An Intimate Look at the First Scholar of Jewish Music

Born in Russian-ruled Latvia in 1882, Abraham Tzvi Idelsohn was the founding father of Jewish musicology, who dedicated much of his life to recording and analyzing traditional Jewish music from around the world. He was also a composer, whose works include a Hebrew-language opera based on the biblical story of Jephthah, and possibly the lyrics to Havah Nagilah. Trained as a cantor in his youth, Idelsohn had a remarkable career that brought him to Germany, South Africa, Ottoman Palestine, and Cincinnati. In a Hebrew letter composed by his daughter Shoshanah Idelsohn, reminiscing about her Jerusalem childhood, James Loeffler and Edwin Seroussi have found a rare perspective on Idelsohn’s private life, and the depths of his passion for the subject of his research:

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Read more at Jewish Music Research Center

More about: Hebrew, Jewish music, Jewish studies, Ottoman Palestine

 

UN Peacekeepers in Lebanon Do More Harm Than Good

Aug. 12 2020

With its size, budget, and remit greatly expanded following the 2006 war between Israel and Hizballah, the United Nations International Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) is tasked with keeping both sides’ forces out of the southern portion of the country. While the IDF has indeed abided by the armistice, UNIFIL has failed spectacularly at compelling Hizballah to do the same. Eugene Kontorovich argues that, unless the peacekeeping force can be reorganized so as to be effective, it would be better to scrap it, or at the very least reduce its size:

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Read more at Kohelet

More about: Hizballah, Israeli Security, Lebanon, Peacekeepers, U.S. Foreign policy, United Nations