When American Poets Fought over Judaism

Nov. 27 2019

In 1854, two years after visiting America’s oldest synagogue, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow published a poem titled “The Jewish Cemetery in Newport,” expressing admiration for the Jews and sympathy with their history of persecution, but treating them as if they were extinct or close to it. It concludes by lamenting Israel’s position among “the dead nations” that will “never rise again.” Fifteen years later, a young Emma Lazarus—until then uninterested in Jewish matters—would visit the same synagogue, and be inspired to write a poetic rejoinder. Meir Soloveichik writes:

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Read more at Commentary

More about: American Jewish literature, Emma Lazarus, Poetry, Touro Synagogue

The First-Ever Trial of an Israeli Prime Minister Is Also a Trial of the Country’s Judicial System

Sunday was the first day of Benjamin Netanyahu’s long-awaited trial on three corruption-related charges. At issue, writes Shmuel Rosner, are not so much the facts of the case but the legality of Netanyahu’s actions. For his own part, Netanyahu has accused the Israeli justice system itself overstepping its bounds, and many Israelis support such a claim, as Rosner writes:

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Read more at Jewish Journal

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli politics