For Jews of a certain age, June 5, 1967 is and always will be a date as familiar as one’s own birthday. It was on that day that Israel launched a preemptive strike in response to the mobilization of Egyptian forces along the Israeli border in the Sinai Peninsula and Syrian forces in the Golan Heights.
In 1938, Hank Greenberg came three home runs shy of eclipsing Babe Ruth’s record of 60 homers in a season.
Last month, Jews around the world woke up to the news that a group of Reform Jewish leaders in Jerusalem for the ordination of the 100th Israeli Reform rabbi was treated harshly by security guards as they carried Torah scrolls onto the plaza in front of the Kotel, the Western Wall of the Temple Mount.
It’s hard to think of an author who more skillfully blends secular and religious themes than Dara Horn. Since the 2002 publication of her first novel, In the Image, she has emerged as one of the most important Jewish literary voices of the 21st century. Her stories often intertwine narratives from multiple time periods and involve historical figures and notable events. Her first novel since 2013, Eternal Life, takes its? time jumping into the realm of immortality novels.
In this re-telling of the life of Jeremiah, the second major prophet in the Hebrew Bible, Dror Burstein, an Israeli poet and novelist who teaches literature at Tel Aviv and Hebrew universities, interweaves all aspects of the modern world, including cell phones, fax machines, computers, and high-speed transit with the ancient Jerusalem in which the First Temple dominates the horizon. T
In Mavericks, Mystics & False Messiahs: Episodes from the Margins of Jewish History, Pini Dunner provides a series of bizarre stories describing how some Jews crashed through conventional guardrails of staid Jewish tradition and sped forward onto aberrant lanes of false messiahs, forgers of Passover Haggadot, rabbis searching for subversive religious meanings of Hebrew amulets, and an 18th-century British lord who converted to Judaism.
German Lutheran Pastor Martin Niemöller is best known for his celebrated confession. These oft-quoted words at Holocaust commemorative observances might lead you to believe that Niemöller was sympathetic to Jewish suffering during the Holocaust. Not true.
Judy Glickman Lauder’s photographs in Beyond the Shadows: The Holocaust and the Danish Exception are so masterfully crafted they make us feel as if we ourselves are on the train tracks approaching Treblinka, behind the barbed wire fence at Majdanek, at the entrance of Dachau under the sign Arbeit Macht Frei, outside a gas chamber at Auschwitz. Faced with these images, we can’t help but imagine what it must have been like for the millions of innocents who entered these passageways, in most cases never to return.
Many American Jews shuddered as Donald Trump proclaimed, “The American Dream is dead!” and “America first!” to rally crowds during his 2016 presidential campaign. We remembered how, in the late 1930s and early 1940s, these slogans were an open call for virulent anti-Semitism, pro-Nazi sentiment, white supremacy, xenophobia, and nativism.
Parashat Mishpatim presents a full catalog of laws, rituals, observance, and obligations that guide us in living a Jewish life of moral depth and courage. But, Rabbi Rick Jacobs asks, how do we, as liberal Jews regard these laws – which of them are we obligated to observe, and how?