“To have to deny the actuality of ‘schmutz’ is to make Jews less than human.” — Philip Roth
Israeli professor Hanoch Sheinman thought it was basic human decency to express concern for all the victims of the Gaza war. But his email sparked a shocking backlash.
Benjamin Netanyahu often quotes the words of Bialik, Israel’s national poet, during times of crisis. But Steven J. Zipperstein thinks the premier is cherry-picking the poet’s work.
The political agenda of Israel’s tent city protest was hazy, and its economic demands unrealistic. But its impulses are the finest we’ve seen in a long, long time.
In “Nemesis,” much like elsewhere in that astonishing canvas that is Philip Roth’s work, community is something that no credible human being can live with and whose absence tears, scars without end. It seems not insignificant that the greatest of all living novelists to explore the inescapability of aloneness is born of a people that has so resolutely defined itself — for so long — as the quintessence of togetherness. The interplay between the warmth, the nourishment of community and its suffocating, still worse, its vengeful breath is a neighborhood known no less intimately by Roth than the intersections of Newark, N.J.
Nearly every year, on that day in April when the Koret Jewish Book Awards were to take place at the wood-paneled, hushed environs of New York’s Harvard Club, I’d awake and ask myself, testily, why I had insisted we return to that same stuffy midtown pile. The location was convenient for publishers, book editors and most journalists, and it
Awakening Lives: Autobiographies of Jewish Youth in Poland Before the Holocaust Edited by Jeffrey Shandler Yale, 437 pages, $35. * * *|Recently I visited a new synagogue in the overwhelmingly Orthodox Long Island suburb of Woodmere. In its entrance hall is a wall mural depicting East European Jewish life on the verge of Nazi