Summer 2014

Summer 2014
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Letters, Summer 2014

Reform Revisionist, Rashi's Shul, Khazars Shmazars


Peace, Plan B

Secretary of State John Kerry's attempt to get Israel and the Palestinians to a final status agreement was never going to work. What will?

The Ukrainian Question

"If I had to choose between Hitler and Stalin, Adam Michnik once said, I pick Marlene Dietrich." Vladimir Putin's propaganda notwithstanding, this is not the choice facing Ukrainian Jews.


Nostalgia for the Numinous

In the beginning there were the angry atheists. Terry Eagleton is more melancholy: “Atheism is by no means as easy as it looks.”

Heschel Transcendent

Abraham Joshua Heschel’s intellectual peers included Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik, Reinhold Niebuhr, and the Lubavitcher Rebbe. His main thought, Shai Held argues, was of transcendence.

The Improbables

Not writing what you know can help an author steer away from autobiographical shoals, but it puts a certain research burden on the writer.

The Shtetl Trap

How should we think about the Eastern European market town? Did the shtetl ever have a golden age?

Tradition! Tradition!

Wonder of wonders! One of the most beloved musicals ever created far outstripped its own creators' expectations for its success.

I'm Still Here

Tuvia Reubner has said he has no homeland except perhaps his poetry. A new book expands that homeland's borders.

Something Was Missing

When it was time for new MK Ruth Calderon to speak to Knesset for the first time, she told a Talmudic story and created a YouTube sensation. Her book has now been translated.

Rallying Round the Flags

Derek Penslar's new book returns to aim Jewish soldiers of the diaspora to their rightful place in Jewish history.

The Jewbird

It is in his stories, rather than his novels, that Malamud emerged as a unique writer. A new series brings new exposure to both.


Haim Gouri at 90

The poet turned 90 last fall, and his latest poems are among the best he has ever written.

National Socialism, World Jewry, and the History of Being: Heidegger’s Black Notebooks

The thinking reflected in Heidegger's recently published notebooks from the 1930s is alarmingly crude. It is also much more difficult to separate from his philosophy than many would like to think.

Lost & Found

Brief Kvetches: Notes to a 19th-Century Miracle Worker

One day in the 1860s, a father burst into Rabbi Elijah Guttmacher's study house begging for help. His son's stomach was distended, and he was barking like a dog.

Last Word

Killer Backdrop

If Auschwitz can have a gift shop, why can’t the Warsaw Ghetto have a love story?

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