Philologos


Strange Case of a Death in Venice

By Philologos

Philologos tries to solve a 300-year-old mystery. Why did someone carve Hebrew letters on a coffin in 18th century Venice, and what do they mean?Read More


A Very Merry 5773 to All

By Philologos

Many Jews might not know that the new Jewish year is 5773. Philologos explains why even fewer Israelis know what the acronym tash’ag means.Read More


The Yiddish Quran

By Philologos

Philologos examines how odd it would be for an ultra-Orthodox Jew to read the Muslim holy book in a tongue so inextricably linked to Judaism.Read More


David Brooks Channels 'Perplexed' Maimonides

By Philologos

New York Times columnist David Brooks offered a ‘Guide for the Perplexed’ on the 2012 presidential race. He’s one of many who’ve recently used the title coined by the famed Jewish philosopher Maimonides.Read More


Many Mysteries of the Word ‘Mystery’

By Philologos

What’s the history of the word ‘mystery’? Philogos reveals all, touching on both ancient Hebrew and one of our favorite authors at the same time.Read More


Yoshke of Nazareth

By Philologos

Jews have many name for Jesus, not all of them nice. Some Yiddish speakers used a dismissive epithet translating roughly as Little Joe. Others call him son of Panther.Read More


‘Jew-Washing’ Is Bad Practice and Phrase

By Philologos

Some have coined the term ‘Jew-washing’ to refer to the practice of enlisting Jews to make stands that might otherwise be considered anti-Semitic more palatable to the public.Read More


Maccabees Most Macabre

By Philologos

Is there a link between the word ‘macabre’ and the Maccabees? Could be. The word was coined in medieval days when Maccabees were revered as martyrs.Read More


Bon Voyage for Jews

By Philologos

Jews often say goodbye by bursting into a Yiddish song called ‘Yoshke Fort Avek.’ It was made famous by a character dubbed ‘the Jewish Maurice Chevallier.’Read More


How To Train a Hebrew-Speaking Dog

By Philologos

It’s not easy to train a dog, let alone doing so in Hebrew, which has plenty of rules for female nouns. Philologos is too polite to use the B-word, but no such luck with us.Read More





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  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
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