TABLE OF CONTENTS
Upon Such Sacrifices: King Lear and the Binding of Isaac
How Shakespeare helps us think about the akedah, and vice versa.
Before the Big Bang
Cosmologist Lawrence Krauss is quite sure he knows how the universe began. Novelist Alan Lightman takes a wild narrative guess. But where does the Kabbalah stand?
Joseph Roth: Grieving for a Lost Empire
Always in flight, one of the world’s permanent transients, Joseph Roth (1894–1939) was a one-man diaspora. A drunk and a fantasist, he was also a marvelous writer whose work was bedizened with metaphor, laced with simile.
Cynthia Ozick: Or, Immortality
Ozick is as marvelously demanding, harrumphing, and uncompromising as she has always been.
Bellow’s not so innocent knock in The Adventures of Augie March is generally taken as the moment when Jews barged into American literature without apology.
It is in his stories, rather than his novels, that Malamud emerged as a unique writer. A new series brings new exposure to both.
James Salter has been justly celebrated as a composer of gorgeous prose, and his new late-life novel All That Is confirms his reputation as a writer’s writer. How much of his artistic vision is predicated on being James Salter rather than James Horowitz?
Brave New Golems
As monsters go, golems are pretty boring. Mute, crudely fashioned household servants and protectors, in essence they’re not much different from the brooms in the “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” story.
Coming with a Lampoon
Jacobson is a world master of the art of disturbing comedy and each new work of his advances the genre—his latest one by a giant step.
Who Owns Margot?
What if Anne Frank’s sister had survived Bergen-Belsen? Interesting, but . . .
Appelfeld in Bloom
Israeli author Aharon Applefeld sifts through memories to understand the traumas of his past.
The Rebbe and the Yak
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.
None of these four novels by American Jewish writers is fully at home in Israel—they’re more like Mars orbiters than rovers.
You couldn’t know Yehuda Amichai without being struck by the casual way in which original and sometimes startling metaphors dropped from him in ordinary conversation. It wasn’t done for effect. It was just the way his mind worked. One thing made him think of another and what it made him think of was generally something that would not have occurred to anyone else.
I mug at myself in the mirror and recite the old Monty Python gag.
The Israeli hip-hop band Hadag Nahash blend the many strata of Hebrew language.
Many Harlem churches that were once synagogues have been torn down to make way for apartment buildings with all the latest amenities.