Mosaic Magazine

Editors' Picks

Thursday, July 24

Hollow Success

The rocket that fell near Ben-Gurion airport, disrupting air travel, threw Israel off-kilter; it could also spell Hamas’s doom.  

Did Birthright Kill Max?

To an American journalist, a young American-born Israeli soldier killed in Gaza must have been brainwashed by his guided trip to Israel. The deficiency lies rather in her.

Hamas’s Foreign Enablers

The fighting in Gaza is best understood not as a local conflict but as the war against Israel of an entire alliance led by Qatar and Turkey.   

Against the “Science of Judaism”

Ever since the late 19th century, Orthodox rabbis and scholars have striven to devise alternatives to the secular study of Judaism; some have succeeded. 

Preserving Judeo-Spanish

Also known as Ladino, the language of Sephardi Jewry boasts poetic and musical treasures in danger of being lost; in Seattle, a group is working to conserve it.  

Wednesday, July 23

The Irrational Hatred

Every reason given by opponents of Israel’s actions in Gaza collapses upon simple analysis; an explanation for the outpouring of rage must be sought elsewhere. 

Are the Democrats Pro-Israel?

Even as the vast majority of Americans back Israel over the Palestinians, support is increasingly fractured along partisan lines. 

Thank You, America—and AIPAC

Without the Iron Dome system, many more Israeli victims might be claimed by Hamas’s missiles. America, and American Jews, helped it come into being.  

How We Remember

Observant Jews practice a variety of rituals to commemorate the anniversary of a relative’s passing. Herewith, a guide.

Follow My Lead

It may seem unfair to criticize rabbis and other communal leaders for ethical lapses we excuse in ourselves, but preachers must not violate what they preach. 

Tuesday, July 22

The Home Front

So often politically divided, Israelis are now joined in horror at the enemy’s strategy of war to the death, and fiercely determined to prevail.

Christians and Moral Equivalence

Evidence for the justice of the Israeli cause in the war against Hamas couldn’t be clearer. Why do many church leaders refuse to see it?  

The Rebbe and the Messiah

The late Lubavitcher Rebbe left an impressive, even awe-inspiring legacy. But he bears primary responsibility for the growth and endurance of a movement of false messianism. 

Middle-Class Myopia

In America, capitalism is the last ideology still standing, but many have forgotten the ties of religion and community without which prosperity is neither meaningful nor assured.   

The Challenge of Prayer

Has modern life made it more difficult to pray with concentration and devotion? Maybe; but great ancient rabbis wrestled with the same problem. 

Monday, July 21

Tehran’s Fingerprints

Badly damaged in the 2012 conflict, Hamas is now able to wreak havoc thanks to a steady supply of money and weapons from the Islamic Republic.

Israel Is Not Algeria

To Hamas, Israel is a colonial regime that will withdraw in the face of sufficient pain. But Israelis are a people living in their own home, and will not be moved.  

Europe’s Shame

The young Muslims violently denouncing Israel in London, Paris, and elsewhere cannot bring down the Jewish state; but they pose the greatest possible problem for Europe.   

All the (Hamas) News Fit to Print

Hamas "media guidelines" demand that the only pictures from Gaza be of civilians, never of fighters. New York's paper of record appears to be complying.

Is the BBC Pro-Israel?

So shouted protesters outside the broadcast authority’s London headquarters last week. The charge is almost ludicrously false. 

Friday, July 18

On Gaza: A Strategy of Attrition

With no quick fixes available, Israel’s preference for limited engagement rather than all-out war in Gaza has so far proved effective, and may yet succeed.    

On Iran: A Strategy of Wishful Thinking

It would be nice to believe that the White House is operating on the basis of reasonable, prudent, and carefully hedged decisions; but don’t bet on it.

Israel and Western Drift

Geography aside, it is Israel that is still truly a Western country and is fighting for Western values—while the West, slowly but surely, is drifting away from itself.

Those Clever Jews

Why the disproportionate number of Jews with Nobel prizes? The latest answer—genetic adaptation—is insufficient, and no one has identified how it works.   

Hasidic Headgear

The fur hats worn by many ultra-Orthodox men have been significant social markers for centuries. Where does the tradition come from?
Next Page »

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

Posen

The Death of Jewish Culture

The Death of Jewish Culture Revisited
An exchange between the foremost philanthropic supporter of secular Jewish culture and the analyst of its decline.
By Felix Posen and James Loeffler

Horn Surnames

What's In A Name

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

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

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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

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

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