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Arts & Culture

No Room in Zion? No Room in Zion?
Thursday, July 28, 2011 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Tent camps are appearing across Israel in protest over the high cost of housing. The high cost of everything in Israel (recall the cottage cheese boycott earlier this year) has led to widespread economic and social dissatisfaction, with otherwise serious commentators making overheated analogies to Tahrir Square and the Arab Spring.
Minorities in the IDF Minorities in the IDF
Wednesday, July 27, 2011 by Aryeh Tepper | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Recently, while driving by the Israeli settlement of Nokdim (where Avigdor Lieberman lives), I picked up a hitchhiking soldier. We started chatting, and I asked the soldier his name. "Mustafa," he said. "You're a Muslim?" I asked. "Yes," he answered, "from Haifa."
The New Biblical Archeology The New Biblical Archeology
Monday, July 25, 2011 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Every summer, the Israel Antiquities Authority holds a reception for foreign archeological teams excavating in Israel. This year's reception was attended by over 200 archeologists, who are investigating sites ranging in age from the Paleolithic through Islamic periods.
The Loyalties of the Sephardim The Loyalties of the Sephardim
Friday, July 22, 2011 by Aryeh Tepper | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In a recent Haaretz column, Gideon Levy, the radical leftist polemicist, sounded the warning that Israel's religious Zionists—"the knitted skullcaps"—have joined hands with the ultra-Orthodox and the Sephardim to form "a united tribe of zealots."
Meet Sholem Aleichem Meet Sholem Aleichem
Tuesday, July 19, 2011 by Nahma Sandrow | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In the 1880's, the Ukrainian Jew Solomon Rabinowitz began his literary career under an assumed name—assumed because he was writing in Yiddish, rather than a respectable language such as Hebrew or Russian. The pseudonym he chose was Sholem Aleichem.
David Mamet’s Homecoming David Mamet’s Homecoming
Monday, July 18, 2011 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

A new book by the playwright, director, and author David Mamet is by definition a significant literary event—but to judge from its critical reception, The Secret Knowledge is not only a bad book but possibly an evil one. Why such heat?
A Tale of Two Nation-States A Tale of Two Nation-States
Friday, July 15, 2011 by Diana Muir Appelbaum | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

What made Greece, long a pro-Arab country with a history of anti-Semitism and a notoriously soft line on terrorism, stop political activists from sailing a flotilla to Gaza? What led Greece to rush fire-fighting helicopters to the Mt. Carmel fire?
Through Soviet Jewish Eyes Through Soviet Jewish Eyes
Wednesday, July 13, 2011 by William Meyers | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

It is never not depressing: Any tale from the Soviet Union has to be depressing, whether it is conceived of as grotesque folly or simple tragedy, and if Jews are involved, all the more so. Jews are implicated in the creation of the Soviet Union, as its ardent supporters, and, inevitably, as victims of its apparatus of repression.
Imaginary Vampires, Imagined Jews Imaginary Vampires, Imagined Jews
Monday, July 11, 2011 by Allan Nadler | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

1897 was a watershed year in Jewish history. And now, Jewish historians may consider adding a surprising entry to the list of that year's events that proved so repercussive in Jewish history: the publication of Bram Stoker's Dracula.
A Two-Day Weekend in Israel? A Two-Day Weekend in Israel?
Friday, July 8, 2011 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

With July 4th behind them, Americans can look forward to closing out the summer season with Labor Day on September 5th. All told, they will enjoy ten national holidays. And, of course, they have the leisure of weekends.
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Editors' Picks
Who Killed Hebrew in America? Cynthia Ozick, New Republic. Who could have foretold an eruption of Hebrew-generative genius on the American continent—which, having no offspring, then came to nothing?
"Rabbi, do we Jews believe in reincarnation?" Hyim Shafner, Institute for Jewish Ideas. "Knowing full well that much of Kabbalah, philosophy, and even Midrash does accept the notion of reincarnation, I tried to muster a definitive 'No!'"  
Return to Vienna Lisa Silverman, H-Net. Jews who grew up in cosmopolitan pre-war Vienna came back after the war to find themselves strangers at home. Yet Austria's capital still fascinates Jewish writers.               
Romancing the Rosenbergs Alex Joffe, Jewish Ideas Daily. When it comes to anti-American spies like Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, executed fifty-nine years ago today, technical guilt may now be acknowledged but, for the most part, moral guilt is not.
Memories of the Machalniks Andrew Esensten, Haaretz. Praised by Ben-Gurion as the Diaspora's most important contribution to the nascent state, the overseas volunteers in the War of Independence finally have an exhibit in their honor.
Can a Small Country Have a Big Heart? Shmuel Rosner, New York Times. Searches and arrests, erecting of border fences, bolstering of guard units, kicking out poor migrants—all these scenes will now become a chapter in Jewish history. Israel has no other choice.
Johnny Cash's Christian Zionism David Brinn, Jerusalem Post. June Carter Cash "had a dream in which Johnny was preaching to the multitudes at the Sea of Galilee, and she was intent on seeing him do it for real."
Mayim Mayim Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria. Fact sheet on water in the West Bank: accessibility, contamination, sustainability, and how the joint resource is being managed between Israelis and Palestinians. (PDF)
S/Z Benjamin Ivry, Forward. Was Stefan Zweig's habit of sending each of his new books to Sigmund Freud an amicable gesture or an invitation to diagnose and cure?
Our Maronite Minority Eli Balshan, Times of Israel. Inspired in part by Eliezer Ben Yehuda, two Maronite brothers have taken it upon themselves to revitalize their ancestral Aramaic into a modern, living language.