Great historical writing comes from understanding how differently life was once lived. ‘The Liar’s Gospel,’ a new novel by Naomi Alderman, re-imagines biblical times.
Michael Goldfarb profiles Robert Winston, the grandson of a rav who went onto become a pioneer in the field of in vitro fertilization — and much more.
The controversy over what is dead according to Jewish law is no longer an intramural question among Orthodox rabbis on either side of the Atlantic. In Britain it is now being played out in public. As in the United States, the emotional question of organ donation is the battlefield. The most recent round of arguments began in early January, when the London Beth Din, the religious court associated with the United Synagogue — Great Britain’s Orthodox umbrella group — and its chief rabbi, Jonathan Sacks, issued guidelines on organ donation. The beit din’s ruling was that brain stem death is not death for the purpose of heart and lung donation; a person is dead under traditional Jewish law, or Halacha, only when there is a cessation of cardio-respiratory function.
In a surprise, and surprisingly quick, decision by the judges of the Man Booker Prize, Tom McCarthy’s novel, “C” was overlooked Tuesday in favor of Manchester-born author Howard Jacobson and “The Finkler Question,” his unsparing novel about Jewish identity and self-loathing in Britain.