Midstream

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

Articles from Vol. 55, No. 2, Spring

Are Settlements Illegal?
With the recent election of a liberal American president and a conservative Israeli prime minister, pressure on Israel to reach a final agreement with the Palestinian Authority is likely to intensify. According to the conventional political wisdom,...
On Balfour and His Declaration
The Balfour Declaration (dated November 2nd, 1917) was a formal statement of policy by the British government. The Declaration was made in a letter from Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to Lord Rothschild (Walter Rothschild, 2nd Baron Rothschild),...
Purim Shpiel: A Literary Review of the Fabulous Megillat Esther
Among the many narratives of the Bible, an outstanding example of storytelling is the Book of Written not later than 350 BCE, this tale contains all the timeless literary devices of a well-constructed story; clever arrangement of plot.; conflict and...
Tales of Rav Tsair
"No one who ever encountered in America the striking figure of Dr. Chaim Tchernowitz, the great scholar of the Talmud and formerly the Chief Rabbi of Odessa, a man of Jovian port and large, free mind, would be inclined to conclude that there was but...
The First Chag Ha'alzma'ut in Baghdad-May 14, 1948
As we counted down to May 15, apprehension in the Jewish Quarter in Baghdad mounted. Along with it, however, was a breathless expectation. After living with uncertainty so long, on a given date, something definite would happen, and whatever happened...
The Flies Also Wish to Live an "Aliyah Bet" Memoir
My Vermont home shares a fence with a cow pasture, whose companionable residents amble over to visit, bringing their multitudes of eager flies with them. The cows stay on their side of the fence, but their flies inevitably get into our house. While...
The Maccabiah's Ripple Effect
Susan Horvath was surrounded. Hundreds of thousands of faces of murdered children exposed her family's buried secret. She could have been one of them. Her light brown hair coiffed, her flowery blouse pressed, Susan stood rooted to the floor in the...
The Mesha Inscription and the Bible
One of the most thrilling archeological finds of the last two centuries was unearthed in 1868. It is known as the Mesha Inscription. Mesha was a Moabite king who appears in the Biblical Book of Kings. In his inscription, King Mesha makes mention of...
The Righteous Gentile
One split item has escaped my memory. Regardless of how long I search, I cannot recall the moment when I learned about Brian Coleman. Did I read about him in the Forward or in the Jewish Week? Did I find him on the Internet? I do not remember how I...
The Universality of Antisemitism
Antisemitism makes no sense. The terrorists who attacked hotels and expensive restaurants in Mumbai, India, on November 26, 2008, wanted India to cede control of Kashmir to its Muslim majority. And so, among other targets, they attacked the Chabad...
Wajda, Samson and the Jews
Poland has produced a host of world-class directors--Krzysztof Kieslowski, Krzysztof Zanussi, Agnieska Holland, Roman Polanski, and arguably, its greatest--Andrzej Wajda. A number of the directors have dealt with the Holocaust and the complex nature...