The Claims of Memory

Oct. 27 2021

For Jews, few preoccupations are so great as that with memory: the Torah commands the Israelites again and again to remember, prayers implore God to remember, and there is hardly a holiday, major or minor, that doesn’t entail commemoration of something. But what does memory mean for Americans, a people whose history is short, and is greatly consumed with the pursuit of new frontiers? And what does memory mean in particular in the 21st century, when Alzheimer’s is recognized as one of the most terrible diseases, when new things are constantly cropping up to distract us, and when many are eager to make war on the past, tearing down statues and revoking public holidays? The historian Wilfred McClay ponders these questions with both wisdom and erudition in his First Things Erasmus Lecture, touching also on the “anemic and aimless commemoration of September 11,” a subject he addressed in a recent essay for Mosaic. (Video, 80 minutes.)

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More about: U.S history

“I Had the Good Fortune to Be a Jew Born and Raised in the USA”

Nov. 26 2021

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who served on the Supreme Court since 1993, died on Friday at the age of eighty-seven. Among much else, Ginsburg was one of the most prominent Jews in American public life. Herewith, her remarks at the U.S. Holocaust Museum in 2004 on the occasion of Yom Hashoah:

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Read more at Washington Post

More about: American Jewry, Supreme Court, Theodor Herzl, Yom Hashoah