Group of scholars pressing idea of cultural Zionism, amid pushback.
From the United Nations to the capitals of Europe to the pages of the New York Review of Books, Zionism — and the Israeli policies that undergird it — have lately come under withering attack.
Israel is reeling from the international condemnation following the failed flotilla attack. And Peter Beinart’s essay in the NYRB — which attacked Jewish leaders for failing to inspire a new generation of Jews committed to Israel — urged a more liberal Zionism as a way to get young Jews back in the fold.
‘Mr. A” is a 43-year-old chasidic man who is so afraid to make mistakes in his daily prayers that he cannot bring himself to get out of bed until noon or 1 p.m. The reason? Obsessions he’s faced since his days in yeshiva, when he was consistently the last person to finish praying each morning.
The home page of the University of Colorado Web site reveals a scene of striking beauty: an exquisitely designed red-brick, neo-Gothic building set against the rugged peaks of the Rockies.
But for Jewish students on the Boulder campus, the idyllic scene of the American West belies their experience on the front lines of a new kind of anti-Semitism playing out in recent years at American colleges and universities spurred by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
A man who likes extinct languages, Mel Gibson had a chance to practice his Latin this summer — he made several mea culpas.
Following his drunken, sexist, profane, anti-Semitic tirade in Malibu in July, the actor-director apologized to the police officers who arrested him. He apologized in a general public statement for saying “despicable” things. He apologized “specifically to everyone in the Jewish community,” to “those who have been hurt and offended by those words.”
Full-scale wars, which Israel has fought many times in the past, and major army operations, which Israel has found itself in during recent weeks in Gaza and Lebanon, usually bring stories of troop maneuvers and military analysis, call-ups of the reserves, and civilian sacrifices. The human side of war is often hard to picture from a distance, particularly when the fighting involves Israel, a country that few Americans, even American Jews, have visited.
A yarmulke-wearing rabbi from Yeshiva University goes to the Vatican and finds secret insults to the pope and Jewish mystical codes embedded in Michelangelo’s painting of the Sistine Chapel.
The rabbi, Benjamin Blech, teams up with Roy Doliner, a docent and guide at the Vatican, and their findings are published last week in the book, “The Sistine Secrets,” which claims that Michelangelo was influenced so greatly by Judaism that 95 percent of his painting depicts scenes from the Old Testament.