Moment

Articles from Vol. 34, No. 6, November-December

A Mensch Isn't Always a Mensch
When a presidential candidate uses a Yiddish word, you could say that it has entered the American mainstream. If so, then mensch hit the big-time in 2000 when Democratic hopeful Al Gore, in complimenting a fellow attendee at a campaign event, said,...
Read preview Overview
America's Favorite Israeli Spy Returns
The Defector By Daniel Silva Putnam 2009, $26.95, pp. 480 In the international spy thriller genre, the United Kingdom's James Bond, 007, is the most famous. The United States has Paul Christopher of the CIA, the central figure in Charles...
Read preview Overview
Avigdor Lieberman Is Right on Target
Whenever people asked me why Israel has such terrible PR, my standard answer used to be: "The media is against us because they are all Leftists. It makes no difference what we do." That, of course, left out a very significant factor: The Israeli...
Read preview Overview
Dante's Polish Inferno
Remembering Survival: Inside a Nazi Slave-Labor Camp By Christopher R. Browning W.W. Norton & Co. 2009, $27.95, pp. 400 Christopher Browning is the master historian of the intimate tragedy of interaction among Jews, Germans, Poles...
Read preview Overview
David Miliband: Does the British Foreign Secretary, the Child of Holocaust Survivors and New Labour Wonk, Have the "Icicle in the Heart" It Takes to Become Prime Minister?
DAVID MILIBAND IS KNOWN FOR HIS LOW-KEY, WONKI SH PUBLIC-SPEAKING STYLE. But at this fall's Labour Party Conference, the British foreign secretary was angry--and didn't hide it. "It makes me sick," he told those gathered, referring to the Conservative...
Read preview Overview
Dreaming of a White Hanukkah
Have you ever noticed that American Christmas movies are bursting with Jewish talent? Take 1954's White Christmas, one of the most beloved films because of its eponymous song. The song's writer was, of course, Irving Berlin, the Siberian-born son of...
Read preview Overview
Finding Peace in the Eye of the Storm
It's amazing how our lives can suddenly turn upside down in an instant. It was a normal and bright spring morning, just a few days after Purim, the holiday of life upside down, of God seemingly hidden yet present. I was on my way to work, like any...
Read preview Overview
From the Editor
The other day, as an unseasonably cold wind blew outside, I sat in our cozy office in Washington, DC, surrounded as usual by overflowing shelves of books. It occurred to me that there were several anniversaries to mark. In 1975, Elie Wiesel named Moment...
Read preview Overview
Jews & Chinese Food: A Love Story: Senior Editor Nonna Gorilovskaya Interviews Food Writer Andrew Coe, Author of Chop Suey: A Cultural History of Chinese Food in the United States
Twas the night before Christmas and there was hardly a sound, As fews jumped in their cars and drove to Chinatown. Their orders were given to waiters with care, In hopes that wonton soup soon would be there. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The children...
Read preview Overview
Levi
There are 72 disturbing images on the way to my school. Saw I, Saw II, Two and Half Men. There is a billboard for jeans in which no one is wearing clothes. I don't know why there isn't a law about this. In another billboard there was a picture of a...
Read preview Overview
On Fire with Love and Ecstasy
Why do I write Jewish books, and articles for Jewish newspapers? I never set out to be a parochialist, and I have had some success writing for wider audiences. But there's something to Jewish languages, grammars and inflections that fits in a way that...
Read preview Overview
Selected by Moment Contributors
Accomplice to Evil: Iran and the War Against the West Michael A. Ledeen (Truman Talley) Ledeen makes a strong case that Americans and Europeans willfully failed to understand and respond to such threats as Nazism, Fascism and Communism. He...
Read preview Overview
The Jewish Queen of Brazilian Letters
Why This World: A Biography of Clarice Lispector By Benjamin Moser Oxford University Press 2009, $29.95, pp. 496 "I was flabbergasted to meet that rare person who looked like Marlene Dietrich and wrote like Virginia Woolf," said Gregory...
Read preview Overview
The Mysterious Tale of a Ukrainian University's Anti-Semitic Crusade: Featuring the KKK's David Duke, Former KGB Operatives, Palestinians and Many More
IN 2004, I READ THAT A UKRAINIAN UNIVERSITY was orchestrating an international "anti-Zionist" campaign and had invited former Klu Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke to teach. Some of Ukraine's most powerful leaders, including current president Viktor...
Read preview Overview
The New Jewish Convert: A Muslim, a Mormon, a Baptist, a Protestant, a Chinese American, an African American, a Mexican American and the Great-Granddaughter of a Nazi Officer Tell Their Stories
Back in the days of Ruth, Judaism's most famous early convert, it wasn't difficult to become a Jew. Despite being born a Moabite--a tribe with which the Torah forbade marriage--she became the great-grandmother of King David. Judaism then not only embraced...
Read preview Overview
The Passing of Two Giants
As writers, William Safire and Irving Kristol followed very different paths. Kristol was an elegant essayist, whose depth of thought shaped a generation. Safire was a dogged reporter, whose scoops drove the news agenda. Kristol read and meditated....
Read preview Overview
The Story of the Man, the Herb and the Lion
My son and I found the story one Shabbat when he was home from the army. We slipped out of morning services a bit early to study Vayikra Rabba, an ancient collection of midrash. If I hadn't decided to make aliyah before he was born, he'd now be coming...
Read preview Overview
What Is a "Self-Hating Jew"?
Independent I regularly encounter three types of so-called self-hating Jews: (1) the Jew whose alienation results from negative experiences in upbringing, synagogue or Hebrew school; (2) the Jew whose alienation results from pure ignorance of Jewish...
Read preview Overview
Why Jews Vote like Puerto Ricans (and Not Episcopalians)
You know the saying: "Jews earn like Episcopalians and vote like Puerto Ricans." Essayist Milton Himmelfarb coined this witticism back in 1950 and Jews who embraced neoconservatism have been waiting for their brethren to start voting like Episcopalians--that...
Read preview Overview
Yitzhak Jordan, Aka Y-Love: A Black Orthodox Jew and Hip-Hop Artist Creates Rhymes from the Talmud
My first encounter with anything Jewish was at age seven. I saw a TV commercial that said "Happy Passover from your friends at Channel 2," and I said, "Mommy, I want to be Jewish." I drew six-pointed stars on everything in the house. And that was that....
Read preview Overview