literature

Famous Amos

Judas, the latest novel by Amos Oz, is ostensibly an allegory about both the state of Israel and the betrayal …

Jonathan Levi’s Septimania

He is heir to the Islamic Caliphate, the Holy Roman Empire, and the Jewish kingdom of Septimania–but does he get …

A Cipher and His Songs

If you are a lover of Israeli music then you certainly know Avraham Halfi (1906–1980), though perhaps not by name. …

In the Crucifix Kingdom

In a dark Yiddish masterpiece that predated the Holocaust by two decades, the poet Uri Zvi Greenberg envisioned the annihilation …

Bialik’s “To the Bird”

“El-hatsipor” (To the Bird) was Chaim Nachman Bialik’s first published poem. He began its composition while he was still a …

Max and Mirra, Edo and Enam

The true story of Max Eitingon is still being written.  A member of Sigmund Freud’s inner circle and financial supporter …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Tevye’s Secret

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

Taking Ourselves Seriously

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

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 …

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 …