Ruth Wisse offers a cogent analysis of Jewish humor in her new book. Why does she overlook several decades of scholarship on ethnic jokes?
In the subculture of Christmas mixtapes Bill Adler is a very important Jew. For close to 30 years, the Manhattan music maven has put out “Xmas Jollies,” which just may be the most eclectic Yuletide mixtape on the planet. Adler has what musicians refer to as very big ears and for many of his 300 or so friends — Jews, as well as gentiles — his Jollies mixtape is a major part of the holiday soundtrack.
The contentious question “Who is a Jew?” (Mi Hu Yehudi? in Hebrew) has bedeviled the Israeli legal system continuously since 1959, when the Jewish-born Polish priest Oswald Rufeisen, known as Brother Daniel, was rejected in his application for Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return. Israel’s Supreme Court upheld the rejection in 1962. Since then the debate has returned repeatedly to the Supreme Court, brought down governments and soured relations between Israel and American Jewry, yet it still remains unsolved.