History & Ideas

The Jewish philosopher heard in the silence of the Shoah’s victims a voice issuing a 614th commandment to the Jews. Was he right?

Jan. 10 2022 12:01AM

Despite extensive similarities, few readers have studied Genesis together with the Odyssey in hopes of illuminating the human condition. What lies waiting to be discovered?

Jan. 5 2022 12:01AM

The podcast covered everything from Israeli political challenges to Yiddish education controversies this year. This week, we feature excerpts from some of our favorites.

Dec. 31 2021 12:01AM

Four more of our writers pick several favorites each, featuring two Ruths, passengers, Lincoln, Verdun, chief rabbis, Jewish Montreal, sweet spots, a fortress, and more.

Dec. 15 2021 12:01AM

Five of our writers pick several favorites each, featuring a duke’s children, Jewish treasures, zealots and emancipators, revolts, dual allegiances, spies, and more.

Dec. 14 2021 12:25AM

The great Russian Jewish writer was caught between revolution and daily life, Bolsheviks and Jews, a desire to kill and an inability to pull the trigger. Did he ever choose?

Dec. 6 2021 12:01AM

In some cases, changes were minor. In others, Yiddish phrases were transformed nearly beyond recognition.

Nov. 3 2021 12:01AM

Israel’s founders made little of the declaration at the time. It took decades of work by figures of widely different political stripes to make it the towering document it is today.

Nov. 1 2021 12:01AM

The author of “The Eternal Return of Ethel Rosenberg” joins us for a discussion about his subject’s unending—and false—air of innocence.

Oct. 28 2021 12:01AM

And why each has been preferred in different times and places.

Oct. 20 2021 1:55AM

A professor of Jewish art finds himself turning from one explanation of a puzzling drawing found in an old manuscript to another—and then possibly back again.

Oct. 12 2021 12:25AM

The word is freighted with both theological and national meaning, which points not just to a semantic tension but to a permanent tension within Jewish identity itself.

Oct. 11 2021 12:01AM

A much-loved new biography argues that the convicted Soviet spy “betrayed no one.” How has the myth of her innocence become so untethered from the evidence of her guilt?

Oct. 4 2021 12:01AM

How a group of Jewish physicists helped the United States beat Nazi Germany in the race for nuclear weapons.

Sept. 17 2021 12:01AM