Columnists

Agents of Influence — Lee Smith

How Peace Negotiator Martin Indyk Cashed a Big, Fat $14.8 Million Check From Qatar

One Middle Eastern nation does indeed pay to influence U.S. foreign policy. Hint: It’s not Israel.

Literature — Adam Kirsch

If Even the Angel of Death Makes Mistakes, Where Is There True Justice?

The Talmud imagines the world as organized for the benefit of Torah sages, even in matters of sex and death

Marjorie Ingall

Anxiously Sending Little Jews to School

For the first time, I’m concerned about my kids’ Jewishness as I send them off in the morning

Literature — Adam Kirsch

Rules for Hair Cutting and Rending Garments—and Exceptions for Newborns

Daf Yomi: The Talmud’s ruling principle is that there is always a correct course of action, since God is watching

Marjorie Ingall

Jewy Books: Including Jewish Characters Doesn’t Have To Be a Big Deal Anymore

Today’s young-adult literature is full of teenagers for whom being Jewish isn’t a Very Important Issue

Literature — Adam Kirsch

In the Days Between the Major Holidays, Little Clues to Jewish Ritual and Life

Talmudic rabbis debate professional eulogizers, trying to strike a balance between the holy and the mundane

Literature — Adam Kirsch

Are Jews Meant To Be Farmers, Workers, or Thinkers?

So much of the Talmud is about working the land, and the rules that govern labor, profit, and loss

Agents of Influence — Lee Smith

Amal Alamuddin, Please Put George Clooney on Hold, and Investigate War Crimes in Gaza

How the international human rights lawyer could help save Gaza and Lebanon

Literature — Adam Kirsch

How Can We Respect Both the Sanctity of Jewish Things and the Practical Needs of the Jews?

In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ Talmudic rabbis debate the value of recycling, upselling, renovation, and sacred trash

Literature — Adam Kirsch

American Jews Speak English, but Our Sacred Texts Are in Hebrew

What happens when the most authoritative guardians of the tradition are sometimes baffled by the tradition themselves?

Is Leonard Cohen’s New Album His Best Yet?

The singer has had better songs, but his new record captures his ideas more clearly than ever

Short Jewish Men, Don’t Sell Your Soles

A new shoe offers some extra height to Jews of shorter stature. But why prey on insecurities and stereotypes to sell footwear?

How the Ghosts of the Holocaust Haunted the 1960s, But Quietly

The evolution of Jewish American political discourse from outsider counter-culture to ‘never again a victim’

The End of American Jewish Literature, Again

What role does America play in Jewish life, and by extension what kind of Jewish literature can be created here?

David Bezmozgis’ Brilliant Alt-History of an Adulterous Sharansky Who Never Was

New novel ‘The Betrayers’ boldly places at its center the most famous refusenik and all he represents for Soviet Jewry

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