In the Same Barren Holy Land, Mark Twain and Nahmanides Saw Very Different Things

Aug. 21 2019

In 1867, the journalist Samuel Clemens visited the Land of Israel with a group of American pilgrims; he described what he saw there in The Innocents Abroad, published two years later. The place described as so lush in the Hebrew Bible appeared to him to be barren and dispiriting. The nearer he and his fellow travelers came to Jerusalem, “the more rocky and bare, repulsive and dreary the landscape became.” As Meir Soloveichik notes, the exiled Spanish rabbi Moses Naḥmanides formed a strikingly similar impression when he arrived there 600 years prior. But with a difference:

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Read more at Commentary

More about: Land of Israel, Mark Twain, Nahmanides, Six-Day War

BDS, Unable to Harm Israel, Has Turned Its Sights on Jews in the Diaspora

Feb. 26 2021

March 15 marks the beginning of this year’s Israel Apartheid Week, during which campus groups around the world hold rallies and events for the purpose of defaming the Jewish state and mustering support for the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction it (BDS). Richard Kemp comments:

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Read more at Gatestone

More about: Anti-Semitism, BDS