Midstream

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

Articles from Vol. 50, No. 5, July-August

A 16th-Century Italian/Jewish Pilgrim
For those of us trying to plan our next visit to Israel, the picturesque and detailed treatise of one who traveled there nearly five hundred years ago seems particularly fascinating. It is the personal account and practical guidebook of Moses Basola...
A Buttered Roll and a Slice of Bread: I. L. Peretz and Ignazio Silone
Sometimes things left undone are finally finished. When I was a child, my father introduced me to the writing of I. L. Peretz. By then, my father was a secufar Jew, a lover of Yiddishkayt, and a man still fond of describing himself as "God-intoxicated."...
"By the Waters of Babylon"
BAGHDAD--The word Babylon had a magical ring, and from Baghdad, fifty miles to the north, I could hear its toll beckon. My interpreter, Wada, arranged a driver to take us for the day for $50. The going rate for drivers was from $3 to $15, but Wada...
Irving Howe and the Literary Criticism That Matters
The late Irving Howe is best known for World of Our Fathers, his encyclopedic study of immigrant Jewry on the mean streets of the Lower East Side. But Howe remains important for more than a single book, however brilliant its scholarship or impassioned...
Revaluating Jewish Identity: A Centenary Tribute to Isaac Bashevis Singer (1904-1991)
If, over the last half-century, Yiddish literature has been able to speak to readers born after the language itself was murdered, the credit is largely that of Isaac Bashevis Singer. Not that he would openly have appreciated this tribute. After all,...
The End of the Line for the Oldest Jewish Community in the World
Fifty-three years after fleeing Iraq in fear of my life, I returned to my birthplace, driven by necessity not nostalgia. As a doctor and ophthalmologist active in both American and international organizations, I was aware of the sorry state of medicine...
What Happened to Itsik Fefer?
All through the thirties and forties, my father, a die-hard Stalinist, and Uncle Dave, a small businessman, as he liked to call himself, fought over politics: Communism versus Capitalism, the workers against the bosses, the Soviet Union against the...