Moses Mendelssohn, Idolatry, and Baseball Cards

Oct. 17 2019

Reminiscing about his childhood enthusiasm for collecting baseball cards, Abraham Socher notes that he and his friends imbued these objects with an almost-metaphysical connection to the players depicted upon them. In this way, a card was not unlike an idol that, “in representing the god, . . . becomes a conduit for its power.” The connection puts Socher in mind of the 18th-century Jewish philosopher Moses Mendelssohn’s theory of idolatry, which connects the phenomenon to the development of writing itself with the help of a speculative history in which primitive man discovered how to express himself through ever-greater abstraction:

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Read more at Jewish Review of Books

More about: Baseball, Idolatry, Moses Mendelssohn

 

Despite Opposition from the Taliban, Islamic State Is Thriving in Afghanistan

According to Taliban officials, Islamic State’s Afghanistan offshoot (known as the “Khorasan province,” or ISKP) has but a negligible presence. American diplomats, for their part, have claimed that the new jihadist government in Kabul can provide a bulwark against the group, which opposes what it sees as the Taliban’s relative religious moderation. But, Oved Lobel argues, the evidence supports neither interpretation:

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Read more at Australia/Israel Review

More about: ISIS, Taliban, Terrorism, U.S. Foreign policy