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How One Zealous Looter Changed Jewish History in the Name of Its Preservation

Historian Lisa Leff tracks the perplexing journey of a 20th century collector, scholar, survivor, and thief

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Einstein: Patent Clerk, Rebel, Equivocal Zionist

Biographer Steven Gimbel Talks Us Through the Physicist’s Views on Religion, Israel, and (Yikes) His Theory of Relativity

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Recovering From a Brain Injury, One Measuring Spoon at a Time

After a burst blood vessel nearly killed her, Jessica Fechtor discovers the restorative power of baking—and receiving—a cake

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Aunt Linda’s a Singer

Vox Tablet launches a revue of our favorite episodes from the past decade with this gem of a story from Janice Erlbaum

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Blum’s Day

Sociologist Pierre Birnbaum says it’s time Léon Blum—French Socialist, Zionist, wartime hero, and prime minister—got his due

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A Lullaby for Auschwitz

On a new album, Italian singer Shulamit offers modern interpretations of haunting songs left by women in the Holocaust

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I Was a Teenage Stowaway

Victor Rodack dreamed of visiting Israel. In 1967, he found an unusual way to make his dream a reality.

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Abraham Lincoln’s Other Minority

Historian Jonathan Sarna discusses the Great Emancipator’s ties to a chiropodist, military men, and other Jews

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We’ll Be Here All Night

Stories for Passover about slavery, freedom, family… and lice

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The Life and Painting of Mark Rothko

In a new biography, Annie Cohen-Solal looks at the immigrant child who changed modern art

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Heroics Aside, the Story of Purim Is the Bible’s Greatest Farce

The Book of Esther doesn’t mention God. Robert Alter’s new translation shows that’s just one way the biblical text is unique.

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Convince This Man You’re a Jew, and He’ll Move You to Israel

Matthew Fishbane accompanied a group of would-be Jews as they made aliyah from rural India, led by an unlikely activist

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An Abridged Biography of Your Great-Grandfather (Probably)

Everything about the immigrant peddler that you never thought to ask

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Roger Cohen Heads to South Africa To Examine His Family’s Itinerancy and Mental Illness

In a new memoir, the controversial ‘New York Times’ columnist connects dots between dislocation and his mother’s depression

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Roz Chast Drags Us Kicking, Screaming, and Laughing, Into the Land of the Infirm

The cartoonist’s grahic memoir made many Top Ten lists this year. Here’s what she had to say about it.

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Hanukkah Alegre!

Washington-area Sephardic Jews share traditional foods and converse in the disappearing language of their ancestors

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Forget Spelling It: Most of Us Have No Idea What This Holiday Is Even About

Tablet friends and family help us puzzle out Hanukkah’s origin story—and explain why we don’t celebrate a ninth day of oil

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Being Ben-Gurion

In a new biography, historian Anita Shapira deciphers Israel’s inscrutable founding father

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The Life and Good Times of Norman Lear

The genius behind ‘All in the Family,’ ‘The Jeffersons,’ and other barrier-breaking TV shows talks about his childhood and career

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Have a Good Sex Life? Thank These People.

Jonathan Eig examines the renegade Jewish biologist and his three co-crusaders who made having sex without having a baby possible

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When Repression, Regression, and Neurosis Seeped Into Viennese Music

New York Festival of Song’s Steven Blier’s latest program showcases Freud’s influence on the Golden Age of German lieder

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Radical Writer Tillie Olsen Gave Her Grandson Text Fragments. He Made Music From Them.

Jesse Olsen Bay uses his grandmother’s unpublished prose on ‘Makings,’ by turns a whimsical and melancholy album

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From Etgar Keret to a Lovelorn Student in Dimona, Tales of the Book-Obsessed

Israel Story, Episode 3: How Yiddish books, ancient texts, and even a collection of stories make people all kinds of crazy

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A Grandfather’s Hidden Love Letters From Nazi Germany Reveal a Buried Past

Reporter Sarah Wildman’s grandfather escaped Vienna in 1938. Long after he died, she discovered the life—and lover—he left behind.

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Royal Contradictions: The Flawed, Paradoxical Heroism of King David

In a new book, Rabbi David Wolpe examines what made the Jewish leader fallible and why, despite his bad behavior, he was great

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Why Public Defenders Represent Unsavory Clients. Hint: It’s Not the Money.

In this excerpt from radio documentary ‘The Defense,’ no-holds-barred attorney Richard Rubin offers his take on the job

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Basya Schechter Mixes Prayer Songs With Brass, Oud, and Radiohead

On a new album, the captivating leader of the band Pharaoh’s Daughter reclaims the music that dominated her religious childhood

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Leonard Bernstein: A New Look at His Rise, His Foibles, and His Impact on Music History

The dynamic conductor and genius behind ‘West Side Story’ also wrote classical works. Allen Shawn explores what they reveal.

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How a Reporter Dispelled Myths About Ultra-Orthodox Jews Gaming the System

Batya Ungar-Sargon discusses her exposé on the tax rolls and funding cuts that fueled an ethnic rift in East Ramapo, N.Y.

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