Letters, Summer 2022
Orthodox Lens; Kafka's Gimel; True Crime or Conspiracy Theory?; Of Censorship and Naughty Boys, and more
The boundaries between the biblical canon and the Apocrypha have seemed firm for a long time. But what if the walls aren’t that solid?
Jews have been travelers since God told Abraham to get up and go. How deeply has this constant motion been imprinted on the Jewish psyche?
The Bible’s Women in Medieval Ashkenaz
The Bible’s characters were everywhere in medieval Ashkenaz. Jews remembered them when they prayed, attended births and weddings, when they opened a haggada.
The Art of the Dealer
"What would have happened to us," Picasso wondered, " if Kahnweiler had not had a business sense?"
Revolution, the Jews, and Hitler’s Munich
How did a Jewish Socialist become the revolutionary leader of the People’s State of Bavaria? And did his brief career provoke the rise of Hitler?
What lessons can be learned from the city of Haifa, and what does its culture suggest about the likelihood and limitations of a binational state?
Hardware, Software—or Love?
Maimonides’s Abraham was a natural philosopher who discovered God through reason, but the biblical Abraham did nothing at all to earn God’s election.
Love, Counter-Historical Style
Love letters to Israel, Judaism, and each other from Rachel and David Biale.
Godly Guardrails and Secular Assumptions
Ilana M. Horwitz convincingly argues that religious students are high achievers. But what’s the special sauce that makes it so, and who gets to decide what counts as an achievement?
Are We all Kahanists Now?
Shaul Magid attempts to show us how much contemporary Jews have inherited from a man most have tried to forget.
Jews in Trench Coats
From mortal risks to the mundane office politics and antisemitic prejudice, Douglas London’s memoir of working for the CIA reveals the inner workings of America’s most secretive agency.
The Natural at 70
Bernard Malamud’s 1952 fable has always seemed the most American of Jewish novels and the most Jewish story in American folklore.
Confirmed as Drowned
Haunting verses from the only living male survivor of the Jewish community of Crete.
Us or Them
It all started with a tweet: “Curious about your whiteness? Come to our meeting.” Edelman was curious.
Lost & Found
A joyful poem about the Jerusalem of Argentina, translated by Ilan Stavans.
Jews and the Ukrainian Question
“After the victory,” he wrote to his friend, “we’ll play music—Jewish music, Ukrainian music, and not only.”
Issue No. 52
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Issue No. 49