How a Picture of a Dog Made Its Way into a 15th-Century Jewish Prayer Book

April 30 2019

To the late Bezalel Narkiss—for many years the acknowledged dean of the history of Jewish art—any depiction of animals in medieval Jewish manuscripts was merely decorative, a case of borrowing from non-Jewish iconography devoid of any specific symbolism. Marc Michael Epstein takes the opposite position, one he first arrived at thanks to a single illustration, as he writes:

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Read more at Lehrhaus

More about: Dogs, Jewish art, Manuscripts, Prayer books, Talmud

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