What Peter Beinart doesn’t lack is attention—what he lacks is friends. That’s the conclusion you can draw from New York magazine’s lengthy profile of Beinart, the fiery liberal Jewish journalist who recently published his jeremiad warning of Israel’s imminent demise. In “The Crisis of Zionism,” Beinart’s much bally-hooed new book, he argues that if the state continues to hold
In Poland last year to help the small Jewish community of Poznan lead its Pesach seders, I spent some time in a small café down the street from the city’s former synagogue (serving since communist times as a municipal swimming pool) with the director of a small art gallery.
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.)
It’s easy to venerate our prophets, harder to relate to them. They were noble, and they were also cranky, dirty and solitary; strange things to be in our scrubbed, relentlessly social world. This seeming eccentricity gives us reason, if we want it, to avoid their message. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t want it? Even thinking about them too much, much less emulating them, is uncomfortable.
God is surely well-accustomed to all those vows from Lotto players, gamblers and risk-taking Wall Street investors about how much they’d give to charity if they hit paydirt. Even more than the Bucket List of things to do before we die, most people who aren’t wealthy have their own list of charities and worthy causes they would love to be able to bankroll before splurging on fast cars, big houses, exotic vacation and, for some, maybe settling their overdue day school tuition balance.
The latest artistic news about Poland’s small-but-emerging Jewish community centers around Pawel Bramson, a skinhead-turned-Orthodox-Jew who’s featured in a new documentary, “The Moon is Jewish,” which premiered here this winter, won an award at last month’s Jewish Motifs International Film Festival in Warsaw, and subsequently has garnered heavy coverage,
“From neo-Nazi skinhead to black-hatted Jew,” was the headline in JTA this week. And this on worldjewishdaily.com: “From Malicious to Mashgiach.”