Springtime for Arabia, Hailing to the Chief, Straw Men . . . and more!
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?
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.
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.
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.
Joseph Skibell, like any good historical novelist, is a dybbuk—he animates the dead.
Ludmila Ulitskaya's fictionalized version of the Brother Daniel case asks us all to turn the other cheek.
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.
David Assaf introduces us to Hasidic Rebbes who ride into small towns and take over. (If cowboys were Hasidim, this would be Deadwood.)
The super sad truth about Gary Shteyngart's new novel.
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.
A new biography of Ezekiel Landau (the Noda Biyehudah) makes a controversial claim about his views on Kabbalah.
Irving Kristol started off as a neo-Trotskyite and famously became the “godfather of neoconservatism.” But his idiosyncratic “neo-Orthodoxy” lasted a lifetime.
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
A striking tale of pure faith, divine fiat, and free food from Rabbi Moses Hagiz's Mishnat Chakhamim (Wandsbeck, 1733).
From the floor of Tel Aviv's City Council, Israel's future looks more promising than many would think.