The Head of an Ultra-Orthodox Yeshiva and His Surprisingly Good Pseudonymous Novel

Oct. 16 2019

Set in New York in the late 1950s, The Idiom and the Oddity (2017) tells the story of a young man who decides to revolt against his parents’ drift away from Jewish tradition and observance, leaves his family home in suburban Long Island for the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn where he grew up, and eventually finds himself studying in a rabbinical seminary in upstate New York. While the novel was written under the pseudonym Sam Benito, Henry Abramson recognizes the author as a certain prominent ḥaredi rabbi, and the story as highly autobiographical. Abramson does not reveal the author’s identity, but argues that the work is a rich, if imperfect, coming-of-age tale:

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Read more at Henry Abramson

More about: American Judaism, James Joyce, Jewish literature, Ultra-Orthodox

How Israel Can Stand Up to a Belligerent Turkey

Sept. 25 2020

Under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Ankara has become increasingly authoritarian, Islamist, and hostile toward Israel and the West more generally. The Turkish government has also indicated that it aspires to alter its maritime border with Greece, and even its border with Syria. Analyzing these changes, and what they term the country’s “bellicose foreign policy,” Efraim Inbar, Eran Lerman, and Hay Eytan Cohen Yanarocak examine the implications for Israel, and how the Jewish state might best respond:

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Read more at Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security

More about: Israeli Security, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey, U.S. Foreign policy