Letters, Fall 2020

The Coffee a Good Schmooze Demands, Unjustified Resentment, Whose True Voice?, and Yesterday's Today


Belt, Road, and Risk

When Prime Minister Netanyahu visited the White House in 2019, President Trump was said to have put the same point more bluntly: Washington’s security will be compromised if Jerusalem and Beijing grow too close.


All That Is Solid

The Lehman Trilogy, both the novel and the play, are mythic in scale, using three generations of the Lehman family (one per section of the “trilogy”) as characters in a didactic pageant about capitalism, America, modernity—and Jewishness, which plays an unsavory role in the proceedings.

Ireland and the Promised Land

Why isn’t Israel more like America, Jews from that country wonder. In his ambitious new book, Alexander Kaye instructively raises the question of why Israel isn’t even less like the United States.

Tragedy and Power

Barry Gewen’s new book argues that Henry Kissinger's "hardheaded Realism” was born of his family’s tragic experience in Nazi Germany.

The Mayor and the Massena Blood Libel

When State Trooper Corporal H. M. “Mickey” McCann asked if it was true that Jews offered human sacrifices on holy days, the diminutive rabbi responded with a tongue-lashing that may have reminded McCann, a veteran of the Great War, of his drill sergeant.

American Gods

One need not buy into the cultural importance of “Snapewives” to accept that the digital age is one in which individuals demand narratives, practices, and communities they find personally meaningful.


“With a Wolf in One Eye”: Sutzkever in Israel

From his birth just outside Vilna in 1913, Abraham Sutzkever led a life that had merged, as though on a God-ordained path, with the fate of the Jewish people in the 20th century. It of course follows that that life would reach its culmination in Israel.

The Arts

A Serious Comedy

In A Serious Man, the Coen Brothers found a way to address the realest of subjects—their own childhood, their own sense of Judaism—without sacrificing their style; they “grew up” without losing their humor.

Our Lady in Tehran

In Tehran, the Mossad has orchestrated a complex and brazen operation as part of a last-ditch effort to cut the capital’s power supply so that the Israeli Air Force can take out Iran’s nuclear program

Lost & Found


Last Word

Jonah: The Sequels

“And shall I not care about Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who do not yet know their right hand from their left, and many beasts as well?”

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