Philologos


Who's Scoring a 'Jew Goal'?

By Philologos

Soccer fans borrowed the term ‘Jew goal’ to apply to an easy score. Philologos says the term is an anti-Semitic insult, but teams may be happy to have plenty of ‘em.Read More


L'Chaim a Bad Grammatical Error?

By Philologos

Jews have been toasting with the expression ‘L’chaim’ for centuries. Philologos investigates a reader’s complaint that we may have been wrong for just as long.Read More


How 'Gay' Lost Its 'Shtick' Over Time

By Philologos

Words are always changing and there’s no point in fighting ‘linguistic apostasy,’ a reader says. Philologos doesn’t entirely agree, especially when it comes to ‘gay.’Read More


How Yahweh Got Its Verbal Vibe Back

By Philologos

Yahweh is the hypothetical but widely accepted scholarly version of God’s sacred biblical name. This very old name has gotten itself some very new vibes.Read More


Is This Any Way to Name a Train Station?

By Philologos

Does the Russian word for central train stations come from London’s Vauxhall? Or from similar words in German and Yiddish? Philologos ponders the possibilities.Read More


President Confuses Jews and Janitors, Or Does He?

By Philologos

President Obama inadvertantly said ‘Jews’ when he meant to mention janitors. Philologos wonders if he really has wealthy Jewish donors on his mind.Read More


Ubiquitous Holiday Greeting Irks Some

By Philologos

Rosh Hashanah is done for the year. But two readers seek advice from Philologos about the proper grammar and usage of the well-known greeting l’shana tova.Read More


Virtuous Woman Worth Weight in Coral?

By Philologos

Neil Tuchten, a South African judge, asked about the well-known verse in the book of Proverbs: “Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.”Read More


Yom Kippur: The Fast of All Fasts

By Philologos

In Biblical times, the Yom Kippur fast was known as the fast. It helped mariners keep track of the seasons, especially since storms usually came later in the year.Read More


Happy Rosh Hashanah to All, No Matter What the Gender

By Philologos

Philologos offers a timely refresher on Hebrew’s feminine nouns. He explains when their plural takes the masculine ending and when they don’t, like shanot tovotRead More





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  • "'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?
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  • "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
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
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