Mosaic Magazine

Does America Still Have What It Takes?

Why the American spirit of innovation is in trouble, and what culture has to do with it.

Does America Still Have What It Takes?

American culture has run with the concept of the autonomous individual as no other culture has ever done. But that sense of autonomy has been deteriorating for at least a half-century—in part because Americans have lost religion.

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  1. Fear of Falling by Walter Russell Mead
    How global competition can spur technological innovation and keep America (and Israel) dynamic.

  2. Will Israel Have What It Takes? by Ran Baratz
    Thanks to a mix of old values—mutual responsibility—and new ones—individual freedom—Israel is thriving; but challenges loom.

  3. The Course of Cultural Genius by Dean Keith Simonton
    Why some cultures rise while others fall, and still others revive—a brief survey.

Israel's Big Mistake

How my countrymen gave up the hope for real peace, and how they can get it back.

Israel's Big Mistake

In the disastrous aftermath of the Oslo accords, having awakened from a false dream, we Israelis have become realistic. In doing so, we have also lost something that is key to our sense of ourselves, and to our future.

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Same-Sex Marriage and the Jews

Same-Sex Marriage and the Jews

The Reform and Conservative branches of the Jewish religious world have been eager to institute gay marriage. The only outlier is Orthodoxy. What's at stake?

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Editors' Picks

A Community in Peril

Throughout the Middle East—except in Israel—Christians are under assault. Who will stand up for them? 

Expect the Unexpected

In order to succeed, an Israeli attack on Iran must employ the elements of deception and surprise. On this point, history is informative. 

Ordered Liberty

As the Exodus story suggests, the blessings of freedom are secured through laws: guardrails that tame the ego and remind us of permanent truths.  

Abusing Anne Frank

An exhibit bearing the Dutch girl’s name decries modern-day instances of hatred and ethnic and cultural prejudice. Missing is any mention of anti-Semitism.

Keeping it Together

Did the talmudic sage Hillel anticipate by eighteen centuries the invention widely attributed to the Earl of Sandwich?

Thursday, April 17

Shocking Ignorance

Blind to intra-Palestinian rivalries, and to the local character of Arab politics, Washington misses the real cause of the breakdown in peace talks. 

Aliyah on the Rise?

With rising anti-Semitism abroad and growing prosperity at home, is Israel set to experience a new large-scale immigration?  

Brought to You by Syria

The career of Patrick Seale, for decades the most important foreign apologist for the Assad family, offers a useful study in how dictatorial regimes spread propaganda. 

Who Wrote the Haggadah?

The book read today would be unrecognizable to the ancient Jews who first devised the home ritual of the seder.   

Passover 1948

“A five-year-old boy didn’t merely recite the traditional four questions, but asked them, as if he wanted to be told why a seder in besieged Jerusalem was different from any other.” (1948)

Monday, April 14

What Tehran Fears

A credible threat of U.S. force could still persuade Iran to change course in its nuclear program. But time runs thin, and so does American credibility.

No Theocracy

Highly publicized worries about the role of religion in Israeli public life rely on a false view of Israeli politics—and a gross misunderstanding of Judaism. 

To Free Our Brothers

When Jacob Birnbaum, who died last week, launched the American struggle for Soviet Jewry in the 1970s, his goal seemed wildly quixotic. Within a decade, it was U.S. policy. (2004)

Last Seder?

It has long been thought that the “last supper” meal celebrated by Jesus and his disciples was the ritual Passover meal. Most likely, it was not.

Passover 1864

“There, in the wild woods of West Virginia, away from home and friends, we offered up to the ever-loving God of Israel our prayers and sacrifice.” 


Does America Still Have It?

Fear of Falling
How global competition can spur technological innovation and keep America (and Israel) dynamic.
by Walter Russell Mead

Hadari Song of Songs

Love Songs

The Love of Their Youth
The Song of Songs and the old men, filled with longing, who sing it.
by Atar Hadari


The Intellectual Scene

The Walter Benjamin Brigade
How an original but maddeningly opaque German Jewish intellectual became a thriving academic industry.
by Walter Laqueur

Doran Russia


It's Not Just Ukraine
What his actions in Eastern Europe tell us about how Vladimir Putin sees the Middle East.
by Michael Doran

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Nicholson Essay

The October Essay

Evangelicals and Israel
What do evangelicals really think about the Jewish people, what are the roots of their Christian Zionism—and what is now driving a growing number away from wholehearted support of Israel.
by Robert W. Nicholson

Horn Surnames

What's In A Name

Jewish Surnames [Supposedly] Explained
“Dara, you’ll love this!” Actually, I don’t.
by Dara Horn

Degenerate Art

The Art World

Degenerate Art and the Jewish Grandmother
The story of the family behind the Nazi-era art trove.
By Walter Laqueur


Conservative and Orthodox

The Crisis in Jewish Law Today
Orthodox rabbis need to stop worrying about 200-year-old battles with “Reformers” and allow Jewish law to develop organically, as it did in the past.
By David Golinkin


The Situation in Europe

You Only Live Twice
Vibrant Jewish communities were reborn in Europe after the Holocaust. Is there a future for them in the 21st century?
by Michel Gurfinkiel