Books


If You Will It, They Will Come Play Ball

By Jonathan Papernick

When I learned that a professional baseball league would be starting up in Israel in 2007, I was excited that my two great loves, Israel and baseball, would be together at last, like chocolate and peanut butter. America’s pastime had taken root and succeeded in other far-flung places before; professional leagues already thrived in Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, even down under in Australia, so why not Israel?Read More


The Rich and the Bloody

By Rodger Kamenetz

How does poetry serve, since, as W.H. Auden told us long ago, it “makes nothing happen”? That is the question behind Adrienne Rich’s most recent book, which comes as a summary of all she has learned in the course of giving us 30 books of poetry full of commitment to the art and its relevance. I find in her work always great strength, of mind and of ear. She does not seek to be obscure or to write for trivial reasons; her poems emerge from personal need and urgency.Read More


The Woman From Warsaw

By Mladen Petrov

Warsaw — If it weren’t for a story she read in 1972 in a local paper, she would probably be a retired journalist by now. Instead, the phones are ringing, meetings are being set and work is progressing on a new book. Monday morning at the apartment of Hanna Krall is not exactly peaceful. At the age of 75, the writer has no time for a break.Read More


A Tribute to a Great Spirit

By Alan Brill

We may consider ourselves fortunate to have the many personal reflections on mystical texts offered in tribute to Arthur Green, on the occasion of his 70th birthday. “Jewish Mysticism and the Spiritual Life: Classical Texts, Contemporary Reflections” contains 26 essays, each consisting of a translated Hasidic text accompanied by a spiritual reflection. Arthur Green taught two generations of graduate students how to read Hasidic texts and produce from them approaches to contemporary spirituality. Here, his students go forth, continuing the path he has laid out for them.Read More


Joshua Foer’s Memory Palace

By Stephen Hazan Arnoff

In his intriguing first book, “Moonwalking With Einstein,” Joshua Foer takes on the task of explaining the history of memory, its current state and how he entered the world of competitive recollection. He surveys the meaning and significance of memory from ancient Greece, through the Renaissance and up to now.Read More


Wanted: A Gospel Worth Following

By Allison Yarrow

For many, college is a first sip of freedom, but for the characters in Justin Taylor’s debut novel, college is an incarnation of the evil machine against which they were born to rebel. “The Gospel of Anarchy,” is set in the inland swamp of Gainesville, Fla., during the summer of 1999. Gainesville is home to one of the country’s largest state universities, and Taylor hones in on its triple threat of “student ghetto,” bourgeois “Republicats” and the parasitic businesses that suck parental money from fun-seeking kids. Offended by this and feeling set apart is David, a secular Jew and former student with a fetish for lugubrious internet porn and a compulsion to perform what must be some of the most glum novelistic masturbation to date.Read More


Bound for Social Contention

By Alicia Ostriker

‘The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” So said William Faulkner in his “Requiem for a Nun.” If proof of this statement is needed, the history of Israel — where events thousands of years old are still alive and kicking — is a perfect instance. And within this history, Genesis 22, the biblical story of the binding of Isaac by his father, Abraham, is the quintessentially living proof-text. Reverberating through the centuries, interpreted and reinterpreted, an unparalleled emblem of faith, or a distressing darkness, in Jewish identity, the Aqedah (binding) is not simply myth.Read More


You Don’t Know Zubi!

By Adam Rovner

Israelis barely speak Hebrew. The language on the streets, in cafes and along the beaches is a hybrid of adapted and adopted expressions mined from Arabic, English, Russian, Yiddish and dozens of dialects. When I first arrived in Israel in 1987, I thought the handful of half-remembered words from my few years spent at a yeshiva would help me get around Jerusalem. But I sounded like an autistic teenager from the pages of Genesis. I shouted at a guy hassling a female friend, “Lech lecha!” thinking this might send him on his way.Read More


As a Woman, Being Reborn

By Jake Marmer

Medieval kabbalists wrote obsessively about language powers that brought the world into existence. Joy — previously known as Jay — Ladin is a contemporary poet whose words are also creating a world. In her case, though, the world in question is Joy’s own: living as an openly transgender person — spiritual seeker, sexual being, father of two and Jew.Read More


Out of Step, and Out of This World

By Stuart Schoffman

“I sat swaying over the book, poring over its words. I could make out nearly all that the Gypsies had written if I stuck with it long enough. The meaning was something else again. But that’s the way of a scripture: it’s often not meant to be understood.” So writes Danny Shapiro, the narrator-protagonist of David Halperin’s startling first novel.Read More





Find us on Facebook!
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.