If you don’t follow Philologos, the Forward’s inimitable language columnist, you’re missing one of the outstanding intellectual joys in contemporary Jewish life. I don’t say that idly. Week after week for 20-plus years, with an astonishing combination of erudition, curiosity and wit, he’s used readers’ inquiries into the origins of words and phrases to explore some lesser-known byways of history, culture, philosophy and sacred text. There’s nearly always a Jewish jumping off point, but oh, where he jumps to: Slavic, Anglo-Saxon, Chinese and any number of other civilizations. The bottom line is how interconnected we all are. When Ben Zoma said in Pirkei Avot (drawing on Psalm 119), “mikol melamdai hiskalti” (I have gained wisdom from all my teachers), he had to be thinking of Philologos.
Pope Francis’s church convinced itself that Argentina’s ‘dirty war’ was necessary. It wasn’t that different from Vichy France under the Nazis — and the junta also targeted Jews harshly.
A book by newly installed Roman Catholic Pope Francis will be translated into English for the first time, publisher Image Books said on Tuesday.
After the new pope appeared before the masses in St. Peter’s Square, it didn’t take long for him to signal that he would maintain the church’s outreach to Jews. Nor did it take long for the Jews to sing his praises.
Pope Francis I has only one book in print. It’s a fascinating no-holds-barred discussion with a rabbi about the church’s role in the Holocaust, its ties to Jews and Israel.
The Vatican on Friday strongly denied accusations by some critics in Argentina that Pope Francis stayed silent during systematic human rights abuses by the former military dictatorship.