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.
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.
This is the version of history that many of us heard in Hebrew school: Jews were saved from the plague by handwashing, kashrut, and burying their dead quickly.
Nicole Krauss’s frequent philosophical turns are often compelling without being entirely clear.
According to one scholar, Uriel Birnbaum produced “more than 6,000 poems, 130 essays, 30 plays, 10 short stories, 15 fairy tales, fragments of a longer epic poem, 20 chapters of a lost novel and 30 collections of illustrations.” And yet, Birnbaum received little acclaim in his lifetime. Today he is all but unknown.
Alexander Kaye understates the extent to which medieval Judaism gave rise to the idea of a halakhic state.
Allan Arkush fails to see the novelty of the theocratic idea in Judaism.
Imagine that you’re a woman living in a shtetl in 1900: what do you say in a letter to your husband in America if you think he’s cheating on you?
Whereas Heidi and her woke progeny scatter in the winds of the American landscape and the heirs of Yitzy and Ben find themselves growing further apart, their Israeli counterparts find themselves socializing together, mostly serving in the army together, and sharing a Jewish cultural vocabulary.
It may seem as though a religious tradition like Judaism would have no home in a philosophical ecosystem that cultivates nothing but a specific mode of intellectual engagement. But it is precisely the lack of a positive dogma that makes analytic philosophy compatible with the basic tenets of Judaism—at least that’s the premise of Jewish Philosophy in an Analytic Age.