How Picking Mushrooms in New England Became a Jewish Tradition

Residents of Cape Cod, Massachusetts and its surroundings have come to know the large numbers of mushroom foragers who arrive every year between late September and early November as “Russians.” In fact they are almost all Soviet-born Jews and their immediate descendants, now living throughout the northeastern U.S. Although they will cook the mushrooms in traditional dishes, or preserve them—through various methods—for later use, much of the appeal comes from the hunt itself. The veteran mushroom picker and writer Maxim Shrayer describes the annual ritual, and speculates as to how Jews came to adopt it:

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Read more at Tablet

More about: American Jewry, Food, Jewish World, Leo Tolstoy, Soviet Jewry, Tradition

Emmanuel Macron Signals an End to the Appeasement of Hizballah

Since the August 4 explosion in Beirut, Paris has sought to take an active role in helping its former colony’s recovery, and overseeing political reform. One major obstacle is Hizballah, which, in Matthew Levitt’s words, serves “as the militant defender of the corruption and cronyism of the current government system.” While France has historically been reluctant to confront the terrorist group, its president seems to be losing patience:

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Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Emmanuel Macron, France, Hizballah, Lebanon, Terrorism