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Modern Times

Terror in the Shadow of the Holocaust Terror in the Shadow of the Holocaust
Friday, February 10, 2012 by Sohrab Ahmari | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

For most people, "Mykonos" evokes sunny holidays on the Greek coast. But for the Iranian diaspora, the word is a warning that the murderous arm of the Islamic Republic can reach Iranian immigrants even when they find new homes in the democratic West.
In God They Trust? In God They Trust?
Thursday, February 9, 2012 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Stick an average alumnus of the Israeli public school system into a synagogue during morning prayers, and chances are they would be bewildered. Even if they could recollect an arid Bible class they had to endure long ago, what good would it do them? They'd still be lost.
From New Year to Arbor Day From New Year to Arbor Day
Wednesday, February 8, 2012 by Moshe Sokolow | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The holiday of Tu Bishvat ("the fifteenth of Shvat") falls this year on Wednesday, February 8. What are its origins, and when and why did it become incorporated into the calendar as the Jewish "Arbor Day"?
Toward an Archeology of Hell Toward an Archeology of Hell
Tuesday, February 7, 2012 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Remembrance is a contradictory imperative. Respectful preservation of the past, especially the remains of those who have gone before us, stands at odds with the need to understand the same past, especially through means like archeology.
The Dangerous Mr. Nelson The Dangerous Mr. Nelson
Monday, February 6, 2012 by Diana Muir Appelbaum | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Eric Nelson is a danger to academia. You would not think so from his background. He is the Frederick S. Danziger Associate Professor of Government at Harvard University. He has had a proper education, at Harvard and Trinity College, Cambridge.
The Pale God The Pale God
Friday, February 3, 2012 by Aryeh Tepper | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Imagine God not as a benign force infusing the universe with love and sustaining it with mercy, and not as a stern judge smiting sinners from on high with his cosmic zap-gun, but as a grandfatherly figure, kind but, truth be told, somewhat out of it, sitting in a corner, tolerant of the various paths his children have chosen.
Hear, O Friends of Israel Hear, O Friends of Israel
Thursday, February 2, 2012 by Daniel Johnson | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In 1987, exactly a quarter-century ago, the appearance of a work of Jewish history caused a stir. For one thing, the author was not Jewish; for another, the book was unashamedly supportive of the State of Israel, which even then was enough to provoke hostility, especially on the Left.
Bloomsbury’s Rabbi Bloomsbury’s Rabbi
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 by Matthew Ackerman | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

A translator stands between two languages and between the two worlds that the languages represent. If he does his job well, he may belong in neither place. Such was the fate of Samuel Koteliansky, an emigré Russian Jew who translated Chekhov, befriended D.H. Lawrence and Katherine Mansfield, and circulated on the fringes of the Bloomsbury group.
Rematch! Rematch!
Monday, January 30, 2012 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

London—Europe's biggest city, with 5.8 million eligible voters—goes to the polls on May 3rd to elect a mayor. Like any big city mayoral campaign, the contest will revolve mainly around local issues. But the race also has the potential to return a vitriolic anti-Zionist to City Hall.
Whose Holocaust? Whose Holocaust?
Friday, January 27, 2012 by Margot Lurie | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

For much of Europe, today is the UN-designated International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has dedicated his address this year to children murdered by the Nazis, with the message that "the best tribute to the memory of these children is an ongoing effort to teach the universal lessons of the Holocaust, so that no such horror is visited upon future generations."
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Editors' Picks
The Refugee Question Ruth Lapidoth, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. The plight of the Palestinian refugees raises at least three legal questions: Who is considered a refugee? Do these refugees have a right to return to Israel? Do they have a right to compensation? (2002)
Body Language Arika Okrent, Lapham's Quarterly. Jews tended to use one hand, Italians both. Italians touched their own bodies, Jews touched the bodies of their conversational partners. But as Jews and Italians became American, so did their gestures.
Campaign for Relegitimization Joel Fishman, Israel Council on Foreign Relations. It is no longer enough for Israel to proclaim that it seeks peace. Although it is unfashionable to speak in such terms, we are also engaged in a religious war. (PDF)
Sally Priesand and the Reality Principle Michele Alperin, JNS. Forty years ago, the first woman rabbi intended to get married and have children, and planned to have a nursery next to her synagogue office. Reality turned out to be different.
Black Hats and Cassocks Avi Shafran, Jewish Week. Prudent, measured insularity is not asceticism, and Haredim aren't monks.
A Serious Man Joseph Epstein, New Criterion. One day Hilton Kramer appeared to drop off his copy in person at the New Leader offices. The editor asked him if he knew anyone who was looking for a job. "Actually, I do," he said. "Me."
The Revolutionary Imperative and the Non-Jewish Jew Colin Shindler, Jewish Chronicle. The Balfour Declaration and the October Revolution happened within days of each other. Which path were Jews with a social conscience to follow?
American Hebrew Poetry? Jerome Chanes, Forward. One of the best-kept secrets of Jewish American history is the creation of an indigenous Hebrew poetry in the first half of the 20th century.
Forward! Seth Lipsky, Daily Beast. Obama is getting razzed for the hard-Left associations of his new campaign slogan. But the newspaper that made the name "Forward" famous may have been the most anti-Communist in U.S. history.
The First Book Maurice Sendak Ever Illustrated Peter D. Sieruta, Collecting Children's Books. The co-author of Atomics for the Millions asked one of his high school students if he would illustrate the volume. The student agreed to do the artwork in exchange for $100 and a passing grade.