A Tale of Wealth, Corruption, and Small-Town Jewish Mores

June 17 2016

In a short story by the great Hebrew author S.Y. Agnon, an unspecified member of the Rothschild family—proverbially wealthy Jewish bankers—finds himself in a small shtetl for the Sabbath. Here Rothschild (as he is called throughout) encounters “the Patron,” the head of the local Jewish community of whose own riches the townspeople are in awe. The following passage describes the Patron’s grand entrance into the synagogue during Friday-night prayers:

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Read more at Tablet

More about: Arts & Culture, Hebrew literature, Jewish literature, Rothschilds, S. Y. Agnon, Shtetl

The U.S. Has Managed to Force a Stalemate in the Syrian Civil War, at Least for Now

In a little remarked-upon statement in May, James Jeffrey, the State Department’s envoy for Syria policy, said that his goal was to turn the war-torn country into “a quagmire for the Russians.” By using economic leverage, this policy has achieved modest success, writes Jonathan Spyer:

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Read more at Foreign Policy

More about: Bashar al-Assad, Russia, Syrian civil war, U.S. Foreign policy