Virtually no commentators, left or right, have defended Glenn Beck's vicious attack on George Soros. Commentary called Beck's tirade "marred by ignorance and offensive innuendo"; the ADL's Abe Foxman called them "horrific" and "over the top"; and this week, The New Yorker's
With all due respect to the Eldridge Street Synagogue, whose magnificent stained glass window by Kiki Smith is all the talk of town, the shul gets too much attention. It is one of the oldest surviving synagogues in Manhattan, dating to 1887, but its congregation is decidedly not.
First, if you didn't get a chance to read my blog post from yesterday on the uncomfortable topic of Jews and money, read it here. The feedback has been strong, so read the full thing, but here's what it's about: I give a brief summary of historian Jerry Muller's important book "Capitalism and the Jews," and Abraham Foxman's less successful attempt, "Jews and Money: The Story of A Stereotype." And with Glenn Beck duking it out with George Soros, not to mention A
My story this week is about the scholars who are pushing hard against myths about the shtetl, especially the kind peddled by "Fiddler on the Roof."
As it happens, the composer of that Tony-winning classic died yesterday: Jerry Bock, at 81. Eerily, the writer of the musical's book, Joseph Stein, died ten days before. They both will be missed, deeply.
Reading this Economist review of "Budrus," a new documentary about a nascent Palestinian non-violent movement, which premiers in New York this October, reminded of Tom Friedman. I'm usually a fan of Friedman's Middle East commentary; he's one of the few voices who's spent years reporting from region and gets both Israeli and Arab viewpoints pretty much right.