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Lionel Trilling's Jewish Problem

Lionel Trilling's Jewish Problem

A leading light of the famous New York Intellectuals harbored deeply conflicted feelings about his own Jewishness, and exceptionally harsh views on Jews and Judaism.

Oct. 11 2018 12:01AM
There's a Strange Grammatical Difficulty with the Opening Verse of the Bible

There's a Strange Grammatical Difficulty with the Opening Verse of the Bible

It could suggest a different story about the creation of the world.

Oct. 10 2018 12:01AM
Philologos Mailbag: Readers Help Solve the Pepys Puzzle

Philologos Mailbag: Readers Help Solve the Pepys Puzzle

A tip from a Mosaic reader helps pin down what the great diarist was up to on the day of his famous synagogue visit.

Oct. 4 2018 12:01AM
Why Judaism Takes Rain Very Seriously

Why Judaism Takes Rain Very Seriously

The land given to the Israelites provided ample space for crops and livestock, but there was a catch: the water doesn’t come for free.

Sept. 28 2018 12:01AM
Discovery; or, the Ferment of Jewish Montreal in the Fifties

Discovery; or, the Ferment of Jewish Montreal in the Fifties

With the relaxation of Catholic influence in Quebec, local Jewish culture began to come of age and flourish.

Sept. 27 2018 12:01AM
The Mystery* of Simhat Torah 1663, at the First Synagogue in England in 350 Years

The Mystery* of Simhat Torah 1663, at the First Synagogue in England in 350 Years

*What worship service did the great diarist Samuel Pepys actually witness?

Sept. 20 2018 12:01AM
What Happens in Heaven? Study. Of What? Jewish Law.

What Happens in Heaven? Study. Of What? Jewish Law.

“In heaven there will be no law,” an American legal giant once wrote. For Jews, it’s exactly the opposite.

Sept. 13 2018 12:01AM
Rembrandt and What it Means to be Both a Stranger and a Neighbor in the World

Rembrandt and What it Means to be Both a Stranger and a Neighbor in the World

In his rendering of the banishment of Ishmael, the Torah reading for Rosh Hashanah, Rembrandt reminds us of the bond between Jews and humanity at large.

Sept. 7 2018 12:01AM
When American Jews Fought over the Balfour Declaration

When American Jews Fought over the Balfour Declaration

Despite everything that has changed, today’s internal Jewish divisions eerily echo those from exactly a century ago.

Sept. 6 2018 12:01AM
Where Do the Names of the Shofar Calls Come From?

Where Do the Names of the Shofar Calls Come From?

At least one of them might stem from the days when Jews ululated.

Sept. 5 2018 12:01AM
Accommodation: Or, Growing Up Jewish in Protestant Canada

Accommodation: Or, Growing Up Jewish in Protestant Canada

We were invited to join in the school’s prayers and hymns, but our grateful acquiescence also implied there was something illicit or shameful about our Jewishness.

Aug. 30 2018 12:01AM
Will Europe Ban Circumcision?

Will Europe Ban Circumcision?

The question sounds absurd, but anti-circumcision activists are winning legal and policy victories—and overturning the definition of freedom of religion in the process.

Aug. 29 2018 12:01AM
The Kabbalah of Birds' Nests

The Kabbalah of Birds' Nests

Is a biblical commandment against taking a mother bird with her young intended to teach mercy, or is it about something else?

Aug. 23 2018 12:01AM
Why There's No Word in the Hebrew Bible for "Spirituality"

Why There's No Word in the Hebrew Bible for "Spirituality"

For Judaism, the outward life of religious behavior comes first.

Aug. 22 2018 12:01AM