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The Halakhah of Selling Arms The Halakhah of Selling Arms
Tuesday, February 5, 2013 by Shlomo M. Brody | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Jewish law prohibits individuals from selling weapons to irresponsible or violent customers.  But how does this apply to Israel's arms sales to foreign governments?
Spielberg’s <i>Lincoln</i> and the Jews: An Untold Story Spielberg’s Lincoln and the Jews: An Untold Story
Monday, January 14, 2013 by Lance J. Sussman | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Lincoln represents a missed opportunity to show that Jews didn’t just turn up in America in the wake of Russian pogroms. 
When Prayers for Rain are Answered When Prayers for Rain are Answered
Friday, January 11, 2013 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Israel is, in most minds, an arid land bereft of water, not cursed with its superabundance.  But a look at geography and history suggests otherwise.
A Pillar with a Past A Pillar with a Past
Tuesday, January 8, 2013 by Lawrence Grossman | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Gil S. Perl’s The Pillar of Volozhin sheds light on the Netziv, one of Lithuanian Jewry's greatest leaders, whose own intellectual development is reflected throughout the yeshiva world today.
The Turning of the Torah Tide The Turning of the Torah Tide
Tuesday, December 4, 2012 by Diana Muir Appelbaum | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

“Torah Judaism today retains more of its youth than at any time since the Haskalah.”  Historian Marc Shapiro recently made this remark.  Can he possibly be correct?
Reform of Tradition, Tradition of Reform Reform of Tradition, Tradition of Reform
Wednesday, November 7, 2012 by Moshe Sokolow | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Max Lilienthal’s life provides a lens through which we watch American Judaism, Reform Judaism in particular, struggle with the consequences of its own idiosyncratic condition.
Max Lilienthal’s Aborted Return Max Lilienthal’s Aborted Return
Wednesday, October 31, 2012 by Allan Arkush | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In Bruce L. Ruben’s new biography Max Lilienthal: The Making of the American Rabbinate, about one of the pioneers of the American Reform movement, I was surprised to learn that Lilienthal almost made a second trip to Tsarist Russia.
The Cush Connection The Cush Connection
Monday, July 9, 2012 by Jonathan Neumann | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

One year ago today, South Sudan declared independence.  An elated Israel officially recognized the new state the next day.  In the year since, many optimistic hopes for the Middle East and North Africa have been dashed; but in the case of South Sudan, Israel’s optimism was justified. 
The Book of Life The Book of Life
Tuesday, September 27, 2011 by Tevi Troy | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The High Holy Days are traditionally a time for introspection. Even the sturdiest soul must pause with trepidation over the more harrowing passages in the somber liturgy of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Who shall live, and who shall die?
Editors' Picks
Nabokov's Jews Benjamin Ivry, Forward. A sympathetic portrayer of Jews in his fiction, Vladimir Nabokov denounced anti-Semitism as "philistinism in all its phases" in both Russia and the United States.
Hitting the Gas David Wurmser, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. In addition to giving Israel energy independence for the first time in its history, Israel's maritime natural gas reserves may make it a major gas exporter to Asia over the coming decades.
Access Denied Daniel Estrin, Atlantic. Israel's Russian immigrants must prove their Jewish ancestry to obtain marriage licenses from the government.  But Russia is making it increasingly difficult to access the Soviet archives.
Magnitizdat Sophie Pinkham, Paris Review. The samizdat literature that helped undermine the Soviet Union had a musical counterpart: bootlegged prison songs from the gulag, some mythologizing the Jewish gangsters of Odessa.
Rochl and the World of Ideas Sheindl Franzus-Garfinkle, Jewish Fiction .net. Rochl’s mother laments the perils of study: “Your brother convinced himself he had to study in America.  Now he’s there working like a dog.  See what comes of your enlightenment!” (Fiction)
Balfour and the Bolsheviks Eddy Portnoy, Sh’ma. History remembers 1917 for the Balfour Declaration’s support of Zionism.  But Jews in 1917 were more interested in another event of that same week: the October Revolution.
End of an Era? , Washington Post. Last Friday, the House of Representatives repealed the 1974 Jackson-Vanik trade restrictions, enacted to promote the freedom of Soviet Jews to emigrate.  But Russia's record on human rights is still a problem.  
Ballad of a Soldier dir. Grigori Chukhrai, Criterion Collection. A milestone of Soviet cinema, Chukhrai's 1959 film, about a Russian soldier returning home on leave, contrasts the devastation of war with the endurance of love. (Video; free link, expires November 19th)
A Jewish Disneyland? Ellen Barry, New York Times. With Moscow's new Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center, Vladimir Putin is appealing to Jews who fled the country to return—while Shimon Peres thanks Russia for "a thousand years of hospitality."
No Child Left Behind Avital Chizhik, Forward. While many Russian Jewish immigrants to America are staunch conservatives, their children’s route to Americanization is through liberal Jewish politics.