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People & Places

The Couch and the Confessional The Couch and the Confessional
Tuesday, January 10, 2012 by Joseph J. Siev | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Sigmund Freud's last book, Moses and Monotheism, was published in 1939, a year after  he fled, mortally ill with cancer of the jaw, from Nazi-occupied Vienna to London.  The book is famous for its speculations that Moses was not Jewish and that the people he led out of Egyptian slavery murdered him.   
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.  
The State of Christianity The State of Christianity
Thursday, January 5, 2012 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

On a sun-drenched day during the week before Christmas, Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre was crowded with pilgrims from Nigeria. They were taking turns kneeling and praying at a marker on the spot where, sacred history has it, Jesus was crucified, entombed, and resurrected.
Goodnight, Vienna Goodnight, Vienna
Wednesday, January 4, 2012 by Daniel Johnson | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The Jews of Vienna did not merely understand the world: they took Marx's point and changed it, too. From Freud's psychoanalysis to Wittgenstein's philosophy, from Mahler's music to Herzl's Zionism, they made a unique contribution to modernity.
The Mughrabi Bridge to Nowhere The Mughrabi Bridge to Nowhere
Tuesday, January 3, 2012 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

From the southern end of the plaza in front of Jerusalem's Western Wall, a temporary wooden bridge ascends eastward to the Mughrabi Gate, the only one of the 11 gates into the Temple Mount area that is accessible to non-Muslims.
2011: A Year in Books 2011: A Year in Books
Monday, January 2, 2012 by D.G. Myers | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The holidays are over, the coffee-table books have all been unwrapped and set aside, and winter isn't going anywhere for a while. In short, it's time to settle in for some good reading. The literary critic D. G. Myers here presents the 38 best Jewish books of 2011, all of which merit your attention.
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.
Urban Planning, Hasmonean-Style Urban Planning, Hasmonean-Style
Wednesday, December 28, 2011 by Elli Fischer | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In the early 1990s, construction began on Modi'in, Israel's new "City of the Future." Designed by renowned architect Moshe Safdie and located mid-way between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, Modi'in is in many ways typical of modern planned communities.
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Editors' Picks
Haredinomics Uri Weiss, Haaretz. By bringing in donations, Israel's ultra-Orthodox—whether they know it or not—are boosting the country's GDP.
Doctor Who? Roni Caryn Rabin, New York Times. Despite a sequence of papal edicts prohibiting Jewish doctors from treating Christians, almost every pope in history had a personal physician who was Jewish.
The Nakba that Almost Was Robert Werdine, Times of Israel. What would have happened to the Jewish towns of nascent Israel were the invading Arab armies successful?
Dragoman Eric Ormsby, Wall Street Journal. Though Bernard Lewis is firmly opposed to historical relativists, he is keenly aware of the sheer slipperiness of historical terrain.
The Refugee Question Ruth Lapidoth, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. The plight of the Palestinian refugees raises at least three legal questions: Who is considered a refugee? Do these refugees have a right to return to Israel? Do they have a right to compensation? (2002)
Nakba and Narrative Matti Friedman, Times of Israel. The simple narrative of the 1948 displacement of Palestinian Arabs erases the uncomfortable truth that half of Israel's Jews are there not because of the Nazis but because of the Arabs themselves.
Not Fit to Print Nick Pinto, Village Voice. What's missing from the New York Times' front-page stories on sex abuse in Brooklyn's ultra-Orthodox communities? Acknowledgement of the reportage lifted from Jewish media outlets.
Israel's Gay Pride Giulio Meotti, Ynet. The story of gay Palestinians sheltered by Israel—some 300 in the last 20 years—goes unreported in the Western media, which is happy to hold Arabs to a lower standard.
Body Language Arika Okrent, Lapham's Quarterly. Jews tended to use one hand, Italians both. Italians touched their own bodies, Jews touched the bodies of their conversational partners. But as Jews and Italians became American, so did their gestures.
Campaign for Relegitimization Joel Fishman, Israel Council on Foreign Relations. It is no longer enough for Israel to proclaim that it seeks peace. Although it is unfashionable to speak in such terms, we are also engaged in a religious war. (PDF)