The Uncivil Servant: Where the Hell Did We Come From?

by Mitchell Abidor Discussed in this essay: The Origin of the Jews, by Steven Weitzman. Princeton University Press, 2017, 408 pages.   AT THE END of Steven Weitzman’s Origin of the Jews, a scholarly but eminently accessible account of the search for the origin of the Jews (which we should not confuse with their beginnings), the […]

Read More

The Familiar Unease of Khanike

by Jesse A. Myerson   OY, IT’S KHANIKE again, and a familiar unease has come creeping into my kishkes. To some extent, I’m annoyed about the overemphasis on a minor holiday in order to compensate ourselves for our exclusion from Christmastime cheer. Mostly, though, my discomfort stems from the troubling legacy of the historical events Khanike commemorates. […]

Read More

People of the Book 101

by Bennett Muraskin Discussed in this essay: The People and the Books: 18 Classics of Jewish Literature, by Adam Kirsch. W.W. Norton & Company, 2016, 407 pages. LITERARY CRITIC, essayist, and secular Talmudist Adam Kirsch is a 40-year-old Jewish intellectual with an extraordinary breadth and depth of knowledge. He has a regular column in the […]

Read More

May 18: Alexander the Great and the Talmud

Alexander the Macedonian (“the Great”) died at age 32 on this date in 323 BCE, after conquering large swaths of the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Southwest Asia. Although he had little actual contact with Jewish leaders (he passed through Judea on his way to and from the conquest of Egypt, and left the Jews […]

Read More