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History


The Unseen Shield The Unseen Shield
Tuesday, April 3, 2012 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The news report hardly makes an impression on most Israelis: another West Bank checkpoint search, another discovery of explosives and weapons, and the familiar finale: "The suspect was taken in for questioning by the Shin Bet."
Peter Beinart, I Quit. Peter Beinart, I Quit.
Monday, April 2, 2012 by Yoel Finkelman | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Peter Beinart's new blog on the Daily Beast titled Open Zion (formerly Zion Square) is dedicated to an "open and unafraid conversation about Israel, Palestine, and the Jewish future."  But after several weeks of Open Zion, one writer has concluded that its conversation is not, in fact, open—and is not one in which he can continue to take part. Here, he resigns his position. 
Is Football Treyf? Is Football Treyf?
Friday, March 30, 2012 by Micah Stein | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The Israeli Football League—American football, not soccer—is a curiosity. For starters, it's popular: While the sport has mostly flopped overseas, the IFL has an invested fan base and committed, reasonably talented players.
Art against History Art against History
Thursday, March 29, 2012 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Antiquity washes away the immediacy of historical pain and injustice.  Our ability to feel suffering is indexed directly to its epoch: the more remote, the more detached we are. Museums play on this—pander to this—and to our forgetfulness. History is softened, elided, or erased.
Make Yourself a Teacher Make Yourself a Teacher
Tuesday, March 27, 2012 by Yehudah Mirsky | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The meanings of "Torah" are inexhaustible, but its plainest sense is "teaching." It does not exist apart from being communicated. That circulation between human beings, and between humans and God, both gives Torah life and teaches us that Torah itself teaches life.
Scholarship and Anti-Semitism at Yale Scholarship and Anti-Semitism at Yale
Monday, March 26, 2012 by Ben Cohen | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Almost a year has passed since Yale University shuttered the five-year-old Yale Interdisciplinary Initiative for the Study of Anti-Semitism, known by the unwieldy acronym "YIISA," and replaced it with the Yale Program for the Study of Anti-Semitism, or "YPSA."
Ardor, or Architecture Ardor, or Architecture
Friday, March 23, 2012 | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

A look inside three of the twentieth century's most interesting careers in architecture: the world-renowned Israeli Moshe Safdie, on the verge of shutting down the office he opened in Jerusalem in 1970; the Polish-born, polarizing Daniel Libeskind, now at work on rebuilding New York's World Trade Center; and the mythic postwar master Louis Kahn.
Varieties of Post-Religious Experience Varieties of Post-Religious Experience
Wednesday, March 21, 2012 by Yehudah Mirsky | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Israel is, on top of everything else, a gigantic open-air laboratory for experiments in Judaism and Jewish identity, mixing and matching old and new forms, deliberately and on the fly. One of the more interesting recent specimens is Religiozionisticus Postreligious.
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.
The Butcher and the Surgeon The Butcher and the Surgeon
Monday, March 12, 2012 by Micah D. Halpern | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

They call Bashar al-Assad "son of the butcher," but he is merely a butcher twice removed. The original butcher of Syria was Abul Abbas al-Saffah, the last appellation meaning "shedder of blood." 
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Editors' Picks
Bild-ing Zion Igal Avidan, Times of Israel. A new Frankfurt exhibition asks, why did Axel Springer, Christian publisher of the German newspaper Bild, openly take sides with the Jewish people after World War II?    
A Jewish Esperanto? Philologos, Forward. According to two encyclopedias, out of an estimated 16 million Jews in the world in 1939, 11 million were Yiddish speakers. But that figure doesn't stand up to closer inspection.
Missing Mubarak Jacky Hougy, Globes. As Egypt passes sentence on Mubarak, some in Israel are mourning an ally. But Mubarak was no friend of Israel—and the military dictatorship which he led still holds the levers of power.
Not Just Peace Barry Gewen, New Republic. Citing various instances of individual reconciliation, a new book questions the so-called clash of civilizations between Islam and the West. But personal anecdotes are no guide to statecraft.
The Negev's “First People”? Havatzelet Yahel, Ruth Kark, Seth J. Frantzman, Middle East Quarterly. The Bedouin may be a poor and marginal sector of Israeli society, but this does not transform them into an indigenous nation.
The Other Olympics David E. Sanger, New York Times. The U.S. cyberwarfare program (likely working with an Israeli partner) has frustrated Iran's nuclear project for six years. But now that the virus is loose, America must be braced for retaliation.     
What is the Oldest Known Hebrew Inscription? Biblical Archaeology Society. Four contenders emerge, but the question is not so simple.
Defender of the Faiths Jonathan Sacks, London Times. While committed to defending the Anglican faith, Queen Elizabeth II has also played a significant role in the transformation of Britain into a multi-ethnic, multi-faith society.
Good Queen Bless Jonathan Fishburn, Fishburn Books. While Jews have long prayed for the welfare of their rulers, the upcoming Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II calls for special liturgical compositions. (PDF)
Non-Arab Spring Emanuele Ottolenghi, Times of Israel. Analytic focus on the Arabs misses the real beneficiaries of the ongoing Middle Eastern revolutions: the non-Arab minorities who have gained autonomy and, in some cases, even statehood.