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Modern Times

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.
Orthosexuality Orthosexuality
Monday, December 19, 2011 by Elli Fischer | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The Talmud tells a story about one Rabbi Kahana who hid under the bed of his master, Rabbi Abba (better known as Rav), as the latter was having sex with his wife. Kahana, shocked at the type of frivolous language used by his mentor, commented that Rav was behaving ravenously.
The Stoic Vision of Ludwig Blum The Stoic Vision of Ludwig Blum
Thursday, December 15, 2011 by Aryeh Tepper | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Sometimes an artist is more popular with the public than with critics and fellow artists because the artist appeals to a popular taste that is simply unrefined.  Sometimes, though, the public is on to something that the cultural elites miss.
Newt and the Palestinians Newt and the Palestinians
Tuesday, December 13, 2011 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

It was almost inevitable: Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has lobbed a grenade into the Republican nomination race, and the subject is Israel.
Returning to Pearl Harbor Returning to Pearl Harbor
Wednesday, December 7, 2011 by Micah Stein | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

On Sunday, December 7, 1941, Vernon Olsen was a 21-year-old seaman assigned to mess hall duty aboard the USS Arizona, a battleship moored in the calm waters of Pearl Harbor.  At 7:55 that morning, the ship's air raid alarm sounded.
From Bucharest to Jerusalem From Bucharest to Jerusalem
Friday, December 2, 2011 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The cabinet of Romania headed by Prime Minister Emil Boc came to Jerusalem on November 24 to hold a joint session with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government. Boc spoke eloquently of the two countries' common security concerns and shared views on peace and security.
Look for the Union Label Look for the Union Label
Thursday, December 1, 2011 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

With the din from the Occupy Wall Street encampments fading in the early winter chill, it's time to step back and consider the phenomenon as part of the broader history of the anti-capitalist struggle in America.
Jews and Black Baseball Jews and Black Baseball
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 by Michael Carasik | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Prague has its Altneuschul and Rabbi Judah Loewe, who created the original Golem; Worms has its Raschi-Haus, where the great medieval scholar is said to have studied. And in America, St. Paul, Minnesota has its Temple of Aaron.
Is Judaism a Religion? Is Judaism a Religion?
Tuesday, November 29, 2011 by Lawrence Grossman | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

There is no end to the conundrums involved in defining what it means to be a Jew. Must a Jew be someone who believes in the Jewish religion, in the way a Christian believes in Christianity or a Muslim in Islam?  That can't be the case, since many devoted Jews are atheists.
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." 
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Editors' Picks
Hail to the Chief? Dianna Cahn, JTA. Now that modern-day Judaism is losing ground as a uniform community in Britain, many are asking whether the chief rabbi can—or should—continue to try to unite Jewry under a single umbrella.
Blurring the Line Raymond Ibrahim, Middle East Forum. How does the media whitewash Muslim persecution of Christians? One way is to evoke "sectarian strife," a phrase that conjures images of two equally matched adversaries fighting.
Calibrating Darkness Henry Tylbor, Jewish Ideas Daily. In the Warsaw Ghetto, a youngster watches, hears, and mentally records the sights, sounds, and sensations of encroaching murder.
Hitler and Pharaoh Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe. The nexus of Passover and Yom Hashoah teaches a single lesson—that persecution of Jews was preceded by the persecutors' sense of victimhood.
Haredim in the Holocaust Meir Wikler, Haaretz. While Yad Vashem downplays the experiences of the religious in the Shoah, Haredim have authored their own books and are building their own museums to teach their children and to memorialize the slain.
Chasing Death Adam Kirsch, Jewish Review of Books. To some people, the thought of death is melancholy and enervating; to others, it is a provocation to seize the day. Claude Lanzmann, the director of Shoah, definitely falls into the second category.
A “Holocaust Complex”? Yair Sheleg, Haaretz. It is not only the Israeli Right that was traumatized by the Holocaust and thus views the world with apprehension. The Israeli peace camp also has a distorted view of the world due to that very same trauma.
A Fatwa against Nuclear Arms? Tariq Alhomayed, Asharq Al-Awsat. After three decades of Iran's using religion, sectarianism, and even the Palestinian cause for its own ends, are we really expected to trust Tehran on the basis of . . . a religious fatwa?
The Titanic's Kosher Meal Marshall Weiss, JTA. The availability of kosher food on the Titanic sheds light on England's role as a transit point for Eastern European Jews on the way to America.
Abba Eban The Mike Wallace Interview. Arnold Toynbee, says Eban, "takes the massacre of millions of our men, women and children" and "compares it to the plight of Arab refugees alive, on their kindred soil, suffering certain anguish, but of course possessed of the supreme gift of life. This equation . . . is, I think, a distortion of any historic perspective." (Video; 1958)