History & Ideas

A brief look at some of the many Jewish words relating to alcohol.

April 13 2021 12:01AM

We know that the slur has something to do with Jews traveling in rural America in the first years of the 20th century. Do we know more than that?

March 3 2021 12:01AM

Its meaning in the Bible is “Truly said!” or “So be it!” After that it acquired its intense liturgical emotion, and then hasn’t changed much since.

Jan. 28 2021 12:01AM

A newly translated memoir of the gulag should (but probably won’t) remind those who still flirt with Communism what exactly they’re endorsing.

Jan. 26 2021 12:01AM

From now until next September 6, we will be living in 5781 and 2021. Is that an accident, or is a deeper synchronicity at work?

Jan. 13 2021 12:01AM

A new book aims to dispel the idea of the divine chosenness of the Jews. In fact, it promotes a moralism as heavy-handed as that of the most simplistic preacher.

Jan. 12 2021 12:01AM

As tracked through the waxing and waning value of the Hebrew words for “departees” and “descenders.”

Jan. 6 2021 12:01AM

A young secular Viennese writer had an experience 125 years ago that would lead him to change Jewish history forever. He could never explain it. Can anyone else?

Jan. 4 2021 12:01AM

As 2020 comes to a close, we’re looking back at the work we published this year. Today, we focus on the coronavirus, and its effects on Jewish life.

Dec. 28 2020 1:01AM

Five more of our regular writers pick several favorites each, featuring Stalingrad, the master, Margarita, parasitic minds, infectious ideas, dust, heaven, Zoom, traveling light, and more.

Dec. 18 2020 12:01AM

Five more of our regular writers pick several favorites each, featuring what Jews are for, magicians, assassins, call signs, chaos, separated siblings, and more.

Dec. 17 2020 12:50AM

Five of our regular writers pick several favorites each, featuring Turkish denial, Jesus’s wife, coffeehouse culture, angst, WEIRDness, and Judaism straight up.

Dec. 16 2020 12:01AM

The first complete translation of the Yiddish classic, in which former classmates rediscover one another after the Holocaust and resume their old debates about God, man, and history.

Dec. 7 2020 12:02AM

How I came to translate one of the greatest stories in all of Yiddish literature, a work that I believe uniquely illuminates the debate at the very center of Jewish modernity.

Dec. 7 2020 12:01AM