Hillel Halkin

 
About the author

Hillel Halkin’s books include Yehuda HaleviAcross the Sabbath RiverMelisande: What are Dreams? (a novel), Jabotinsky: A Life (2014), and, most recently, After One-Hundred-and-Twenty (Princeton). 

Growing numbers of American Jews care about Israel only to the extent that Israel validates their own self-image. Israelis feel much the same way about them.

May 15 2017 12:01AM

Why did the great Micha Yosef Berdichevsky, who called on Jews to take personal responsibility for Zionism, never settle in or even visit Palestine?

Feb. 1 2017 12:01AM

Despite the failure of his cultural Zionism, the two main pillars of his thought remain central to Jewish life—and to arguments about Jewish life—today.

Nov. 3 2016 12:01AM

The unresolved rivalry between the great Zionist thinker and the great Zionist strategist still shapes the contending outlooks of many 21st-century Jews.

Oct. 5 2016 12:01AM

None of the great Jewish arguments that raged in the 19th century—tradition versus modernity, secularism versus religion, nationalism versus universalism—is over with.

May 31 2016 12:01AM

Elsewhere than Zion, said the greatest Hebrew poet of the 19th century—until he changed his mind, paving the way for others.

May 2 2016 12:01AM

The death of his brother in 1041 moved Shmuel Hanagid, one of Jewish history’s most extraordinary figures, to write nineteen piercing poems charting the rise and fall of his grief.

April 27 2016 12:01AM

Did Jews recognizably still exist as a people in the late 19th century? Many questioned it. In his packed and vibrant fiction, the great Peretz Smolenskin proved them wrong.

Dec. 28 2015 12:01AM

The second Hebrew novelist was the first to imagine the pageantry and passion of life in ancient Israel—and thereby excited the dreams of emergent Zionists.

Sept. 30 2015 12:01AM

In 1819, Joseph Perl published Hebrew literature’s first novel. A riotous satire of the ḥasidic movement, it remains largely and unjustly forgotten.

May 11 2015 12:01AM
The reputation of a great Zionist founding father has suffered from three stereotypes. None is true.
June 11 2014 6:00PM

The two-state solution won’t work, the one-state solution won’t work. Where does that leave us?

March 9 2014 8:00PM

Zionism is at once the greatest repudiation of the Jewish past and the greatest affirmation of it.

Nov. 24 2013 10:31PM
The Case for Life in Israel
Nov. 3 2013 11:33PM

The Jewish people would suffer no great loss if all the Jews of Europe were to pack and leave tomorrow.

Aug. 25 2013 10:51PM