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Jews, Communism, and Espionage Jews, Communism, and Espionage
Wednesday, June 29, 2011 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In the history of the American Left, Jews have been disproportionately represented—disproportionately, that is, relative to their share of the American population. At the extremes, they have also been active participants in what has sentimentally been called the "romance" of American Communism.
One Woman Army One Woman Army
Monday, June 27, 2011 by Daniel Johnson | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Andrei Sakharov, the great nuclear physicist and human-rights campaigner, had been dead for two years by the time I came to his Moscow apartment in the early summer of 1991. Elena Bonner, his widow, was there, still defiantly at war with the faceless foe that had slaughtered her family, exiled her and her husband, slandered her Jewish name, and lied about it all.
The Tourist’s Dilemma The Tourist’s Dilemma
Monday, June 20, 2011 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

On the southwest coast of Albania on the Ionian Sea, opposite the Greek island of Corfu, beneath the modern town of Saranda, lies the ancient city of Onchesmos. That ancient city had a synagogue.
The Russian Wave The Russian Wave
Thursday, May 26, 2011 by Yehudah Mirsky | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, some one million Jews have come to Israel from the former Soviet Union (FSU), enlarging the country's population by 25 percent and forming the largest concentration in the world of Russian Jews.  They have left their mark in almost every walk of life. And yet, as a group, they are still something of a mystery.
From the Four Corners From the Four Corners
Tuesday, May 24, 2011 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Are most Jews white? The impression that this is so is partially the result of the calamitous and decimating events of the 20th century, in which the great centers of Europe were lost to Nazi genocide while those of the Middle East and North Africa were lost to Islam.
Sympathy for the Devil Sympathy for the Devil
Monday, May 23, 2011 by Allan Nadler | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Occupying a place of particular infamy in Jewish collective memory is an 18th-century serial apostate, sexual deviant, messianic pretender, and chameleonic charlatan. His name was Jacob Frank.
Holocaust without End Holocaust without End
Wednesday, May 18, 2011 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Sixty-six years after the end of World War II, the Holocaust remains one of the central puzzles of human history. For Jews, the imperative is clear: to remember and to encourage others to remember. But remember what? Has the earnest dedication of both Jews and non-Jews to seek the meaning of the event and absorb its lessons ended by emptying it of meaning and lessons alike?
Israel: The Miracle Israel: The Miracle
Tuesday, May 10, 2011 by Paul Johnson | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The state of Israel is the product of more than 4,000 years of Jewish history. "If you want to understand our country, read this!" said David Ben-Gurion on the first occasion I met him, in 1957. And he slapped the Bible. But the creation and survival of Israel are also very much a 20th-century phenomenon.
Crimes of Communion Crimes of Communion
Monday, May 9, 2011 by Allan Nadler | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Two years ago, a Muslim reporter for the Malaysian magazine Al Islam attended a Catholic mass in Kuala Lumpur with a companion, surreptitiously took communion, and put the wafer in his mouth, only to spit it out later. The May 2009 issue of Al Islam featured a cover photograph of the soggy, partially-eaten wafer—to the horror of local church authorities.
Calibrating Darkness Calibrating Darkness
Monday, May 2, 2011 by Henry Tylbor | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

A child survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto and then of Auschwitz and Majdanek, Henry Tylbor (1929–2009) eventually settled in New York where he wrote and taught. A polymath, and fluent in several languages, he was especially interested in the fields of linguistics, neuropsychology, the sociology of culture, and their intersections. The present work of autobiographical fiction is among the manuscripts left at his death. In observance of Holocaust Remembrance Day, it appears here for the first time.—The Editors
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Editors' Picks
Calibrating Darkness Henry Tylbor, Jewish Ideas Daily. In the Warsaw Ghetto, a youngster watches, hears, and mentally records the sights, sounds, and sensations of encroaching murder.
From Enemies to Friends Ephraim Mirvis, Jerusalem Post. Medieval Britain originated the blood libel and was the first European country to expel Jews. Yet in 1942, it was Britain that created first national interfaith organization between Christians and Jews.
Village of Idiots Matti Friedman, Times of Israel. While the fables of Chelm have come to be seen as products of a quintessentially Jewish culture, their history begins not with Jews in Poland, but with Christians in Germany.
The Dreyfus of Classical Music Benjamin Ivry, Forward. Once vilified by Schumann and Wagner for not being German enough, now Giacomo Meyerbeer's music is criticized for not being Jewish enough.
Eric Kandel's Visions Alexander C. Kafka, Chronicle of Higher Education. Why is the Nobel-winning neuroscientist who's spent most of his career fixated on sea snails writing on art history?  It may have a lot to do with his background as a Viennese Jew . . .     
Together We Stand Bernard-Henri Lévy, Haaretz. In the wake of the murders in Toulouse, all of France must stand united against anti-Semitism, which is an attack on the republican ideals which all of France holds dear.
French Al-Qaeda MEMRI. Muhammad Merah, who has confessed to perpetrating the murders in Toulouse, appears to be a member of Fursan al-'Izza, the French branch of Al-Qaeda, profiled here.
Europe's Rising Tide Anti-Defamation League. Classical anti-Semitic attitudes are not only widespread across Europe but have risen significantly since 2009 in traditionally more tolerant countries, such as Britain and France.
The Limits of Justice Jerusalem Post. Although concentration camp guard John Demjanjuk died a free man, his conviction by the German courts as an accessory to murder shows how others can be brought to justice.
Saved to Disc Matti Friedman, Times of Israel. A rare glass disc depicting the menorah from the Second Temple in gold leaf was kicked around Europe for two thousand years before the Israel Museum gave it a home.