In Yiddish, “Fiddler on the Roof” Sheds Its Mushy Universalism

June 19 2019

In a glowing review of the Yiddish-language production of the classic Broadway musical Fiddler on the Roof, John Podhoretz finds in it the ultimate refutation of what he calls the “sweetie-pie Jew,” a figure who has long been a staple of American popular culture, and was created as an antidote to the Jew of anti-Semitic stereotype. Podhoretz traces this “cuddly and lovable creature who asks for so little” back to the radio comedy The Goldbergs, which premiered in 1929. While the original Fiddler on the Roof of 1964 effectively turned its protagonist Tevye—a character created by the Yiddish writer Sholem Aleichem—into just such a Jew, the Yiddish version manages to reverse the transformation:

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Read more at Commentary

More about: American Jewry, Fiddler on the Roof, Yiddish

Israel Has Dodged a Constitutional Crisis, but Only Temporarily

April 3 2020

Two weeks ago, then-Speaker of the Knesset Yuli Edelstein refused to hold a vote for his replacement, insisting that, in keeping with precedent, the new speaker should only be chosen after a governing coalition has been formed. As his move prevented the newly installed Israeli parliament from resuming its normal business, the Supreme Court tried to break the impasse with two unprecedented interventions into the legislative branch. To Evelyn Gordon, Edelstein acted out of a “genuine and serious concern” about constitutionally questionable moves by his opponents, even if the court was justified in its order that elections for the new speaker take place.

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Read more at JNS

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Benny Gantz, Israeli politics, Israeli Supreme Court, Knesset