Making Sense of Martin Buber

One of the most influential Jewish theologians of the 20th century, Martin Buber was an important force behind Germany’s “Jewish renaissance” of the early 20th century, which brought German-Jewish intellectuals of largely secular backgrounds into contact with elements of religious tradition in a way very unlike what could be found in either the Reform or Orthodox mainstreams of the era. A new biography of Buber, by Paul Mendes-Flohr, sheds light on the philosopher’s highly unusual and formative childhood, as Yoav Schaefer writes in his review:

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Read more at Jewish Review of Books

More about: Friedrich Nietzsche, Galicia, German Jewry, Judaism, Martin Buber, Zionism

The U.S. Has Managed to Force a Stalemate in the Syrian Civil War, at Least for Now

In a little remarked-upon statement in May, James Jeffrey, the State Department’s envoy for Syria policy, said that his goal was to turn the war-torn country into “a quagmire for the Russians.” By using economic leverage, this policy has achieved modest success, writes Jonathan Spyer:

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Read more at Foreign Policy

More about: Bashar al-Assad, Russia, Syrian civil war, U.S. Foreign policy