The Old-New JRB

As it happens, the 13th year in the life of the Jewish Review of Books marks an important turning point for the magazine . . .


Storytelling, or: Yiddish in America

The basic recipe of Isaac Bashevis Singer’s later novels called for a guy with two wives or lovers who ping-pongs between them for a couple of hundred pages and then runs away. And yet this new collection of Singer’s essays, reminds us that he was not only a great storyteller, but a great champion of the importance of stories for art and for life.

The Treasure of the Jews

The seductive idea that the real Jerusalem lurks somewhere beneath the actual city, with its grocery stores, traffic, and inconveniently present residents, has motivated archaeologists and journalists since the 1800s.

Weird Big Brother

Jacob Frank and his bizarre religious movement still casts a strange spell over. Is Nobel Prize winner Olga Tokarczuk’s newly translated novel the War and Peace of Jewish-Polish heresy?

Days of Redemption

Did early Zionists abandon Messianism or inherit it? Or, as Arieh Saposnik argues, did they do something more subtle and interesting?

Memories of Morocco

In the 1940s Moroccan Jews were still sacrificing a bull on the Sultan’s doorstep. There was a deep cultural symbiosis of Jews and Muslims in North Africa.

Scribes without a Torah

Julien Benda’s The Treason of the Intellectuals is one of those books that is famous even though no one actually reads it. Can it help keep those whose business it is to think in public on the straight path? Did it help Benda?

Graven Images

“How do you like my drawing?” Franz Kafka wrote his fiancée Felice Bauer. He took art seriously, and now, finally, we can answer the question ourselves.



On the Separation of Yeshiva and State

What conservative activists call religious liberty is often a deliberate blurring of the separation of church and state. Orthodox Jews ought to worry more about this, even if it might mean some vouchers for day school.

Lost & Found

The Arts

Welcome to Rehavia

Shababnikim, the hilarious Israeli sitcom that follows four ne’er-do-well yeshiva students, is back–and it has something serious to say too.

Last Word

“I Will Not Speak to Dullards”

“Without leaving the Zoom lecture, I quickly pulled up the YIVO Encyclopedia entry on Leah Horowitz and sent it to my family WhatsApp group: ‘Any chance we’re related?’”

Past Issues