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The Story of the Oy

I like the way Tamara Faith Berger writes sex, although the sex she writes is always of the glowering, desperate …

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Ivanhoe and Jewish Politics

I have fond if vague memories of the 1952 film “Ivanhoe,” with Elizabeth Taylor in the role of Rebecca, and which …

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Still Finding Vivian Maier

Tonight I saw the Vivian Maier documentary.  The film is fascinating, extremely well made, and decidedly worth seeing, if ultimately …

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Róźycki’s Colonies

The poet devours God in “Ants and Sharks,” the twenty-sixth poem in Tomasz Róźycki’s sonnet sequence Colonies, displacing God at …

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Tevye’s Secret

Tevye is Sholem Aleichem’s most beloved character and the Tevye stories his most widely acclaimed literary works.  A good deal …

Culture and the Classroom

Programs of Jewish studies in colleges and universities have added greatly to the possibilities for Jewish self-understanding.  But they offer …

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Post-Protestant–Catholic–Jew

Impressionistic, idiosyncratic, Joseph Bottum’s An Anxious Age: The Post-Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of America swoops and veers like the …

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Historical Revisionism is Hell

Mary Louise Roberts, a scholar at the University of Wisconsin who has focused on “issues of gender in fin-de-siècle France,” …

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The End of Eros

In the Roman empire, slaves and prostitutes “played something like the part that masturbation has played in most cultures,” writes …

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Taking Ourselves Seriously

No Joke: Making Jewish Humor, the latest volume in the Library of Ideas series launched by Princeton University Press and …

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In the Crucifix Kingdom

Uri Zvi Greenberg (1896-1981) was one of the greatest Hebrew poets of modern times, and perhaps the greatest of the …

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Sex and Game of Thrones

Like most of America, I’m currently making my way through George R. R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series.  …

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Tap Dancing Through Black Holes

I won’t do it anymore.  I won’t call Robert Whitehill-Bashan “the Hebrew poet from Texas.”  Yes, he did grow up …

A Response to David Myers

Last month, David Myers, professor of Jewish history at UCLA, published an interesting essay in the Los Angeles Jewish Journal …

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Mark Helprin’s Refiner’s Fire

“Winter’s Tale,” the new film based on Mark Helprin’s lauded second novel, is garnering mostly negative reviews.  Perhaps it is …

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Generic Israeli Poet

Joanna Chen’s essay on Israeli poet Agi Mishol in the usually excellent Los Angeles Review of Books is an unfortunate snooze.  Chen, …

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Shabbatai Zvi Walks Into A Cafe

One of the most inimitable, poignant, and often laugh-out-loud funny poets in contemporary Hebrew literature is neither Israeli nor lives …

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