Editorial


An Early Spring Thaw

It got a little harder this week to be a confirmed pessimist about the state of the world. In an astounding succession of developments, international trouble-spots from Libya to North Korea to the India-Pakistan frontier suddenly turned into promising zones of dialogue and perhaps even reconciliation. Tentative signs of a thaw are visible on a fewRead More


Spirit Mission

Lifting our eyes to the heavens will have a very different feel in the days ahead, thanks to the success of the Spirit Rover, NASA’s Mars explorer. The remarkable photos sent back to Earth by the craft, showing the Martian surface with unequaled vividness and immediacy, make the 100 million miles that separate us from the Red Planet feelRead More


Iran’s Victims

Our minds balk in the face of biblical-scale catastrophes of the sort visited last week on the Iranian city of Bam. As the earthquake’s victim count rises into meaningless strings of digits — 20,000 dead, then 25,000, then 30,000 and still climbing — we become numb. What, precisely, is the meaning of “limitless”? How can the human mindRead More


The Generals’ Discontent

Of all the conflicts underway in the strife-torn Middle East, none is more riveting, to those who can follow it, than the quietly growing demurral of Israel’s senior military commanders from the direction in which their political leaders are taking their country. One after another a parade of current and former Israeli defense and intelligenceRead More


Spirit of the Maccabees

Along with candle-lighting, gift-giving and deep-fried foods, the festival of Chanukah has lately acquired a new ritual that seems rapidly to be gaining canonical status in American Judaism: a yearly barrage of high-minded commentary intended to pour cold water on the fun. No Chanukah celebration is complete theseRead More


Who, Who?

By Ami Eden

Armed with press releases and draped in full-body owl costumes, a handful of feathered feminists staged a demonstration last week in front of the headquarters of the United Jewish Communities.The walking birds were members of Jewish Women Watching, a women’s rights group whose members famously refuse to identifyRead More


Saddam’s Fate

There’s no denying it: The humiliating capture of Saddam Hussein has reshuffled the cards and created a new political reality, both here at home and on the world stage. Barely a week ago, the invasion of Iraq appeared to have produced little but trouble for America and the Bush administration, and the hawks’ insistence that the war wouldRead More


Sanctification

In Chapter 19 of the biblical book of Leviticus, in the Torah portion known as Kedoshim (“Ye shall be holy”), the Israelites received a string of commandments that define what we like to think of as the ethics of public discourse. Beginning in Verse 15, we are commanded, first, to “respect not the poor nor favor the rich,” but to judge ourRead More


Defining Dr. Dean

Al Gore’s endorsement of Howard Dean this week gives an all-but-official stamp to something that’s been increasingly apparent for weeks to anyone following the Democratic presidential contest: The former Vermont governor is now the front-runner. From a nine-way melee, the race has evolved into a two-way battle between Dean and everyoneRead More


Olmert’s Choice

When historical shifts take place before your eyes, it’s tough to pick out the single event that marks the moment of transformation. In the case of Israel’s move toward compromise and separation from the Palestinians, the shift has come in a cascading series of events over the last four months or so. The collapse of last summer’sRead More





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