Michael Weingrad is professor of Jewish studies at Portland State University and a frequent contributor to Mosaic and the Jewish Review of Books.
The figure of the great fairy king in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is descended from Judah Maccabee.
Six more Mosaic writers share their favorites, featuring shadow strikes, orchards, gleanings, constitutional evolutions and revolutions, serotonin, odd women, and more.
In a new biography, the critic emerges as an advanced exemplar of a nexus of glamor and moral self-regard.
In The Smoke, the latest from the British writer Simon Ings, “Bundists” turn into grotesque shape-shifters. The implications are at once unclear and unsettling.
A wonderful new book recaptures their story and relates it to broader issues of Middle Eastern Jewish identity.
Like so many works in this genre, a new 350-page graphic treatment of Theodor Herzl is cartoonish in every sense of the word.
Letters, antidotes, eternal lives, outcasts, secret worlds, pogroms, and more.
Grasping the special virtues of Zion’s Fiction.
A new book shows the harm that ensues when religion morphs into social-justice activism.
Two new novels offer angles of vision into Jewish experience in the pre- or non-Israeli parts of the modern Middle East.
In their seeming simplicity, they convey an intricately layered, acutely realized, and intensely moving human vision.
Spy games, catch-67s, lionesses, smugglers, patriots, setting suns, and more.
For better, and for worse, Jeremy Dauber’s Jewish Comedy: A Serious History tells the story of Jewish comedy as the story of Jewish civilization.
The latest novel by Amos Oz, Israel’s best-known writer, is ostensibly an allegory about both the state of Israel and the betrayal of Jesus. What’s it actually about?
Year after year, most of what gets served up to young Jewish readers is poorly conceived, substantively shallow, and reeking of chicken-soup nostalgia.
Reubeni, Prince of the Jews, by Kafka’s close friend Max Brod, reminds us of the perils of elevating utopianism over the responsibilities of politics.
Nothing much, and nothing good.
The caped inventions of American Jewish cartoonists have thrilled countless people around the world. Israeli Jews have never produced anything comparable. Why?
For this Jewish writer and intellectual, childhood took place in a “decaying, fear-ridden city” with a mob family who called it home.
Written in 1923, “In the Crucifix Kingdom” depicts Europe as a Jewish wasteland. Why has no one read it?
In his prize-winning new novel, Reuven Namdar asks whether American Jewry is a house on fire. His answer is. . . .
A powerful new film, available online, shows us the man who more than any other shaped the modern Hebrew language.
Is the 2014 Nobel Prize-winner’s work really driven by the legacy of the Holocaust in France? Or is it more personal?
A just-reissued classic explores an unfamiliar realm of Jewish experience—and is a great American tale besides.
Programs of Jewish studies in colleges and universities have added greatly to the possibilities for Jewish self-understanding. But they offer no sure pathway to Jewish identity.