Midstream

Magazine focusing on Jewish cultural, social, and political affairs.

Articles from Vol. 54, No. 4, July-August

Am Yisrael Chai
Shlomo Carlebach's rousing "Am Yisrael Chai, Od Avinu Chai," "the people of Israel lives, our father still lives," has become one of the most popular, identity-affirming contemporary Jewish songs. But the second phrase, in its original form, was not...
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"A Nation without Vision Cannot Survive": Memories of David Ben-Gurion
The 60th birthday of Israel is a suitable opportunity to remember the early years of the Jewish state and to express our appreciation and gratitude to the founders of Israel. David Ben-Gurion was certainly the decisive factor in the establishment...
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A Tisha b'Av Meditation: Jewish Power in the Shadow of the Holocaust
In the year 70 CE, the Romans crushed the Jewish rebellion in Judea against their emerging empire, razing Jerusalem and burning the Second Temple to the ground. On the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av, Jews mourn the destruction of the Temple almost...
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Dance in the Street
It was on a Friday, a few days before my fourth birthday mid-May, as my mother was fond of telling it. The night before I had had a bad bout of coughing. Although we had been enjoying spring I was still nursing the chronic winter bronchitis that brought...
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Isaac Babel and Mordche Yaffe
Part One The question that Sanford Pinsker asked, "What is Isaac Babel, a nice Jewish boy from Odessa, doing riding with the Cossacks? (Midstream, Jan/Feb 2006)--with two changes--could have been asked of my father. Only in the last years of his...
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Israel and the Holocaust: Some Reflections on Israel's 60th Anniversary
* Speaking to a gathering of American Jewish leaders, Israel's distinguished Ambassador to the United Nations said: "If only there was the State of Israel in 1939, the Holocaust would not have happened." * In conjunction with a visit by Israel-Defense-Forces...
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Menahem Begin and Israel's Independence
Although Menahem Begin is well known in our time as a prime minister of Israel, his place among at. great Jewish leaders already was established by 1949. By then he was a historic figure, because it was Begin the underground leader who led and focused...
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Re-Defined
Sometimes the name they give you is all wrong, that's what my inner voice keeps on repeating as I face the immigration clerk. "You are stubborn, very independent-minded," he says. "I should have a choice," I say. He stands up from his chair,...
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Reflections on a Historic Landmark Event
On the eve of the 60th Anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel in May 1948, I reflect on what had preceded this historic landmark event. After the Liberation in 1945, the entire world, Europe and the Jewish refugees in particular,...
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Religious Tradition and Secular Radicalism: David Bergelson in Berlin, 1922
The Yiddish prose writer David Bergelson (1884-1952) first came to the attention of discerning Yiddish readers in 1909 as a pioneer of a modernist prose style. It was meticulously crafted to chart the slow decay of the tsarist empire and of the Jewish...
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Saving Ramat Rachel in the War of Independence a Personal Memoir
Those who have read my "Bomb Chuckers" story may recall that a significant number of the cadets in the first IAF flying course in Israel were technically "deserters" from their previous units. The main reason was that many of those who met the stringent...
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"Swifter Than Eagles, Stronger Than Lions": A Visit to the Israel Air and Space Force
"Swifter than eagles, stronger than lions" is how the author of the Book of Samuel describes two heroes of ancient Israel, King Saul and his son Jonathan. These words apply equally well, however, to some heroes of modern Israel: the men and women of...
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The Visitor
When did I first hear of that little land that held such big sway? Not the ancient land to which Abraham was commanded to migrate; not the one where the matriarchs and patriarchs were laid to rest; nor the kingdom of Saul, David, and Solomon? Not the...
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Yiddish? Why Don't We Speak Judeo-French?
I am an English speaker and therefore a reflection of Jewish language shift. I am told that as a child my first language was Yiddish. Perhaps it was, although as far back as I can remember, I always thought in English. Be that as it may, I don't speak...
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