Jewish Ideas Daily has been succeeded and re-launched as Mosaic. Read more...

The Islamic World

The Persian Talmud The Persian Talmud
Tuesday, November 2, 2010 by Yehudah Mirsky | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

A recent gathering of scholars who have been intensely researching the buried treasures of "Irano-Judaica," together with the release of a volume titled The Talmud in its Iranian Context, underscores one of the most exciting developments in Jewish studies: the effort to put the "Babylonia" back into the Babylonian Talmud.
Under Islam Under Islam
Thursday, October 21, 2010 by Aryeh Tepper | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In the two decades following the establishment of the state of Israel, approximately 850,000 Jews were forcibly driven out of Arab lands. Their expulsion marked the beginning of the end of 2,500 years of Jewish life in North Africa, the greater Middle East, and the Persian Gulf. Until recently, their story has been largely unrecognized and untold in the English-speaking world.
Mr. Abbas, Tear Down This Wall! Mr. Abbas, Tear Down This Wall!
Tuesday, September 28, 2010 by Sol Stern | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

While the world's headlines focus with exaggerated alarm on Israel's lifting of its ten-month building freeze within Jewish West Bank settlements, an issue of far greater moment for the prospects of peace in the Middle East goes determinedly unaddressed. This is the matter of the "right of return" of Palestinian refugees—a subject on which the Obama administration, a fierce promoter of the building freeze, has been strikingly silent.
It Sounds Better in Amharic It Sounds Better in Amharic
Thursday, August 26, 2010 by Aryeh Tepper | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In his one-man play, It Sounds Better in Amharic, the Ethiopian-born Israeli actor Yossi Vassa humorously contrasts life in the old world and the new, mulling over the differences between traditional and modern ways of dating and the respective virtues of traveling by donkey or Lamborghini. He also narrates his family's 400-mile journey from Ethiopia to Sudan—from where, in 1984, the Israeli air force flew 8,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel. Vassa's family covered the 400 miles on foot, in three months. "Not to brag," he comments, "but it took the children of Israel 40 years."
Yehuda Halevi Yehuda Halevi
Monday, February 22, 2010 | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

How golden was the Jewish "Golden Age" of Spain: roughly, the 10th–11th centuries C.E.? In the era's once-popular reputation for Muslim-Christian-Jewish tolerance and coexistence (convivencia), it is increasingly easy to see an overused and overstated fiction; more and more, scholarship reveals just how conflicted a time it was, and how conditional was the "tolerance" extended to minority communities. Still, for Jews as for others it truly was a period of amazing cultural creativity and accomplishment, all the more astonishing in light of convivencia's constraints. Under Muslim rule, the most innovative Jewish achievements lay in the realms of poetry and philosophy. Standing at the summit of both,...
Mediterranean Maimonides Mediterranean Maimonides
Tuesday, January 26, 2010 | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Civilizations come and go. Their greatest surviving creations remain. Such is the case with the work of Maimonides (1135–1204), a towering thinker, known to Jewish tradition as "the Great Eagle," who continues to defy easy characterization. Two new biographies depart from past treatments to situate the thought of this master philosopher within the Arabic civilization of his time, and more generally in the prism of the Mediterranean world. To the late scholar Shlomo Dov Goitein, the Mediterranean was a gracious, cross-cultural society that reached its apotheosis in the person of Maimonides' son Abraham, a Jewish devotee of Sufism. To Maimonides' more recent biographers, it...
Ezekiel’s Tomb Ezekiel’s Tomb
Tuesday, January 19, 2010 | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Twenty-five centuries have passed since exiled Jews first wept for Zion by the waters of Babylon. Today only eight Jews are left in Iraq. Their story is not as well known as that of their European brethren, but in the Babylonian Talmud, for starters, Babylon-Iraq was home to the most influential post-biblical book in Jewish history. That it would become so was due to the Geonim, another extraordinary set of Iraqi rabbis who flourished in early Islamic times and whose most significant figure was Saadya ben Joseph (882/892–942). After the Middle Ages, creativity extended outward as well, with Iraqi Jews founding other...
Page 9 of 9« First...56789
Editors' Picks
What's Under the Bridge Shmuel Rosner, New York Times. The bureaucratic brouhaha over the unsound Mughrabi bridge was really about the attempt by some Muslim leaders to deny Jewish ties to the Temple Mount.
The Jordanian Option Mudar Zahran, Middle East Quarterly. As they watch the rebellions in Egypt, Libya, and Syria unfold, how much longer will the Palestinians in Jordan stand for their mistreatment at the hands of the Hashemite regime?
Getting Iran Wrong Alan Johnson, Jewish Chronicle. Why have intellectuals from Foucault to Žižek found it so very difficult to see dictatorships for what they are, or to summon up the moral clarity to oppose them?
After the Fall Amr Bargisi, Samuel Tadros, Tablet. In the eyes of two Egyptian thinkers, the Tahrir revolution was never democratic or liberal—and it was never in the interests of the middle class.
The Arab Spring and the Islamic State Ed Husain, New York Times. In the recent uprisings, the burning of American or Israeli flags was not a central display; the protesters focused on internal, national problems. That's how they must continue.
The Riddle of the Mufti Norman Goda, H-Net. Haj Amin al-Husseini threw a long shadow as a precursor to the Arab and Muslim factions whose brand of anti-Semitism borrows much from the Western traditions that they otherwise despise.
Why China and Russia Help Iran Richard Weitz, Diplomat. Both countries have diplomatic interests in Iran's continued alienation from the West, and both have benefited economically from the reluctance of Western companies to invest in Iran.
Off the Record Jonathan S. Tobin, Contentions. The Palestinian Authority's UNESCO triumph will not only facilitate its efforts to bypass the peace process, but also its campaign to expunge the Jewish heritage of the West Bank and Jerusalem.
The Case for Intervening in Syria Matthew RJ Brodsky, National Interest. Now that nearly all of the hindrances to American involvement have dissipated, the key to any possible gains in the Arab Spring lies in helping the Syrian uprising succeed.
Hezbollah Waits and Prepares Nicholas Blanford, Wall Street Journal. Even as the Lebanese militant group has evolved into the most formidable non-state military force in the world, its single-minded focus is on the next conflict with Israel.