Memoirs of a Jewish Extremist

For anyone interested in modern Israel, Like Dreamers: The Story of the Israeli Paratroopers Who Reunited Jerusalem and Divided a …

Why Are Jews Conservative?

“We Jews are so smart, just give us five or ten years and the most prominent American conservatives will be …

Meet the New Weird

Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy of sci-fi / horror novels is contemporary, in some ways even trendy. The cast of …

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 …

Still Finding Vivian Maier

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

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 …

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 …

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 …

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,” …

The End of Eros

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

Taking Ourselves Seriously

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