“The existence of other people,” the writer Lionel Shriver observed, “is essentially awkward.”

Tell us about it.

Every one of our days is a rush of uneasy meetings, unspoken resentments, and unbridgeable gaps. And that’s wonderful news, because all this awkwardness is what drives us to try harder and find some kind of human connection. It’s true for lovers, for colleagues, and for nations, and it drives anything from modest unions to grand accomplishments.

Today, we’ve three stories about awkwardness and its bounties: One that brings a non-observant boy and a religious girl face to face in a romantic showdown in a New York pizza parlor; one that forces Germans to confront their past by talking to a real-live Jew trapped inside a plexiglass box; and one that rethinks the ultimate entanglement, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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The Gaza War Marked the End of the Two-State Solution: Here’s What’s Next

In an excerpt from an important new political analysis, an introduction to the ‘One Land, Two State’ solution

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Being the Jew in the Box

To have conversations with Germans about Jews, I had to become an exhibition at Berlin’s Jewish Museum

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My Forbidden Orthodox Love

I fell for the girl in the FBI T-shirt the first time I saw her. But she was religious, and I wasn’t.

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