Mosaic Magazine

Editors' Picks

Wednesday, September 17

Connecting the Dots

Angela Merkel’s recent speech was a rare acknowledgment that anti-Zionism, anti-Semitism, and anti-democracy are all symptoms of the same disease.

Scribal Error

The furor over the 19th-century “discovery” of an ancient fragment of Deuteronomy says much about the influence on scholarship of scholars’ ideas, prejudices, and worldviews.

Just One War

From Nigeria to Iraq, from Gaza to Birmingham, the source of the threat to civilization is all of a piece. 

Still Guilty after All These Years

Miriam Moskowitz helped her boyfriend spy for the Soviets. Sixty years later, she still insists on her innocence, and the rightness of her cause.

Loyalty and Dissent

Protests intended to result in healthy democratic change are necessary and salutary. The recent protest by Israeli intelligence reservists is of a different type: political grandstanding.

Tuesday, September 16

How IS Sees Itself

Unlike al-Qaeda, the “Caliphate” places priority not on global terrorism but on establishing and consolidating a state. Hence it defers the clash with the West to a later stage.

A Rigged Game

At the root of the Western media’s animus against Israel are laziness, a herd mentality, and, not least, latent hostility toward Jews. (Interview by Dafna Maor)

In Defense of Targeted Killings

The former head of the NSA and CIA discusses American-Israeli cooperation, the Iranian nuclear program, the war on terror, and other matters. (Interview by Ronen Bergman)

Theocracy, No

In an effort to expand its voter base, Israel’s leading religious-Zionist party will now welcome non-religious members and support their candidacy for national office.

The World’s Oldest Siddur

On exhibit in Jerusalem is a 9th-century prayer book with portions of the Sabbath prayers, hymns, and the Haggadah. It is from the collection of the founders of Hobby Lobby.

Monday, September 15

Unsavory Bedfellows

On a run-in with a key benefactor of In Defense of Christians—and supporter of the Iranian axis; or, how a noble cause becomes entangled with those who stand with murderers.

Call for Recusal

William Schabas has been appointed head of the UN inquiry into the Gaza war. His record as an Israel-hater makes further mockery of an already fatally compromised proceeding.

“Disproportionate!”

These days, the word is used almost exclusively to describe any action, defensive or responsive, by Israel. Can someone point me in the direction of a proportionate war?

The Crusaders’ Jerusalem

During its 90-year reign, the “Latin Kingdom” rehabilitated ancient landmarks and built and rebuilt churches, leaving an enduring mark on the city’s architecture.

Johnny Cash, Christian Zionist

For the country-music giant, the land of Israel was both religiously symbolic and a real place whose people needed moral and political support.

Friday, September 12

A Teaching Moment

Defending Israel at a conference dedicated to the plight of Middle Eastern Christians, Senator Ted Cruz was booed off the stage, saying, “If you will not stand with Israel and the Jews, then I will not stand with you.”

One Monster, Two Heads

Anti-Americanism and anti-Zionism work hand in hand, and will not be defeated by pretending otherwise. (September 11, 2011)

Saying No to Open Borders

The Torah tells us to love the stranger, but—contrary to what some activists claim—Jewish law and values do not mandate unrestricted immigration.

Remembering “Comrade Madam”

The South African writer Nadine Gordimer won the Nobel Prize for her fiction. In life, she promoted and romanticized Communism and embraced the anti-apartheid cause only when it turned to terrorism.

Against Entitlement

Deuteronomy warns that material wellbeing can lead to self-satisfaction and moral complacency. The antidote? Gratitude and generosity.

Thursday, September 11

Facing the Future

The former vice president discusses U.S. foreign policy since 9/11 and today’s challenges in the Middle East and elsewhere. (Video, 38 minutes)

What Price Victory?

Only taking and holding territory can achieve decisive military results against Hamas or Islamic State. Unwilling to travel that route, Israel and the U.S. have a long struggle ahead.

Our Own Worst Enemies?

Much of the Western media’s anti-Israel narrative originates with Israeli journalists.

In Praise of a Rabbinical Sleuth

In Harry Kemelman’s “Rabbi Small” novels, a proudly Jewish cleric confronts issues and solves mysteries with the aid of insights psychological, sociological, and theological.

Test-Tube Burgers: Kosher?

As scientists develop a way of bioengineering meat in a laboratory, rabbis will have to determine whether and how the results satisfy the standards of kashrut.
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Laufer

Holidays

Remembrance of Trumpets Past
Rosh Hashanah as described in the Torah looks very different from the Rosh Hashanah we know today. What happened, and what exactly are we celebrating?
by Nathan Laufer

Yadlin

What Now for Israel?

The Case for Unilateral Action
Why Israel needs to move now toward a division of the land—even in the absence of a peace deal.
By Amos Yadlin

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Karski

The Holocaust

A Tree Grows in Lublin
Remembering Jan Karski, the Pole who told FDR to his face about the Holocaust, and still wondered if he'd done enough.
By Joshua Muravchik

Freundel Wertheimer

Can Modern Orthodoxy Survive?

The Unresolved Dilemmas of Modern Orthodoxy
Everyone agrees that the movement needs to rethink and revamp. Very few agree on how.
By Jack Wertheimer

Fiddler

Tevye Betrayed

What’s Wrong with Fiddler on the Roof
Fifty years on, no work by or about Jews has won American hearts so thoroughly. So what's my problem?
By Ruth R. Wisse

Horn Surnames

What's In A Name

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

Benjamin

The Intellectual Scene

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

Golinkin

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

Kook

History

Abraham Isaac Kook Receives the Call
For a visionary rabbi in London, the Balfour Declaration of 1917 signified nothing less than the advent of the messianic era.
by Yehudah Mirsky

Gurfinkiel

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

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

Wertheimer

The September Essay

Intermarriage: Can Anything Be Done?
A half-century after the rate of intermarriage in the US began to skyrocket, the Jewish community appears to have resigned itself to the inevitable. But to declare defeat is preposterous.
by Jack Wertheimer

Aharon L

The Rabbinic World

Who Is Aharon Lichtenstein?
Introducing the extraordinary rabbi who next week will receive Israel’s highest honor.
By Elli Fischer

Rubinstein

Yom Hashoah

Making Amends
A mysterious request leads the Canadian-born son of a Holocaust survivor back to the old country.
by Robert Eli Rubinstein