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

The Real Palestinian Refugee Problem, and Mahmoud Abbas’s Indifference

Of the millions of so-called Palestinian refugees the world over, most are in fact not refugees by any standard definition, but are properly speaking the descendants of refugees, often kept in a permanent state of segregation and dependency by Arab regimes. But as a consequence of the Syrian civil war, numerous Palestinians living in Syria have become actual refugees, fleeing to countries like Lebanon. Khaled Abu Toameh explains their current discontent with the Palestinian Authority (PA) and its leader, Mahmoud Abbas:

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Read more at Gatestone

More about: Joseph Biden, Lebanon, Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian refugees, Syrian civil war