the jewish week

No, the Jews Don't Own Anxiety -- What The New York Times Essay Got Right

In this Sunday’s New York Times, you may have seen the Week in Review front-cover essay by Daniel Smith.  With the header, “Do the Jews Own Anxiety?” it was low-hanging fruit for the paper’s editors to play up on the page 1, given that anything with Jews in the title is almost guaranteed to make the “Most Emailed” list. (Sure enough, on Monday, it broke the Top 10.)

Hofesh Shechter Takes on New York: Israeli Choreography and Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet

Hofesh Shechter often gets annoyed when people only see Jewish or Israeli references in his choreography. “It’s a very interesting, conflicted way the world sees Jews,” he told me a while back. “People [in England] refer to me as Jewish rather than Israeli. There’s this pigeonhole, this file that says ‘Jewish’ on it.” 

Is Israel's National Anthem, 'Hatikva,' Racist? A New Debate Gains Steam

Jews have a long history revising liturgy they find offensive.  The Reform movement has often led that charge, doing away with, for the most part, patrilineal prayers they think should be gender-neutral, and thus more inclusive.

On Maurcie Sendak, Adam Yauch, and the Death of Jewish Brooklyn Bohemia

If the death this weekend of Adam Yauch, 47—the Beastie Boys founder, nicknamed MCA—was not enough, today came another blow: the death of Maurice Sendak, at 83.  Both were Jewish artists, pioneers in their respective genres, and both were Brooklyn-born.  That they were born some 35 years apart, and came from worlds quite diff

Move Over Mendelssohn: Why Everything You Know About the Jewish Enlightenment Is Wrong

Ask anyone about the Jewish Enlightenment, or Haskalah, and the first person they’ll likely mention is Moses Mendelssohn (1729-1786).  Few would disagree that Mendelssohn played a key role in the Haskalah’s earliest stages, attempting as he did to modernize Judaism in 18th century Germany and bring it in line with the broader intellectual trend of his time—that is, the Enlightenment, or what historians often call the Age of Reason.

Move Over Talmud: There's a New, Secular Jewish Commentary in Town

Move over Talmud: there’s a new Jewish commentary in town.  This week, the Posen Foundation and Yale University Press announced the publication date for the first in a 10-volume series anthologizing 3,000 years of Jewish culture and civilization.

The Death of the Father: How Did Benzion Netanyahu Influence His Son?

How will the death of Benzion Netanyahu, the father of Israel’s prime minister who died in Jerusalem on Monday, at 102, affect his powerful son?  I don’t have a clue, though some, like Jeffrey Goldberg, have posited that it might—might—make the prime minister a little bit more willing to compromise with Israel's Arab neighbors.  Rather than play Nostr

"Mein Kampf" Goes Back In Print--in Germany. Good for the Jews?

For years, German scholars and the country’s most prominent Jewish organizations have argued that Germany should allow “Mein Kampf” to be published in Germany before the copyright expires, in 2015.  It is not illegal to publish the book in Germany, but the state of Bavaria, which holds the copyright, had adamantly refused for decades, saying that the longer the book was out of print, the better.

Gertrude Stein: Why Her Fascist Politics Matter

Gertrude Stein’s collaboration with the fascist Vichy government was never a secret.  But, until now, many have simply ignored it; or, to use the critic Frederic Jameson’s phrase, given over to the “innocence of intellectuals.”  Stein’s avid support for Petain, the Nazi collaborator who headed the Vichy government, has often been written off as merely the tragic consequence of many a brilliant artists.  What mattered was her prose, not her politics.

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