Raphael Magarik

Is This Man a Prophet or a Provocateur?

Tuvia Tenenbom’s controversial ‘Catch the Jew’ has soared to the top of bestseller lists. But does it provide an accurate portrayal of today’s Israel? Raphael Magarik isn’t so sure.

Why I'm (Reluctantly) Voting Against BDS at Berkeley

Raphael Magarik opposes the occupation. But he’s voting against UC Berkeley’s BDS resolution this week because he thinks boycotting Israel will only make things worse.

Do Jewish Actions Ever Cause Anti-Semitism?

Is anti-Semitism ever a response to things that Jews do? Raphael Magarik says yes — and insists that saying so does not amount to playing into anti-Semites’ hands.

Why Israeli Left Should Stop Backing Gaza Wars

If the Israeli center-left wants to stop looking weak and confused, it needs to quit backing periodic military escalations with Gaza, Raphael Magarik argues.

Boyz 2 Jewz: Congregations without cantors can sometimes resort to using melodies by pop groups, such as the Backstreet Boys

How Liturgy Can Co-Exist With Backstreet Boys and The Wu-Tang Clan

Many Jewish liturgical tunes take melodies from secular music. Did Raphael Magarik go too far by grabbing the melody from rap’s Wu-Tang Clan or a Yom Kippur service?

A Holocaust Romance Tied to a Necklace, Filled With Clichés

In Ayelet Waldman’s latest novel, a necklace travels to pre-WWI Budapest, finding love, death and the Holocaust on the way. But it’s a romance of cliches, Raphael Magarik writes.

Even Lefties Should Support David the Nahlawi

Even lefties should defend David the Nahlawi, the Israeli soldier who cocked a gun at a Palestinian teen. The army put him in an impossible situation.

Strange Days Indeed: Shai Secunda mines Persian texts in order to delve deep into the Talmud.

Putting Persian Back in the Talmud

Academic study of the Talmud once provoked anger. But for Shai Secunda, author of ?The Iranian Talmud,? much can be learned by finding parallels in other sacred texts.

Do Jewish Voices Count More on Israel and Iran?

A Washington Monthly post asking readers to lobby against Iran sanctions especially ‘if you’re Jewish, or have a Jewish-sounding name’ raises the question: Do Jewish voices count more on Israel?

The character of memoirist Joshua Safran?s mother seems to have jumped out of a Jack Kerouac novel.

In Joshua Safran's Memoir, Jack Kerouac Meets Edgar Allan Poe

‘Free Spirit,’ Joshua Safran’s memoir of his nomadic childhood, starts out as a dark version of a Mark Twain story. It winds up as an inspiring tale of Jewish salvation.