The year 2017 was another rocky one in the relationship between Israel and many American Jews, punctuated by conflict over matters once considered common ground. Some controversies—including a backlash over comments about American Jews’ military service by Israeli deputy foreign minister Tzipi Hotovely—suggest a level of misunderstanding that could end up harming both sides.
During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump proclaimed at a rally that Hillary Clinton “got schlonged” in the 2008 primaries. Schlong, when used as a noun, is a Yiddish word for penis—and a pretty vulgar one at that. But when used as a verb, is it even a word?
Is the brash young crown prince a liberalizing reformer or a repressive hard-liner? And what does this mean for his kingdom’s relationships with the United States and Israel?
The epigram, “They tried to kill us. We survived. Let’s eat!” sometimes serves as a tongue-in-cheek synopsis of Jewish holidays: Passover, for example, recounts the original Jewish survival story in an extended banquet punctuated by four cups of wine.
No reporter likes to be sucked into a story she’s covering. But when a Washington Post article late last year quoted two law clerks by name who said that Judge Alex Kozinski of the Ninth Federal Circuit Court of Appeals had shown them pornography in his chambers, while four other unnamed women described other inappropriate behavior by the judge, Dahlia Lithwick decided to speak up.
Zionism has always been a fiercely ideological movement. Socialist Labor Zionism gave rise to Israel’s Labor Party and to many of Israel’s best-known leaders, such as David Ben-Gurion, Levi Eshkol, Golda Meir and Yitzhak Rabin.
Dara Horn’s new novel, Eternal Life, imagines two characters who have made a sacred pact that consigns them to lives that will never end. Tethered to wearying and repetitive perpetuity, they cannot encounter the crossover from purpose to purposelessness that my mother-in-law experienced.
“I have these vocal cords. Two,” the singer Art Garfunkel writes near the start of his intriguing book of impressionistic musings about his life, “They have vibrated with the love of sound since I was five and began to sing with the sense of God’s gift running through me.”