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

Middle Age & Renaissance


Whither the Alawites Whither the Alawites
Friday, January 20, 2012 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Time does not appear to be on the side of Syria's minority Alawite-led regime. President Bashar Assad has reportedly been offered asylum in Moscow, which wants an orderly transition that will preserve Russian strategic interests. Other stories have Assad and his loyalists preparing mountain strongholds for a last-ditch stand.
Jerusalem’s Ego and Id Jerusalem’s Ego and Id
Thursday, January 19, 2012 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Biography is not the same as history. Biography charts the outer and inner life of a person—character, spirit, morality, emotion, perhaps even soul. History, by contrast, incorporates different narratives and pieces of evidence, seeks out new data, then rises above all the fragments with a synthesis.
The Mughrabi Bridge to Nowhere The Mughrabi Bridge to Nowhere
Tuesday, January 3, 2012 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

From the southern end of the plaza in front of Jerusalem's Western Wall, a temporary wooden bridge ascends eastward to the Mughrabi Gate, the only one of the 11 gates into the Temple Mount area that is accessible to non-Muslims.
Highlights of 2011:<br />Part II Highlights of 2011:
Part II

Friday, December 30, 2011 | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Part II of our round-up of the past year's most popular features on Jewish Ideas Daily. (Part I is here.)
The First War of National Liberation The First War of National Liberation
Wednesday, December 21, 2011 by Diana Muir Appelbaum | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

This is the 2,179th anniversary of the world's first war of national liberation. There have been many since. To a surprising extent, such wars have followed the pattern first established by the Maccabees. They, like later heads of independence movements, were leaders of a people conquered and occupied by a great empire.
Thanksgiving: A Jewish Holiday After All Thanksgiving: A Jewish Holiday After All
Wednesday, November 23, 2011 by Moshe Sokolow | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In 1789, President George Washington issued a proclamation recommending that Thursday November 26th of that year be devoted "to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be." 
The Holy Land of England The Holy Land of England
Thursday, November 10, 2011 by Liam Hoare | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The King James Bible, along with the Book of Common Prayer, Shakespeare, and Milton, transformed the English language, introducing a vibrant lexicon that is used to this day.  It also fused biblical mythology with concepts of English national identity.
British Philo-Semitism, Once and Future British Philo-Semitism, Once and Future
Thursday, November 3, 2011 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Anyone who has even a passing familiarity with public discourse about Jews in today's United Kingdom can be forgiven for viewing the term "British philo-Semitism" as an oxymoron.
The Genesis of Modern Science The Genesis of Modern Science
Tuesday, October 18, 2011 by David Curzon | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Descartes, Newton, and the other founders of modern science were all believers in the truths of the opening chapter in the Hebrew Bible.
All These Vows All These Vows
Friday, October 7, 2011 by Lawrence Grossman | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

No one knows for sure how Kol Nidrei originated. It is by far the best-known Yom Kippur prayer, but in fact it is neither a prayer nor actually recited on Yom Kippur. Rabbis have never liked it.
Page 2 of 41234
Editors' Picks
Proxy War Jonathan Schanzer, Foreign Policy. Although Israelis have come to expect rocket attacks from Gaza, this time the perpetrators are not Hamas agents but Iranian proxies. And however the conflict develops, Tehran will come out on top.
Settling a Legacy Chaim Levinson, Yair Ettinger, Haaretz. As the settler movement is divided over whether to follow Zvi Yehuda Kook's theoretical refusal to cede land or his practical compromises, the young are gradually deserting religious Zionism for Hasidism.
Descendants of David Nadine Epstein, Moment. From the Baal Shem Tov to the Imperial Solomonic Dynasty of Ethiopia, many have claimed descent from King David. And according to Davidic genealogists, all of them are right.
Hester Panim? Daniel Pipes, DanielPipes.org. Jerusalem in the Qur'an is a 142-page text—but Jerusalem is nowhere to be found in the Koran.
Raising Cane Benjamin of Tudela, Mostly Kosher. How did the story of a debtor hiding gold inside a walking cane (both to deceive his creditor and to avoid technically lying under oath) make its way from the Talmud to Don Quixote?
Rhetorical Record Dan Senor, Wall Street Journal. Obama claims to have done more for Israel's security than any previous president, but his record, along with the discontent it has provoked within the Democratic party, tells a different story.
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.
Disjecta Membra Benjamin Balint, Los Angeles Review of Books. Not for nothing was the Cairo Genizah called "the Living Sea Scrolls": its discoverers revolutionized the study of Mediterranean Jewish life at the very moment that it was drawing to a close.
Restrictions on the Reformation Dean Phillip Bell, H-Net. The Hebraism which permeated the Reformation did not necessarily translate into increased tolerance of Jews.
Our Ethiopian Brothers Elad Uzan, Jerusalem Post. Why haven't Israelis come to the aid of Ethiopian Jews, as they have for African non-Jews?