Summer 2011

Summer 2011
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Letters

Letters, Summer 2011

Springtime for Arabia, Hailing to the Chief, Straw Men . . . and more!

Features

State and Counterstate

Debates about Zion and its relation to the diaspora aren't new. David Myers and Noam Pianko have retrieved the forgotten ideas of several interesting figures, foremost among them Simon Rawidowicz. Do they speak to us now?

The Martyr of Reason

On Saturday evening, December 31, 1785, the eminent Enlightenment philosopher Moses Mendelssohn left his house to deliver a manuscript. He had finished it on Friday afternoon but, as an observant Jew, Mendelssohn waited until the Sabbath concluded to bring it to his publisher. He died a few days later on January 4, 1786, at the age of 56.

Reviews

Jacob Glatstein's Prophecy

Literary masterpieces that double as works of prophecy have been rare since the death of Isaiah. But the Yiddish poet Jacob Glatstein wrote two novellas that foreshadowed the future of Jewish Europe.

The Rise of Hank Greenberg

On Rosh Hashana, Greenberg went to shul, then the ballpark and hit two home runs. "Hank’s Homers are strictly Kosher," said the Detroit Free Press.

Missed Connections

Joseph Skibell, like any good historical novelist, is a dybbuk—he animates the dead.

Brother Daniel, Sister Ulitskaya

Ludmila Ulitskaya's fictionalized version of the Brother Daniel case asks us all to turn the other cheek.

The Poet Goes to War

Poet Eliaz Cohen is a Religious Zionist who lives with his family on a kibbutz in the southern West Bank. And thereby hangs a tale.

The Hasidim: An Underground History

David Assaf introduces us to Hasidic Rebbes who ride into small towns and take over. (If cowboys were Hasidim, this would be Deadwood.)

Words, Words, Words

The super sad truth about Gary Shteyngart's new novel.

Railroads and Dragon's Teeth

During World War I, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany sought to foment an Ottoman jihad in part by building a massive railroad—and so did the British and the French.

The Great Non-Miracle Rabbi of Prague

A new biography of Ezekiel Landau (the Noda Biyehudah) makes a controversial claim about his views on Kabbalah.

Irving Kristol, Edmund Burke, and the Rabbis

Irving Kristol started off as a neo-Trotskyite and famously became the “godfather of neoconservatism.” But his idiosyncratic “neo-Orthodoxy” lasted a lifetime.

Readings

Yehuda Amichai: At Play in the Fields of Verse

Yehuda Amichai was an exuberant person with a lively, impish sense of humor. He was, at the same time, a melancholy man. Both traits are present in his poetry.

Lost & Found

Loaves in the Ark

A striking tale of pure faith, divine fiat, and free food from Rabbi Moses Hagiz's Mishnat Chakhamim (Wandsbeck, 1733).

Last Word

Hope, Beauty, and Bus Lanes in Tel Aviv

From the floor of Tel Aviv's City Council, Israel's future looks more promising than many would think.

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Editors' Picks

Paradox or Pluralism?

Walzer’s paradox of liberation, if. . .

Lucky Grossman

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The Future Past Perfect

Treasure and tragedy in the letters of. . .

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