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Who Is "I Am That I Am"?

Who Is "I Am That I Am"?

In the Jewish tradition, the summit of religious awareness is to know that God is ultimately unknowable.

Jan. 19 2017 12:01AM
Are American Jews Shifting Their Political Affiliation?

Are American Jews Shifting Their Political Affiliation?

Some certainly are—and, as an analysis of Orthodox voting patterns from the past five elections shows, this is a long-term trend. What does it mean, and where might it go from here?

Jan. 18 2017 12:01AM
Beyond Sighing and Swooning: Love in the Hebrew Bible

Beyond Sighing and Swooning: Love in the Hebrew Bible

Although it does not seem to be about romantic attachment at all, the tale of Ruth and Boaz is the quintessential example of a biblical love story.

Jan. 12 2017 12:01AM
Where Israel Advocacy Fails, and How It Can Succeed

Where Israel Advocacy Fails, and How It Can Succeed

It’s not enough to respond to anti-Israel attacks. To reach the young, pro-Israel activists need to focus on what Israel is, on its human face.

Jan. 11 2017 12:01AM
The Variety and Universality of Nicknames

The Variety and Universality of Nicknames

Different languages employ different methods of generating nicknames, but they all satisfy the same two needs: to show special affection and to demonstrate special intimacy.

Jan. 5 2017 12:01AM
The Jewish Tradition Unfolds in Fire. Here's How, and Why

The Jewish Tradition Unfolds in Fire. Here's How, and Why

What are we to make of the fiery images, stories, and rituals that inform Jewish liturgy and Jewish self-understanding?

Dec. 29 2016 12:01AM
One of the Most Spectacular Songs of Praise in the Jewish Liturgy

One of the Most Spectacular Songs of Praise in the Jewish Liturgy

Nishmat starts with the wide-open sky and the wings of eagles; it ends deep inside the recesses of the body, in our vital organs.

Dec. 28 2016 12:01AM
Which is Better: to Be Righteous, or to Be Quick to Sin and Quick to Repent?

Which is Better: to Be Righteous, or to Be Quick to Sin and Quick to Repent?

The story of Joseph sets up two archetypes: the righteous dreamer (Joseph) and the flawed but penitent sinner (his brother Judah). Both have a place in the tradition, but one is preferred.

Dec. 22 2016 12:01AM
Why the Word for Wine Is Similar in So Many Languages

Why the Word for Wine Is Similar in So Many Languages

There’s Greek oinos and Hebrew yayin, to say nothing of such farther-flung cognates as Swahili mvinyo and Maori waina. Is there a common root?

Dec. 21 2016 12:01AM
Taking History into Their Own Hands

Taking History into Their Own Hands

A new book by Daniel Gordis traces “one of the most extraordinary human stories of all time”—and makes clear that the story continues in similar fashion today.

Dec. 15 2016 12:01AM
Do the Ultra-Orthodox Censor Historical Truth?

Do the Ultra-Orthodox Censor Historical Truth?

A new book explains, and over-explains, why ultra-Orthodox authorities resort to Photoshop.

Dec. 14 2016 12:01AM
Survival and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Survival and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Last month I received two letters that brought back memories of a love story with the Holocaust as background but, for once, not with a tragic ending.

Dec. 8 2016 12:01AM
The (Not-So) Jewish Roots of Esperanto

The (Not-So) Jewish Roots of Esperanto

Created by an East European Jew disillusioned with Zionism and Hebrew, the language was meant to unite humanity in a spirit of brotherhood.

Dec. 7 2016 12:01AM
My Life with Leonard Cohen

My Life with Leonard Cohen

Friends, but never close, our paths intersected and then diverged, until this past September, when I connected with Leonard for the last time.

Nov. 30 2016 12:01AM