When I saw that the new issue of The New Republic had Robert Alter reviewing a new work by Nathan Englander, I instinctively thought it’d be of Englander’s new translation of the Passover Haggadah. Given that Alter is a widely admired translator of the Hebrew Bible, it was only natural for me to assume as much.
When Arthur Miller’s “Death of A Salesman” first opened on Broadway, in 1949, Brooks Atkinson, The New York Times’ chief theater critic, could not have been more enthusiastic—“masterly,” he called, “heroic” and “superb.” It is safe to say that the same adjectives can be used to describe the current Broadway revival that opened this week. Philip Seymour Hoffman, in the lead role of Willy Loman, brings renewed complexity to a classic American character who
This week brought news of two shocking deaths: the first of Albert Abramson, 94, an important figure in building the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. And then there was Peter Novick, 77, an historian who wrote a withering attack of the Holocaust’s undue influence on American Jewish identity. The two would probably have had little to agree
All eyes were on Bibi Netanyahu yesterday as he delivered his AIPAC speech. At times he was disarming, at others bellicose, both emphasizing that Obama has Israel’s back, but that if need be, Israel would go it alone. “The purpose of the Jewish state is to secure the Jewish future,” he thundered. “That is why Israel must always have the ability to defend itself, by itself, against any threat.”
It used to be the case that when you mentioned Jews and hip-hop, it was Jews who did the producing, and blacks who did the rapping. That’s changed. Now every rap great still living—which is to say, most—are running things: Jay-Z, Kanye, Lil Wayne are all producing giants. While Jews, on the other hand, are rapping: forget Matisyahu (but him too), there’s Drake and Mac Miller and, to my surprise, even DJ Drama.
Perhaps the greatest irony of classical music is that, while Jews have excelled in the genre as both composers and musicians, they have left very little notable music with an identifiable Jewish strain. Many have tried, to be sure—Leonard Bernstein and Steven Reich, to name two. But both those greats will be forever famous for their non-Jewish work.
If you have anything like a normal human heart, you have probably fallen in love with Jeremy Lin. I have yet to find any criticism of the break-out New York Knick star—or at least any that doesn’t feel merely contrarian or just plain cruel. Almost every ethnic group seems to identity with his story too, and how couldn’t they?
When Israel conquered the West Bank in 1967, virtually no Jews lived there. Most had fled their homes after Jews had been massacred by a group of marauding Arabs in 1929. But now that Israelis are in control of certain cities--notably Hebron, home of the tomb of Abraham--things have gone terribly awry. A new and essential report in the New York Review of Books shows what a disaster the Israeli occupation has become.
Like many liberals, David Brooks is a conservative I can like. But every now and then he falls in with the wrong conservative crowd. And this week it was in his swooning endorsement of Charles Murray and his new book, “Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010.”