For Lag ba-Omer, a Story of the Land of Israel by S. Y. Agnon

The minor holiday of Lag ba-Omer, which falls today, marks the 33rd day after Passover. In Israel, many celebrate it with pilgrimages to the putative grave of the 2nd-century sage Shimon bar Yoḥai, located in the Galilean town of Meron. All of this figures prominently in a Hebrew story, “To the Galilee,” by the Nobel laureate S. Y. Agnon. Set in 1911, the story has been newly rendered into English by Jeffrey Saks (with an introduction here). It opens like this:

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Read more at Tablet

More about: Arts & Culture, Galilee, Lag ba'Omer, Land of Israel, Modern Hebrew literature, S. Y. Agnon

Despite Reasons for Worry, Jews Shouldn’t Lose Faith in the American Promise

Sept. 24 2021

From synagogue shootings, to attacks on Jews on the streets, to the gathering strength and viciousness of anti-Zionism, especially in the corridors of political power, American Jewry has ample reason for concern about its safety and wellbeing. But, surveying both the present situation and the deep roots of what has made America a welcoming home to Jews with “no analogue in the 2,000 years after the destruction of the Temple,” Josef Joffe argues that the U.S. remains exceptional. The bad news, however, is still bad:

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Read more at Commentary

More about: American exceptionalism, American Jewry, Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Chuck Schumer