddly, in its very familiarity. It takes place in a world where God hardly figures, where prophecy is but a memory, where lust, vanity, and arrogance call the tunes, and where flat-out redemption is too much to hope for.
The Peace Plan Israel Needs The Peace Plan Israel Needs
Tuesday, March 15, 2011 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Israel's wobbly friends in Europe and the U.S. are renewing their pressure on Jerusalem to "do something" about the "unsustainable" stalemate in the "peace process." As German Chancellor Angela Merkel scolded Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: "You haven't made a single step to advance peace."
Page 20 of 33« First...10...1819202122...30...Last »
Editors' Picks
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.
Digging Tiberias Matti Friedman, Times of Israel. Long beloved of archeologists but overshadowed by more famous sites, the ancient metropolis of Tiberias is finally emerging from underneath soil, rubble, and the remnants of an old garbage dump.
Paupers' Cemetery Nadav Shragai, Israel Hayom. For over a century, the Sambusky Cemetery on Mount Zion has been looted for masonry and covered with garbage. But now plans are afoot to restore it and properly commemorate its dead.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Abdullah's Apartheid Mudar Zahran, Jerusalem Post. Why Jordan's king is worried about the Arab Spring making its way to his doorstep.