All-American Esther

All-American Esther

James Goodman

Stuart Halpern’s anthology Esther in America tells the story of the surprising uses to which the story of Purim has been put in American history by every-one from crypto-Jews and Cotton Mather to Sojourner Truth and the organizers of the Queen Esther Beauty Contest.

Bread and Vodka

Bread and Vodka

Mark Glanville

Mendel Osherowitch's 1933 book about life in Ukraine not only bore rare eyewitness testimony to one of the worst atrocities in a barbarous century; it did so from the vantage point of a brother of two of the perpetrators.

A Sharp Word

A Sharp Word

Allan Arkush

From his intensive study of Hebrew and Jewish history to a surprisingly romantic Zionist congress in Basel, and the horrors of the Kishinev Pogrom, 1903 seems to have been a turning point for the young Jabotinsky.

Repentance and Desire

Repentance and Desire

Sarah Rindner

Mizrachi identifies the heightened energy she senses in the streets of Israel during the days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. She renames the period between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur known as the Ten Days of Repentance, “Aseret Yemei Teshuva,” as the “Aseret Yemei Teshuka,” or “Ten Days of Desire,” a time when the yearning for a return to God and Torah reaches a primal, visceral level.

The Professor and the Con Man

The Professor and the Con Man

Matti Friedman

The saga of the papyrus that became famous as the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife began with an email sent to Karen King, a distinguished Harvard professor, in July 2010. The subject line read, simply, “Coptic gnostic gospels in my collection.”

Waltham Intellectuals

Waltham Intellectuals

Allan Arkush

Stephen Whitfield’s group portrait of a large number of men and women of the Left who taught and studied at Brandeis from its inception at the end of the 1940s to the present is as attentive to the personalities of his subjects as it is to their ideas.