Is there something about religion that is inherently violent, or is it a myth that religion leads to violence? And since much of the contemporary religious violence in the news is connected to Islam, is this a Muslim problem—or a broader human one? We posed these questions to a wide-ranging group of thinkers.
Technology inexplicably fails us often enough to need a word for the occasion, and glitch has slipped in to fill the void. Newspaper headlines routinely illustrate the word’s versatility and popularity. When thousands of travelers find themselves stranded: “Computer glitch cancels East Coast flights.” When a much-anticipated website launch screeches to a halt: “HealthCare.gov’s glitches prompt…
There are few more outspoken proponents of conservative ideas in North American Jewry today than Ruth Wisse: pioneer of the academic study of modern Jewish literature, longtime professor of Yiddish and Yiddish literature at McGill and Harvard, essayist, political commentator and author of a dozen books. In works such as If I Am Not for Myself: The Liberal Betrayal of the Jews, Wisse argues that Jews must stop blaming themselves for the hatred, past and present, of Judaism and Jews.
As a university student in Warsaw in the first half of the 1970s, I used to spend much of my summer vacation hitchhiking around the country. This is how one fine July day I found myself in Jedwabne, a nondescript but beautifully located small town in Poland’s Northeast. Wandering through the meadows and forests, I lost my sense of direction and eventually had to ask a local for the road out of town.
Years went by, one lavishly slow day at a time, with hot summers, when we baked our bodies at the beach down the street or, on an occasional excursion, on the sands at Asbury Park or Bradley Beach some hours south of home, where we swam also in the pungent salty ocean waters; then came translucent autumn light, with the High Holidays catching our attention as much for the hours at synagogue they demanded of us as any sense of the holiness of things.
Should rabbis talk to their congregants about BDS?
On Monday, September 23, 2013, Juliana Deguis Pierre was mopping the floors of the house of a wealthy family in the Dominican capital of Santo Domingo when a journalist from the daily newspaper El Caribe appeared at the door. “They can’t give you your document because your father came from Haiti,” the journalist told her before snapping her photo without permission and abruptly departing.
What makes great literature? Do Jeffrey Eugenides and Stephen King write beach reads or books worthy of the canon—or both? And where do women writers fit in? One of the biggest advocates for breaking down barriers between popular and critically revered books is a writer whose trademark is creating quirky Jewish women who worry about their weight and eventually find true love—and themselves in the process.
The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, an anti-Semitic forgery published in Russia in 1903, has been called a “warrant for genocide.” However, as early as the 12th century in England, what is now known as “the blood libel”—the false accusation that Jews murdered Christian children for their blood—may be the original warrant that gave the world a pretext to deny the Jewish people a place in civilized society.
The world watched in horror earlier this year when videos went viral showing ISIS bulldozing the 3,000-year-old ruins of the ancient Assyrian capital of Nimrud in Iraq—a city so old it is mentioned in Genesis. The militants toppled walls and bas-reliefs, sledgehammered statues and used a bulldozer to overturn and shatter a majestic human-headed, winged bull statue that had long guarded the city’s Nergal Gate…