Between the mid-1960s and 1991, more than two million Jews left the USSR. To the extent that the Soviet Jewish exodus is remembered, its lessons are misunderstood.
Lachrymose Criticism?, Was Lincoln Jewish?, The Rebbe and the Professor, and The Transjordan Question
I mug at myself in the mirror and recite the old Monty Python gag.
As Nathan Englander no doubt knows, it is impossible to read kaddish.com without thinking of his own well-publicized background as a yeshiva student who turned away from Orthodoxy.
At the 1965 International Bible Contest, David Ben-Gurion posed some of the questions. He also asked two to the entire audience: “How many of you are ready to make aliyah to the Land of Israel?” And then, more specifically, “How many of you are ready to come and live with me in the Negev?”
For a young daydreamer, nothing is more beautiful than the unspoken, which becomes the focus of desire. And the Jewish unspoken of my childhood was so vast that, within it, the imagination could reach near-spiritual proportions.
Sefer Yeṣirah is the most influential Jewish book you never heard of. Indeed, it has been argued that early commentaries written on the book tilled the gnostic soil out of which sprouted the tree of Kabbalah.
If you visit Ferrara, Italy, you can let Giorgio Bassani be your melancholy guide as you stroll along “the crowded rows of stores, shops and little outlets facing each other” to arrive at the synagogue’s “baked-red facade.”
The Arab Section, suggests Matti Friedman, in one of his latest book's nicer lines, “needed men idealistic enough to risk their lives for free, but deceitful enough to make good spies.”
Jews, like so many other minorities, whether they had states or not, deserve recognition and protection as nations. But these universal rights have eluded Jews, even as they worked to ensure them for others.