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The Americas

America the Biblical America the Biblical
Tuesday, January 17, 2012 by Diana Muir Appelbaum | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The Greeks did not invent equality. Socrates, Aristotle, Plato, and the gang famously believed that the rich are different from you and me—not merely because they are shaped by their privileges but because they are actually, literally made of superior stuff.
Among the Literati Among the Literati
Thursday, January 12, 2012 by Erika Dreifus | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Some days, I can't help thinking back 25 years to my high-school French course, which is where I first encountered the concept of the juste milieu—the happy medium—and the difficulty of achieving it. Why is the happy medium so elusive? Why do I more often feel caught betwixt and between or, even among my fellow Jewish-American writers, alone?
Judaism on Steroids Judaism on Steroids
Monday, January 9, 2012 by Micah Stein | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Ryan Braun, the reigning MVP of baseball's National League, is having a rough offseason. On December 12, ESPN reported that Braun had tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug (PED) after a league-mandated drug test revealed elevated levels of testosterone in his system.
The Whole Damn Deal The Whole Damn Deal
Friday, January 6, 2012 by Suzanne Garment | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

On April 2, 1979, President Jimmy Carter recorded in his diary that he had asked Robert S. Strauss to be his Mideast peace negotiator. Strauss answered, "I've never even read the Bible. And I'm a Jew." Observance-wise, Bob Strauss, who spent 50 years as a consummate practitioner of American politics, wasn't much of a Jew.  
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.)
Highlights of 2011:<br />Part I Highlights of 2011:
Part I

Thursday, December 29, 2011 | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

A two-part glimpse back at some of the year's most popular Jewish Ideas Daily features that you might have missed. Here, part I.
The Trouble with Hitchens The Trouble with Hitchens
Friday, December 16, 2011 by Benjamin Kerstein | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

When Christopher Hitchens passed away yesterday at the age of 62, the encomia started pouring in almost immediately. Most of this praise is deserved, as the acumen of Hitchens's muscular criticism and the wit of his ripostes will be with us for a long time to come.
Shtik and Sensibility Shtik and Sensibility
Friday, December 9, 2011 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Theater can challenge preconceptions or play it safe. Relatively Speaking, a set of one-act plays by Ethan Coen, Elaine May, and Woody Allen, rises to the challenge.  The plays are variations on the theme of the Jewish mother, and two are predictable—but one is unusual.
Bittersweet Charity Bittersweet Charity
Thursday, December 8, 2011 by Suzanne Garment | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In a recent issue of Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women's Studies and Gender Issues, Debra Mesch, director of the Women's Philanthropy Institute at Indiana University's Center on Philanthropy, together with colleagues, has published an article called "Does Jewish Philanthropy Differ by Sex and Type of Giving?"
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.
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Editors' Picks
The Holocaust and Atrocity Prevention Nina Shea, National Review. Obama excoriated the Bush administration for failing to speak up about the Armenian genocide, yet he has also remained silent. But official recognition often comes at a high cost.
“Christ at the Checkpoint” Lee Smith, Tablet. A growing movement seeks to align evangelical Christians with the Palestinian cause.
Israel, Where's Your Instagram? Matt Marshall, VentureBeat. Israeli entrepreneurs are hitting base hits all year long but they can't seem to get into the World Series.
And Justice for All Gil Student, Torah Musings. While Shmuly Yanklowitz's writing is uneven and his scholarship is suspect, his activist agenda is built on classical Judaism.
The Carp in the Bathtub Alan Deutschman, Salon. In the Brooklyn of the writer's youth, they didn't know from ahi tuna, but carp made good pets—and great gefilte fish, too.
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)
Henry Kissinger The Mike Wallace Interview. "What is essential," Kissinger says, is to "have some image for the construction of the free world which is based on other motives than simply defending the world against Communism. We must make clear what we are for rather than what we are against." (Video; 1958)
Mortimer Adler The Mike Wallace Interview. "The kind of capitalism I'm talking about is, I would think, even more revolutionary than Communism." (Video; 1958)
George Jessel The Mike Wallace Interview. On the rumor that the comedian might be appointed ambassador to Israel: "I think if they did, I'd make a very good ambassador." (Video; 1957)
The Exodusters Yoram Ettinger, Jewish Press. Three of the Founding Fathers proposed a U.S. seal depicting Moses and the Israelites crossing the Red Sea, with the inscription: "Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God."