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What's a Kvitl, and Why Wish Anyone a Good One?

What's a Kvitl, and Why Wish Anyone a Good One?

“A gut kvitl!” East European Jews once said to each other in the days just before and during the holiday of Sukkot, and many still do. What does it mean?

Oct. 10 2017 12:01AM
Moses' Farewell Song in the Desert

Moses' Farewell Song in the Desert

What does it mean to be God’s chosen people? As Moses counsels the Israelites before he dies, their failure will have consequences—and failure is unavoidable.

Oct. 4 2017 12:01AM
The 80th Anniversary of the Two-State Solution

The 80th Anniversary of the Two-State Solution

In 1937, an official British report first proposed the partition of Mandate Palestine. The story behind it helps to explain why the Arab-Jewish conflict remains unresolved.

Oct. 2 2017 12:01AM
Szymon Laks's Music of Another World

Szymon Laks's Music of Another World

A Polish-Jewish composer who survived Auschwitz as the camp’s musical conductor wrote in an elegant style out of step with his times. Now the times are coming around.

Sept. 27 2017 12:01AM
Rosh Hashanah Greetings, Yiddish-Style

Rosh Hashanah Greetings, Yiddish-Style

The products of the Yiddish greeting-card industry are a reminder of how wonderfully varied was the world of Yiddish-speaking Jewry.

Sept. 19 2017 12:01AM
Rembrandt's Jewish Vision

Rembrandt's Jewish Vision

If Judaism’s idea of art is one that can truly represent our frail, fallible humanity, then Rembrandt, who captured faces “without any attempt to beautify them,” is the artist for Jews.

Sept. 14 2017 12:01AM
The Jewish Spies Who Helped the British Defeat the Ottoman Empire in World War I

The Jewish Spies Who Helped the British Defeat the Ottoman Empire in World War I

The achievements and sacrifice of a family of Palestinian Jews helped to secure both victory in war and Great Britain’s endorsement of Zionism.

Sept. 13 2017 12:01AM
Why Some Rabbis Have Loved the Sabbath Prayer "Shalom Aleykhem"—and Some Haven't

Why Some Rabbis Have Loved the Sabbath Prayer "Shalom Aleykhem"—and Some Haven't

The promise and peril of calling angels to bless your Sabbath table.

Sept. 7 2017 12:01AM
The Jewish (and Not-So-Jewish) History of the Word "Palestine"
Sept. 6 2017 12:01AM
The Complex Greatness of the Jewish National Poet, Part Three

The Complex Greatness of the Jewish National Poet, Part Three

Ḥayyim Naḥman Bialik’s faith in a Zionist-led Hebrew renaissance never faltered; nor did his labors on its behalf. Yet he also became, so he felt, Zionism’s prisoner.

Aug. 31 2017 12:01AM
The Complex Greatness of the Jewish National Poet, Part Two

The Complex Greatness of the Jewish National Poet, Part Two

Ḥayyim Naḥman Bialik was called upon by his contemporaries to play the role of a prophet. By consenting, he believed he had betrayed both his talent and his true calling.

Aug. 30 2017 12:01AM
The Complex Greatness of the Jewish National Poet, Part One

The Complex Greatness of the Jewish National Poet, Part One

In December 1903, Ḥayyim Naḥman Bialik burst to fame and notoriety in a storm of rage at Jewish passivity; by 1910, his poetic career had stalled.

Aug. 29 2017 12:01AM
Did King Solomon Trade with India?

Did King Solomon Trade with India?

On the possible whereabouts of Ophir and Tarshish, and how to get there by ship from Palestine.

Aug. 24 2017 12:01AM