Articles

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    The Khanike Rebellion, Before and After

    December 6, 2015Yankl Stillman

    by Yankl Stillman IT ALL STARTED over 2,300 years ago. Alexander of Macedonia (aka Alexander the Great) conquered an empire that stretched from the Aegean Sea to the Indus River. It might have been even bigger had he not died in Babylonia in 323 BCE, at the age of 32. When you have an empire that size and you die, there are all sorts of people interested in how to dispose of it. In this case, the empire was divided into three major parts, each headed by a general: Ptolemy in Egypt; Lysimachus ...

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    Saving Children in Buchenwald

    November 30, 2015John Ranz

    Saved by the German Leftwing Underground, as Recounted by a Jewish Survivor by John Ranz From the Autumn 2015 special issue of Jewish Currents on the theme, "Honoring the Jewish Resistance." Originally published in 1993. THERE IS A LARGELY UNWRITTEN STORY, known to Buchenwald survivors like me, that needs to be told. It is the tale of the heroic role played by non-Jewish leftists in the German underground — mostly socialists and communists — in saving the lives of large numbers of Jewish child...

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    The Little Doctor: A Resistance Hero in Poland

    November 24, 2015Leonard Tushnet

    by Leonard Tushnet From the Autumn 2015 special issue of Jewish Currents on the theme, "Honoring the Jewish Resistance." Originally published in 1961. JEWISH DOCTORS, distinguished in every branch of medicine, have not had a reputation as military leaders or organizers. Yet almost all the doctors in the Polish resistance movement were Jewish — and the entire Russian partisan force owes a great deal to a little Jewish doctor in Byelorussia. Dr. Yehezkel Atlas was born in 1910 in Chornski Gora,...

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    Remembering the Jews Who Fought Back

    November 10, 2015lawrencebush

    by Lawrence Bush The introductory essay from the Autumn 2015 special issue of Jewish Currents on the theme, "Honoring the Jewish Resistance." [caption id="attachment_39670" align="alignright" width="300"] Facing execution, October 26, 1941. Masha Bruskina with two non-Jewish comrades. The placard around her neck reads, “We are partisans who shot at German soldiers.”[/caption] IT SEEMS INCOMPREHENSIBLE, however often you contemplate it, and no matter how jaundiced your view of the human mob: T...

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    Protecting the Victims Again

    October 29, 2015Anna Wrobel

    The Continuity Between Resisters and Victims in the Holocaust by Anna Wrobel From the Autumn 2015 special issue of Jewish Currents on the theme, "Honoring the Jewish Resistance." [caption id="attachment_39794" align="alignright" width="300"]     Yom HaShoah in Israel: The siren sounds.[/caption] THERE IS NO BINARY CODE of resister versus victim when it comes to the Nazi genocide, but a continuum occupied by both, the one intimately fused to the other. Honoring resisters is a noble project tha...

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    Resistance Is the Lesson

    October 23, 2015Morris Schappes

    Why So Few, So Late? by Morris U. Schappes From the Autumn 2015 special issue of Jewish Currents on the theme, "Honoring the Jewish Resistance." Originally published in 1948. [caption id="attachment_39734" align="alignright" width="300"] Barefoot boys in the Warsaw Ghetto.[/caption] THE DATE of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising — Passover, 1943 — will be the occasion for exercises of commemoration wherever Jews live and wherever heroism in the war against Nazism is still lauded. We who mourn the los...

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    The Uprising in Sobibor

    October 13, 2015Thomas Blatt

    A Participant's Report by Thomas Blatt From the Autumn 2015 special issue of Jewish Currents on the theme, "Honoring the Jewish Resistance." Originally published in 1978. [caption id="attachment_39653" align="alignright" width="300"] Thomas Blatt, the author of this article, a survivor of the uprising at Sobibor, is shown here testifying in Israel at the war crimes trial of John Dejanjuk in 2010.[/caption] ONE APRIL DAY in 1943, I entered the gate marked “Sonderkommando — Sobibor.” This was a...

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    The Talmud's Atheist

    October 8, 2015lawrencebush

    by Lawrence Bush ONE SABBATH AFTERNOON, some two thousand years ago, Rabbi Elisha ben Avuyah was studying Torah when he looked up and saw a man climbing a palm tree. The fellow had apparently spotted some birds’ nests and was breaking the sabbath law to raid them. He seized both a fledgling and its mother — another violation of halokhe (Jewish law), which commands hunters to let mother birds go free — and then clambered down safely and hurried off with his prizes. Hours later, after the sabbat...

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    Roza Robota, a Heroine of the Auschwitz Uprising

    October 6, 2015Isak Arbus

    by Isak Arbus From the Autumn 2015 special issue of Jewish Currents on the theme, "Honoring the Jewish Resistance." Originally published in 1991. IN AUGUST, 1944 I found myself on a freight train, overcrowded beyond capacity. Carrying several thousand Jewish prisoners, the train moved slowly and finally stopped at a siding. Most of us were too tired to move, but I managed to get to the little barbed-wire window. Peering out, I spotted, at some distance, a large group of women, their shorn head...

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    A Visual History of the American Jewish Left, Part 3

    October 6, 2015The Editorial Board

    Post-War to Present by the Editorial Board Adapted from the Spring and Summer, 2015 issues of Jewish Currents Read other installments in this series here. [caption id="attachment_39533" align="aligncenter" width="379"] Arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit espionage: Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, whose trial and imprisonment would stretch from the summer of 1950 until their execution on June 19, 1953.[/caption] THE RAPID TAKEOVER of Central and Eastern Europe by Soviet-backed communis...

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    A Visual History of the American Jewish Left, Part 2

    September 15, 2015The Editorial Board

    From World War I to World War II by the Editorial Board Adapted from the Spring and Summer, 2015 issues of Jewish Currents Read other installments in this series here. A 1910 pamphlet image from the Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring, the largest membership organization of the Jewish left and a major source of support for the garment industry unions, the Jewish Labor Committee, and the Forverts (Forward) newspaper, a Yiddish daily that achieved a circulation of more than 150,000. The poster boa...

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    My Grandmother the Bootlegger

    September 9, 2015Cynthia Weisfeld

    Bathub Vodka & Underage Rum-Runners by Cynthia F. Weisfield From the Summer 2015 issue of Jewish Currents NO ALCOHOL? It’s illegal? What kind of mishegos is that?” My grandmother Tzipporah had quickly adapted to her new world in the sheyne medine, the beautiful land that was the America of Jewish immigrant dreams. It was easy, as the area around her apartment on Crotona Park North in the Bronx was predominantly Jewish and Yiddish-speaking. But she could not fathom Prohibition, still going ...

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    A Visual History of the American Jewish Left

    September 6, 2015The Editorial Board

    Part I: From the Gilded Age Until the Palmer Raids by the Editorial Board Adapted from the Spring and Summer, 2015 issues of Jewish Currents Read other installments in this series here. THE SOCIALISTS among them organized garment industry unions, got two of their own elected to the U.S. Congress, and launched a Yiddish newspaper, a mutual aid society, and workers’ housing cooperatives, all of which still endure in the 21st century. The Communists among them confronted racism and Jim Crow, ...

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    Synchronicity and the Secular Mind

    August 24, 2015Alice Radosh

    by Alice Radosh From the Summer 2015 issue of Jewish Currents ALMOST A HUNDRED CARDS jammed the narrow box in my rural post office the first few months after my husband’s death. Another hundred greetings were posted on Bart’s memorial website. Messages came from close friends, from his former students, from members of the volunteer rescue squad on which he had served for many years, from community people like the couple who run the garage where Bart took our car and pick-up truck for eighteen ...

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    Modern Dance and American Jewish Identity

    August 9, 2015Diana Scott

    Shaping Assimilation & the Reinvention of Jewishness by Diana Scott From the Summer 2015 issue of Jewish Currents Discussed in this essay: Dancing Jewish: Jewish Identity in American Modern and Postmodern Dance, by Rebecca Rossen. Oxford University Press, 2014, 336 pages.   WHEN MIDDLE-CLASS American Jewish children of my boomer generation made demands considered excessive by our elders, we were at times reprimanded: “Just who do you think you are?!” This question, minus put-down intonat...

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    Honest Abe and the Children of Abraham

    July 27, 2015Mitchell Abidor

    Much Ado About the Inconsequential by Mitchell Abidor From the Summer 2015 issue of Jewish Currents Reviewed in this essay: Lincoln and the Jews, by Jonathan Sarna and Benjamin Shappel. Thomas Dunne Books, 2015, 288 pages. THERE HAVE BEEN some sixteen thousand books written about Abraham Lincoln, few of them, I’d wager, dedicating many pages to his chiropodist (as podiatrists were then called). Issachar Zacharie was a man who made magnificent claims about his education, which was in reality a...

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    Netanyahu's New Clothes

    July 19, 2015Ron Skolnik

    The Emperor is Naked. Will American Jews Say So? by Ron Skolnik From the Summer 2015 issue of Jewish Currents HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN’S 19th-century classic, “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” tells of a pair of swindlers who claim to be able to weave beautiful garments that are invisible to anyone who is exceptionally stupid or unfit for their position. The emperor pays these ‘weavers’ handsomely to create a royal suit made of the enchanted material. Since neither His Majesty nor anyone in his re...

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    Kurtzman Lives!

    July 19, 2015Paul Buhle

    MAD Magazine’s Maestro of Cultural Insurgency by Paul Buhle From the Summer 2015 issue of Jewish Currents Discussed in this essay: Harvey Kurtzman: The Man Who Created MAD and Revolutionized Humor in America, by Bill Schelly. Fantagraphics, 2015, 644 pages. PERHAPS ONLY TRUE DEVOTEES of MAD magazine are likely to accept Bill Schelly’s claim that Harvey Kurtzman, its founding editor, writer, and cartoonist, “revolutionized humor in America,” as this voluminous biography says in its subtitle. ...

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    Articles

    Huh? Jews Can’t Argue on Campus?

    July 16, 2015Marklevy

    Hillel International Bans Free Speech by Mark Levy SOME THINGS make me quite angry and tend to increase my activism rather than push me away. Take, for example, speaker bans. Hillel chapters on college campuses have, over the past couple of years, had limits placed on them by their parent organization, Hillel International, regarding whom students can or cannot invite to speak. I experienced the impact of this policy as part of a group of four white, Jewish, civil rights veterans (Dorothy Zell...

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    Megaphone: Fighting Khasidic Control in Upstate New York

    July 10, 2015admin

    An Interview with Robert Rhodes and Anita Altman From the Summer 2015 issue of Jewish Currents PRIOR TO 2013, Robert Rhodes had never voted for a Republican. A nephew of our magazine’s long-time writer and associate Annette T. Rubinstein, Rhodes had been raised amid the Jewish Currents and Monthly Review crowd, and often held his nose while voting even for Democrats. In that year, however, he went out of his way to get Republican Ed Day elected as Rockland County Executive. The only issue that...

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