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People & Places

Soulmate Wanted Soulmate Wanted
Wednesday, December 8, 2010 by Yehudah Mirsky | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Slowly but surely, the divide between Ashkenazim and Sephardim in Israeli society is ebbing. But in one sector it continues to stand fast.
Fire and Resilience Fire and Resilience
Tuesday, December 7, 2010 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Along the flanks of Israel's Carmel range, just below the scene of the past days' cataclysm, it is possible to see, in ancient caves whose ceilings are caked with millennia of soot, some of the earliest evidence of the human use of fire.
The Discreet Coyness of Salam Fayyad The Discreet Coyness of Salam Fayyad
Friday, December 3, 2010 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In a recent short article, Salam Fayyad, the prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, has reported on his program of building the civic and economic infrastructure of a Palestinian state, a program now into its second year of creating "facts on the ground."
Women in Arms Women in Arms
Thursday, December 2, 2010 by Aryeh Tepper | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Israel's core institution is the army. And while the essential function of the army is to protect and defend the country's citizens, it also plays a crucial role in the lives of those who serve in its ranks. Not unlike an American university in this one respect, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is the establishment within which young people build character, form social bonds, and start careers.
Counting Jews Counting Jews
Wednesday, December 1, 2010 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

A newly-released World Jewish Population Report has been making waves. Some critics, especially in Israel, charge that the report, in claiming the existence of a non-Jewish majority between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, is both slanted and unduly pessimistic. Other critics, especially in the Diaspora, complain that the report is too old-fashioned in its definition of Jewishness.
The Brothers Lurk The Brothers Lurk
Monday, November 22, 2010 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

November is election month not just in the United States but also in Jordan and Egypt. On November 9 Jordanians voted overwhelmingly to fill their parliament with loyalists of King Abdullah II. Egyptians will go to the polls on November 28 to elect the People's Assembly, and there is little doubt that Hosni Mubarak's ruling National Democratic party will remain in control.
Why Rachel’s Tomb Matters Why Rachel’s Tomb Matters
Friday, November 19, 2010 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

All cultures build on what came before them. But how they treat the past is a measure of cultures in the present. The treatment by Muslims of Rachel's tomb, lately much in the news, is a case in point.
Summoned Home Summoned Home
Thursday, November 18, 2010 by Allan Nadler | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In June 1934, the celebrated American Yiddish poet Jacob Glatstein (a/k/a Yankev Glatshteyn, 1896-1971) received an urgent summons to return to his native Lublin, Poland, where his mother lay at death's door. At the precise moment when so many Jews were desperately trying to make the reverse journey, Glatstein found himself on an unanticipated and almost certainly unwanted return home.
What’s Left? What’s Left?
Friday, November 12, 2010 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Usually, when Israelis speak of Left and Right, they are differentiating mainly between security hawks and peace-camp doves—not between liberals and conservatives in general, or in the American or European sense.  By this definition, Israel's left wing is in a sorry state.
Class Divide Class Divide
Thursday, November 11, 2010 by Yehudah Mirsky | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The world's two largest Jewish communities differ in many ways. Class is one of them. That fact was made painfully clear this week as 4,000 communal professionals, activists, and donors met in New Orleans for the general assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America—at the same time that, in Israel, the National Insurance Institute (equivalent to the U.S. Social Security Administration) issued its annual report on "poverty and social gaps" in the Jewish state.
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Editors' Picks
Fearful Asymmetry Andrew Roberts, Tablet. One woman is a convicted al-Qaeda terrorist. The other is a renegade crusader for women's rights. An American journalist explicitly seeks to draw a parallel between the two.
Vatican't Giulio Meotti, Ynet. Israel's decision to cede some sovereignty over the "Hall of the Last Supper" to the Catholic Church will only embolden the Vatican's campaign to appropriate Jewish Jerusalem.
A Separate Peace Tamar Rotem, Haaretz. A Gur Hasid, who practices a strict sexual separation, will not walk with his wife on the street. He will not call her by name. To address her, he will knock on the table. Or hum.
Disjecta Membra Benjamin Balint, Los Angeles Review of Books. Not for nothing was the Cairo Genizah called "the Living Sea Scrolls": its discoverers revolutionized the study of Mediterranean Jewish life at the very moment that it was drawing to a close.
Creating a Monster Jonathan Kirsch, Jewish Journal. On the weak-chinned, bespectacled, clumsy young man who ambitiously reinvented himself as . . . Heinrich Himmler.
Creaming the Competition Elli Fischer, Jerusalem Post. Ruling Haagen Dazs ice cream to be non-kosher, the Israeli chief rabbinate misconstrues Moshe Feinstein's position and once again demonstrates its contempt for Diaspora Judaism.
The Wages of Criticism Zev Eleff, Jewish Review of Books. The 18th-century scholar Aryeh Leib Ginsburg was a harsh critic of earlier halakhic authorities. Did they finally exact revenge on him? And, if so, who's been covering up the story?
Independent is the New Democrat Ilana Ostrin, American Prospect. Jewish affiliation with the Democratic Party has dropped by ten percent since 2009. This won't hurt President Obama—but may affect other electoral races in 2012.
Reading the Netanyahu Tea Leaves Zvika Krieger, Atlantic. Does the collapse of recent Israeli-Palestinian exploratory talks mask an increased flexibility in the Prime Minister's position on Israeli control of the Jordan Valley? The Atlantic is hopeful.
Auster and Erdogan on Human Rights in Turkey Dave Itzkoff, New York Times. The Turkish Prime Minister called the novelist ignorant for refusing to visit Turkey because of all those journalists in Turkish jails. Auster has delivered quite an answer.