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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.
AIPAC and the Politics of Reaffirmation AIPAC and the Politics of Reaffirmation
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Politics is a matter of emotions as much as intellect, and rituals and ceremonies are central. The annual AIPAC policy conference in Washington, D.C. is, perhaps above all, a ceremony of reaffirmation of the relationships among American Jews, non-Jewish Americans, the American state, and Israel.
Old-New Leonard Old-New Leonard
Friday, March 9, 2012 by Peodair Leihy | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

After 60 years of publishing and recording, seventysomething Leonard Cohen has something else to say; and, lo and behold, the "Camp"—the Bergen-Belsen of the remembered newsreels of his childhood—comes up. He also gets the "Eye"—Jerusalem's Eye of the Needle—in there, a Jewish metaphor from the Talmud and the New Testament.
Hitting the Jackpot Hitting the Jackpot
Thursday, March 8, 2012 by Micah Stein | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Who doesn't like Purim? Besides the costumes and candy, the story itself has all the politics, sex, and violence of a juicy HBO series. In case you missed it: "Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had plotted to destroy the Jews, and had cast a pur—that is, a lottery—with intent to crush and exterminate them."
Cyrus, Ahmadinejad, and the Politics of Purim Cyrus, Ahmadinejad, and the Politics of Purim
Wednesday, March 7, 2012 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

At this week's pre-Purim meeting in Washington between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu to discuss Iran's nuclear threat to Israel, Netanyahu gave Obama a present: the book (or m'gilah, scroll) of Esther, which tells how the Jewish heroine foiled Haman's plot to kill the Jews of ancient Persia.
A Convenient Hatred A Convenient Hatred
Tuesday, March 6, 2012 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

With some 1,000 books currently in print on the subject, does the world desperately need another tome on anti-Semitism? What difference will it make, when anti-Israelism provides only the latest justification for Europe's persistent prejudice against Jews and anti-Semitic views are shared by 15 percent of Americans and 90 percent of Muslims worldwide?
Jews, Damned Jews, and Sociologists Jews, Damned Jews, and Sociologists
Thursday, March 1, 2012 by Yehudah Mirsky | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

What is this thing called Jewishness? What does it look like? What are its boundaries? Even the most neutral-sounding answer reflects some position on one side or the other of the crazy-quilt of conflicts that have defined and continue to define Jewish life over the last 200 years.
Gertrude Stein, Fascist? Gertrude Stein, Fascist?
Wednesday, February 29, 2012 by Eitan Kensky | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Does it say something that the most indelible portraits of Gertrude Stein come from the outside? Or, to frame the question a different way: what does it say when our most lasting impressions of a writer are based not on her words, but on the visions and appropriations of others?
Jazz, <i>Piyyut</i>, and Jewish Identity Jazz, Piyyut, and Jewish Identity
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 by Omer Avital and Aryeh Tepper | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The Israeli-born, New York-based Omer Avital is both a world-class jazz musician and a master of classical Arabic music. He recently visited the Tikvah Fund, oud in hand, for an evening of music and free-flowing discussion about jazz, piyyut [liturgical verse], and Jewish identity.
BDS Secrets BDS Secrets
Friday, February 24, 2012 by Ran Baratz | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Ubiquitous anti-Israel activist Norman Finkelstein stirred up the blogosphere last week. In a YouTube interview with pro-Palestinian advocate Frank Barat, Finkelstein said that members of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS) care less for human rights than they do for Israel's destruction.
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Editors' Picks
A Conservative Catechism Diane Cole, Jewish Week. Ten years in the making, the Conservative movement's Observant Life covers halakhah, ethics, and thorny modern issues. Will it resonate with the youth it obviously wishes to court?
The Future Belongs to Religious Conservatives Eric Kaufmann, American. The Jewish example shows that population change can reverse secularism and shift society's center of gravity in a conservative religious direction. It's happening in the U.S.
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.
Anti-Fascist Warrior-Hairdresser Tiffany Gabbay, Blaze. From a Sephardic orphanage to the Haganah to the hair salon, Vidal Sassoon, who died yesterday at age 84, lived a life worth celebrating. (Read an interview with Sassoon here.)
Murder is My Business Elizabeth Greenwood, Guernica. Weegee lived opposite NYPD headquarters, and slept most of the day, rising at night to pack flashbulbs into the trunk of his '38 Chevy and prowl the streets looking for bloodstained sidewalks to photograph.
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.
The Reality of Race Jon Entine, Forward. Historical analysis now depends not only on pottery shards, flaking manuscripts, and faded coins, but on something far less ambiguous: DNA. And the study of Jewish DNA yields some surprising findings.
TV and the War on Terror Tom Streithorst, Prospect. Homeland is a hit not only with the press but with the president—though unlike the Israeli show on which it is based, it doesn't have a clue about terrorism, national security, Iraq, or the CIA.
Is There Such a Thing as Jewish Fiction? , Moment. Howard Jacobson, Geraldine Brooks, A.B. Yehoshua, Shalom Auslander, Walter Mosley, Etgar Keret, André Aciman, Nathan Englander, Nadia Kalman, and others answer.
When Stalinism Was in Vogue Michael Moynihan, Wall Street Journal. Playwright Lillian Hellman disdained a system that made her fabulously rich while romanticizing one that made its citizens spectacularly poor.