Mosaic Magazine

Editors' Picks

Friday, August 29

Winning the Battle, or the War?

Despite their country’s overwhelming military success in Gaza, many Israelis are disheartened at the perceived results. Given time and fortitude, they may change their minds.

Bad Analogies Kill

Slogans and hashtags compare Israelis to Nazis, and Gaza to genocide. But only one party and its supporters aim at genocide, and those who chant “death to the Jews” give themselves away. 

Muslims Are Not the “New Jews”

Much of what is called “Islamophobia” these days simply cannot be equated with anti-Semitism, either in nature or degree. To say otherwise is not just wrong, it’s dangerous.

Can a Robot Count in a Minyan?

Invoking a variety of rabbinic sources, including a talmudic tale of a golem, a scholar of law and religion takes questions on how artificial intelligence fits within Jewish law.

Tango in Yiddish

Gustavo Bulgach’s Yiddish Tango Club mixes klezmer with the Latin American dance style. As students of tango are well aware, there’s nothing new in that.

Thursday, August 28

Iran's Gaza Game

Hamas surprised Iran by starting a war with Israel. But it still looks to Iran for support, as do others, and Tehran is playing a long game. (Interview by Eric Greenstein)

Pernicious Nonsense

Are most American Jews “uncritical supporters of Israel”? This constant refrain, whose purpose is to discredit all supporters of the Jewish state, is ludicrous on its face.

Martin Amis Takes on Auschwitz

In his second novel on the Holocaust, the British writer has delivered an almost unbearable work—and a timely corrective to today’s promiscuous talk of “genocide.”

For, and Against, Interfaith Dialogue

Dialogue among religions has become a cottage industry. It has its virtues, but also its limits; some things can’t be easily synthesized, and shouldn’t be.

Immortal Mark Twain

The great American writer, often recognized as a friend of the Jewish people, is less well known for his deep appreciation of Jewish ideas.

Wednesday, August 27

The Most Important Story on Earth?

The story isn’t the Gaza war, and isn’t Israel; it’s the way those two stories have been told—and it’s not pretty.  

Why Mormons Can’t be Anti-Zionists

Support for Jewish sovereignty has been a core principle of the Mormon church since its inception; there are good reasons why that is so, and why it can’t be otherwise.    

Meet Max Eitingon

Trained by Freud, he helped bring psychoanalysis to both Germany and Palestine—and may have been a hired Soviet killer. What else do we know, and how do we know it?

Art, Progress, and the Judeo-Christian Tradition

The British Pre-Raphaelites wanted to turn back the artistic and cultural clock; the Italian Futurists wanted to turn it (violently) forward. What do Jews and Christians want?

The Vanishing Jews of Antiquity

Are scholars who deliberately refer to the Jews of the Second Temple era as “Judeans” engaging in semantic subterfuge? (A debate.)

Tuesday, August 26

Totally Unsurprising Hypocrisy

Was Hamas’s mass execution of suspected “collaborators” in Gaza last week a human-rights violation? Not, it seems, according to the United Nations.  

The Once and Future Caliphate

The self-proclaimed caliphate in Iraq is unlikely to last long. But the attempt to revive the institution can have traumatic and far-reaching consequences.

Iran’s German Connection

NUMOV, a trade organization with a deplorable Nazi past, is now pushing for greater German cooperation with Tehran—regrettably, with some success. 

Liberals Should Be Zionists

Are liberalism and Zionism incompatible? The idea is widespread but baseless; it’s the alternatives to Zionism that are truly illiberal.

Who Lived in Qumran?

According to the ancient Jewish historian Josephus, the Essenes, an ascetic sect living in Qumran, wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls. But Josephus is far from reliable.

Monday, August 25

Sherman in Gaza

In his 1864 march through Georgia, the great general successfully broke the resistance of the Confederacy. Has the IDF been channeling his genius?

Historians for Hamas

Hundreds of American academics have signed a petition condemning Israel’s actions in Gaza, thereby allying themselves, not for the first time, with the West’s greatest enemies.

For Orthodox Outreach

In the face of shocking rates of assimilation, it’s urgent that observant Jews begin to engage actively with the non-observant. 

Beelzebub in France

First condemning anti-Semitism, the editor of L’Express, using a Hebrew-derived word for the devil, then blasts French Jews thinking of moving to Israel.  

Mystery Figures of Judah

Discovered a century ago, clay figurines of human forms were prevalent in the First Temple period (c. 800–586 B.C.E). To this day, no one knows what they signify. 
Next Page »

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

Academia

Academia

"Gaza = Auschwitz"
Holocaust inversion—the claim that Israelis are the new Nazis and Palestinians the new Jews—has come to the American university campus.
By Martin Kramer

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Koss

Tradition, Tradition

Busting the Shtetl Myth
What you think you know about Jewish life in Eastern Europe is wrong, argues a fascinating (but problematic) new book.
by Andrew N. Koss

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