Henrich Heine’s Turn from Jerusalem to Athens, and Back to Jerusalem

June 29 2021

Born to a Jewish family in Düsseldorf in 1797, Heinrich Heine attended university, became part of a scholarly circle that founded the academic discipline of Jewish studies, converted to Lutheranism (obtaining, in his own words, a “passport to European civilization”), and lived for most of his life in Paris, where he earned his reputation as one of the greatest poets in the German language. Reviewing a new biography of the poet by George Prochnik, along with a new translation of Heine’s Hebrew Melodies—a cycle of Jewish-themed poems—Neil Arditi notes that “no biography of Heine could possibly satisfy the demands of every Heine reader. Arditi writes:

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Read more at Jewish Review of Books

More about: Conversion, German Jewry, Heinrich Heine, Jewish literature, Judaism, Poetry

Why a Government Victory in Southwestern Syria Is Bad News for Israel

Sept. 17 2021

Last week, Russia negotiated a ceasefire between the Syrian government and rebel forces in the city of Daraa, where the initial protests that sparked the uprising against Bashar al-Assad began. The agreement ended a 75-day assault on the city, located near the country’s southwestern border, by Russian, Iranian, and Syrian forces. Jonathan Spyer explains the significance of these events:

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Read more at Jonathan Spyer

More about: Golan Heights, Iran, Israeli Security, Russia, Syrian civil war