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People & Places

Aquarius in Zion Aquarius in Zion
Thursday, May 17, 2012 by Yehudah Mirsky | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In the great crazy quilt of Israeli religious and spiritual life, the cluster of ideas and practices called "New Age" (in Hebrew, 'Idan Hadash) is increasingly visible. Love it or hate it, it's around, in books, festivals, newspapers, the pronouncements of tycoons, and growing networks of popular Kabbalah.
Labor Pains Labor Pains
Wednesday, May 16, 2012 by Ben Cohen | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

If Ed Miliband, leader of Britain's Labor Party, emerges victorious from the country's next general election, he will become the first Jewish Prime Minister to inhabit Number 10 Downing Street since Benjamin Disraeli renovated the innards of that venerable residence in 1877.
The Moral Costs of Jewish Day School The Moral Costs of Jewish Day School
Monday, May 14, 2012 by Aryeh Klapper | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

There is a lot of hand-wringing these days about whether the rising costs of Jewish day schools are sustainable. The discussion has been about money: How can we get more? How can we spend less? These questions miss the point.
Sendak’s Chelm Sendak’s Chelm
Friday, May 11, 2012 by Isaac Bashevis Singer and Maurice Sendak | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

After the publication of Where the Wild Things Are established Maurice Sendak as a force to be reckoned with in children's literature, he had the opportunity to illustrate Isaac Bashevis Singer's first children's book, Zlateh the Goat and Other Stories.
The Case of American Religious Zionism The Case of American Religious Zionism
Thursday, May 10, 2012 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Few things divide and provoke American Jews like the question of Zionism. Though many wish to remember otherwise, this was also the case before the founding of Israel in 1948.
Gershom Scholem, 30 Years On Gershom Scholem, 30 Years On
Tuesday, May 8, 2012 by Yehudah Mirsky | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Thirty years after his death at age 84, Gershom Scholem casts a long shadow. The field he created, the modern study of Jewish mysticism, has grown beyond him, yet his work remains the indispensable foundation.
Our Zoroastrian Moment Our Zoroastrian Moment
Monday, May 7, 2012 by Shai Secunda | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The great contemporary scholar of religion Jonathan Z. Smith once remarked that the omnipresent substructure of human thought lies in the human capacity to make comparisons. In ancient Sumer, scribes crafted intricate similes.
Mumbai Wedding Mumbai Wedding
Friday, May 4, 2012 by Joseph Mayton | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

As the afternoon sun hit its peak, Haran and I pulled up to his small one-and-a-half-bedroom flat on the outskirts of East Mumbai, India, some 20 minutes from the airport. The building's shiny tin roof showed that money was in short supply. But inside the apartment, with Indian hospitality, Haran's wife Geeta served me perfectly spiced hot tea.
A Vote Not Cast A Vote Not Cast
Thursday, May 3, 2012 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

When my Labor Zionist cousins made aliyah from New York City in the 1950s to an agricultural moshav outside Raanana they cast off comfort, kin, and familiarity for the yoke of pioneering Zionism. It was inevitable that they'd lose touch with the Brooklyn Dodgers, Joe DiMaggio's love life, and the fate of the Third Avenue El.
Songs and Psalms Songs and Psalms
Wednesday, May 2, 2012 by Aryeh Tepper | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

After 17 years in Israel, our family has temporarily relocated to Brooklyn. For a week after we arrived, our pious Jewish neighbors ignored us. Then, on Shabbat, three of them finally approached us, one after another—to tell us that the neighborhood eruv we were using really didn't exist and that we were profaning the Sabbath.
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Editors' Picks
Don’t Know Much ’bout Orthodoxy Yair Rosenberg, Tablet. New York media think an Orthodox woman running for political office is an anomaly among females who are cloistered, uneducated, and subservient. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
The Biggest Jewish Genetic Myths Sala Levin, Moment. Ashkenazi Jews are not real Jews; Jews live longer than others; Jews have more red hair than the Irish; we all descend from Eve: only one of these statements is true.
Inquisition Tourism Hilary Larson, Jewish Week. Five hundred years after the expulsion of Jews, and twenty since their official readmittance, scarcely any Jews live in Spain today. But a new tourist campaign hopes at least to bring them back on vacation.
A Martyr’s Death for Arafat? Alex Fishman, YNet. Despite the most recent conspiracy theory, Fatah’s old guard has much greater reason to claim that Yasser Arafat was poisoned than Israel ever had to assassinate him.
Attacking Israel Online Ben Cohen, Commentary. Ironically, charting both the writings and the career trajectories of devoted anti-Zionists makes a uniquely strong case for the continued existence and protection of the Jewish state.
A Forgotten Hero Brad Hart, American Revolution Blog. Francis Salvador is remembered only as the first Jew to be killed in the Revolutionary War. But as a wealthy English Jew who became a patriotic American democrat, he epitomized the American dream.   
Roosevelt’s Religion Andrew Preston, Boston Globe. For conservatives, the Judeo-Christian tradition is the ancient basis of the Western world—while for liberals, it’s a conservative myth. But if there is such a tradition, it was created by a liberal president.
The Jewish Pioneers Pamela R. Winnick, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. While Jews were tolerated in the New World, they were hardly made welcome by the Protestant majority—until they played a military and, more importantly, a financial role in the Revolution.
Different, or the Same? Jack Wertheimer, Jewish Ideas Daily. For over a century, American Jews have asserted that America and the Jews are a perfect fit. Is it true?
The Wolf Lies Down with Islam Barry Rubin, Rubin Report. If Obama owes his critical attitude toward Israel to Rabbi Arnold Wolf, his sometime friend in Chicago, why didn’t the president pay any attention to Wolf’s reflections on the Islamic world?