Hearts and Minds

A pair of new plays—one powerful, about Afghanistan; the other less successful, about Eichmann—bring recent history to the stage

Listless

Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List is both a moral and an aesthetic disaster, an embodiment of much that is wrong with American-Jewish life

Russian Spring

Vladimir Jurowski, directing the London Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall this week, was loose with Brahms but well-suited to Mozart’s “Turkish” concerto

Field Notes

Five Books: A biography of sportscaster Howard Cosell, the life of film critic Pauline Kael, the poets who translated Shakespeare into Hebrew, and more

Jewish Star

Despite his notorious pro-Hitler comments at Cannes, Lars von Trier is more of a Jew than he knows and Melancholia a more Jewish movie than he realizes

Poem Love

In a recent performance of Schubert’s and Schumann’s settings of Heinrich Heine’s poetry, tenor Ian Bostridge and pianist Thomas Adès excelled

Fallible

Infiltrated by up to a dozen CIA spies, Hezbollah, the official party of God, is taking hits to its prestige—and revealing its weakness

No Exit

Life and Fate, Vasily Grossman’s indispensable account of the horrors of Stalinism and the Holocaust, puts Jewishness at the heart of the 20th century

Funny Business

Gloria Allred, the famous feminist lawyer, has accomplished a great deal for women. She’s also something of a national joke.

Obscenity Charges

Sarah Silverman seemed poised to usher in a new generation of secure, sexual, and powerful female comics. Instead, she went for empty shocks and cheap laughs.

Split Ends

Rather than focusing on the goal of removing Bashar al-Assad from power in Syria, the White House is busy worrying about the fractured nature of the opposition

Bemusement Park

To get my son psyched about a trip abroad, I promised him a stop at Disneyland Paris—a mistake bad weather and long lines only compounded

How to Be Grateful

Children parrot their parents in every way—so if you want your kids to feel and express gratitude more frequently, you have to do that yourself

Family Feast

Turkey anchors all Thanksgivings, but families flavor the meal with preparation and sides—like my mother’s marshmallow-topped sweet-potato tsimmes

Martyrologies

Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish created a poetry of martyrdom for his people—and a political coup for the idea of the nakba

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