Where Did Yiddish Come From?

An explosive debate erupts from footnotes suggesting that Ashkenazi Jews are Europeans

Dr. Zhivago’s CIA Connection and the Pope

‘The Zhivago Affair’ is a detailed reconstruction of one of the most fascinating of the Cold War’s cultural skirmishes

The Nazi Doctor Who Got Away With Mass Murder, Fled to Cairo, and Became a Muslim

‘The Eternal Nazi’ tells the gripping story of the hunt for Aribert Heim, and the German detective who relentlessly pursued him

Criminal Attachments: Immigration, Family, and Fraud in Soviet Brooklyn

Boris Fishman’s dark new novel explores the tensions between a grandson and his elders as he evolves into an American

‘Becoming Freud: The Making of a Psychoanalyst,’ by Adam Phillips

An excerpt from a new biography of young Sigmund Freud explores how the Dreyfus Affair affected the thinker

The Bathtub Kabbalah of J.D. Salinger

Two new biographical sketches depict the great recluse as agent of growth, emblem of permanent adolescence, and cipher

‘Jabotinsky: A Life,’ by Hillel Halkin

An excerpt from a new biography of Vladimir Jabotinsky, the founder of right-wing Zionism

Four-Letter Word for Cutting Your Son’s Penis

Indie crossword king Ben Tausig’s delightful re-invention of the puzzle keeps the form alive in its 100th year

Joshua Ferris Takes on All Kinds of Decay in His Ambitious New Novel

‘To Rise Again at a Decent Hour’ wrestles with faith, community, baseball, and what it means to refuse to fill your cavities

Tuvia Ruebner Never Stops Mourning the Lost

New English translations of the 90-year-old’s Israel Prize-winning work remind us why he’s the doyen of postwar poets

Rivka Galchen Is Not Your Mommy

The thirtysomething characters in ‘American Innovations,’ her vital, intelligent, new collection of stories, have trouble growing up

How Much of This Author’s Weirdness Is Our Weirdness, Too?

In an interview, Rivka Galchen—who has a new collection out this week—channels Kafka, posing complex questions to herself, and us

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

A conversation with the cartoonist who, in a new graphic memoir, finds humor and pathos in her parents’ last years

Saving Isaac Newton: How a Jewish Collector Brought the Physicist’s Papers to America

An excerpt from ‘The Newton Papers’ reveals the scientist’s long-hidden, anti-rationalist, heretical obsession with alchemy

Aharon Appelfeld Creates a Jewish Saint in ‘Suddenly, Love’

In his new novel, the great Israeli writer conjures a slow-burn connection between an innocent caretaker and her aging charge

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