The Rebbe and the Yak

Alan Mintz

What do you do when your ancestor appears to you in a dream saying that he is trapped inside the body of a Tibetan yak? If you're the Ustiler Rebbe in Haim Be'er's new novel, you go to Tibet to find him, of course.

What Is a Jew? The Answer of the Maccabees

Abba Hillel Silver, Ofer Schiff

In 1958, David Ben-Gurion sent a letter to fifty Jewish leaders around the world, asking, "Who is a Jew?" He had good political reasons to launch such an inquiry, and equally good reasons to expect answers or attempts at answers. Isaiah Berlin wrote back, and so did the Jewish scholar Alexander Altmann, the novelist S.Y. Agnon, and the Lubavitcher Rebbe, as well as many others. But Abba Hillel Silver, the prominent Reform rabbi and American Zionist leader who had represented the Jewish Agency before the United Nations a decade earlier, did not respond to Ben-Gurion's missive—not directly, anyhow.

Jacob Glatstein’s Prophecy

Dara Horn

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.