Midstream

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

Articles from Vol. 52, No. 6, November-December

Abraham's Covenant, Chosenness, and the Binding of Isaac
Readers of Midstream are, by now, aware of my position about, the correct understanding of The Binding of Isaac (Akedah) in Genesis 22. (1) I start with Abraham's ethical and moral principles, which justify his being chosen by God to join in a covenantal...
Jewish Aspects of Don Quixote
As I was about to re-read Don Quixote--which in 2005 marked the 400th anniversary of its publication--I serendipitously ran across an item about Don Miguel Cervantes Saavedra in the Encyclopedia Judaica. The short article stated that some scholars...
Sigmund Freud, Jewishness, and Zionism
In mid-life Sigmund Freud wrote: "It still strikes me as strange that the case histories I write should read like short stories, and that, as one might say, they lack the serious stamp of science." (Quoted in Reading Freud's Reading, Ed. Gilman et...
The Cranky, Utterly Indispensable Alfred Kazin
The late Alfred Kazin (1915-98) was every inch the New York Jewish intellectual at a time when that brilliant cantankerous crowd included the likes of the sociologist Daniel Bell, the political analyst Irving Kristol, the art critic Clement Greenberg,...
The Inner Contradictions of Jihad
A news story appeared in the September 8, 2006, issue of The New York Times under the headline "Al Jazeera Shows Tape of bin Laden and Planners on 9/11." In it, we learn that Wail Alshehri, one of the Sept. 11 hijackers, asked, "If jihad is not now...
The Second Exodus
Although the ancient Hebrews were enslaved in Egypt, Yahweh had to get Moses to convince them to leave. So why would American Jews, comfortably settled in the North, voluntarily move to Florida? It was a question I had pondered for a long time. So...
The Use of Reason in Maimonidies: An Evaluation by Ahad Ha-Am
The medieval Jewish philosopher, Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon (Maimonides, the Rambam), was held in special regard by Ahad Ha-am, who considered him his guide and teacher. (1) Among the Sadigura Hasidim, with whom Ahad Ha-Am was reared, studying Maimonides...
When the U.S. Government Spied on American Jews
The Bush administration's eavesdropping policy has aroused considerable controversy. What few remember, however, is that the Roosevelt administration undertook some questionable eavesdropping of its own--and Jewish activists were the target. The...