Midstream

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

Articles from Vol. 55, No. 1, January-February

Abraham Geiger and Abraham Isaac Kook: Messianism's Return to History
Abraham Geiger and Abraham Isaac Kook seem to share little in common but their first names and the fact that both men were leading rabbis and theologians in their respective movements. Geiger, the leading Reform theologian in the 19th century, was...
A Remarkable First Novel: Who Deserves to Be the New Rosh Yeshiva?
The Search Committee: A Novel, by Marc Angel. Jerusalem and New York: Urim Fiction, 2008. 155 pp. $19.95. Rabbi Emeritus Marc Angel of Congregation Shearith Israel, who has written over twenty-five books on Sephardic intellectual traditions and...
Candide's Naysayer in Lively Modern Dress
The Blessed Human Race: Essays on Reconsideration. By George Jochnowitz. Hamilton Books (4501 Forbes Boulevard #200, Lanham, Maryland 20706, 2007), 123 Pages. There is a wonderful scene in chapter 25 of Voltaire's Candide in which the latter, along...
Facing Tomorrow
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan A stately pleasure-dome decree. Like Coleridge's Kubla Khan, Shimon Peres, the world's only Nobel Laureate who currently doubles as a head of state, did in Jerusalem in May a stately, statehood conference decree. For...
Guidelines for Writers as of January 2009
Midstream is now a quarterly publication. We continue to welcome submission of manuscripts that deal with Jewish life and culture worldwide, past and present, with particular emphasis on current Jewish affairs, political, social, and cultural, in America...
Gunter Grass's Mea Culpa
In his recently published autobiography, Peeling the Onion, (2006) Nobel prize winning novelist, Gunter Grass, revealed that at the tender age of sixteen he had enlisted in the infamous Waffen SS. One might suppose that this youthful transgression...
Jewish American Immigrant Fiction Continued: The Contemporary Russian Story
The Last Chicken in America: A Novel in Stories, By Ellen Litman, New York: W. W. Norton & Co, 2007 Irving Howe's famous observation that the power of Jewish American fiction would wane as the generation shaped by immigration fell silent seems...
Joseph Sinzheim, President of Napoleon's Sanhedrin and the First Chief Rabbi of France
The recent celebrations of the bicentennial of the establishment of Napoleon's Sanhedrin (1806-1807) and the Central Consistory of the Jews of France (Consistoire Central des Israelites de France) (1808) warrant revisiting the personality of its president,...
Look Away a Little Bit
Trudging alongside my grandmother through the sweltering sweets of her Brooklyn neighborhood, I couldn't believe that she wasn't finished shopping yet. For what seemed like hours, she had dragged me from one fruit and vegetable vendor to another, squeezing...
"Love Your Fellow as Yourself"
If one thousand or one million people, Jews and non-Jews in the United States, were asked what is the most famous and most important line in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures, I think the answer of most persons would be words from Leviticus 19:18....
Politics versus Religion
Sacred Causes: The Clash of Religion and Politics from the Great War to the War on Terror, Michael Burleigh, HarperCollins, 2007, 557 pp., $27.95 In April 2007 the Vatican ambassador to Israel announced that he would skip the official Holocaust...
Rabbi Dr. Emanuel Rackman (1910-2008), Z"l
The first Midstream issue that I worked on as a newly hired Editorial Consultant appeared in February/March 1990. It included an incisive article by Emanuel Rackman, co-authored with a young rabbi/lawyer named Michael Broyde. Its subtitle was "Halacha...
So Whom Did Midstream Support for President? Financial Meltdown; Terror in Mumbai; Gaza Rockets; Changes at Midstream and an Appeal to Readers
This editorial is being written in late November, some three weeks after the monumental nation-wide vote that resulted in the election of Barack Obama as president of the United States and Joseph Biden as vice-president. The unprecedented triumph of...
"The Catholic Church and the Jewish People"
The Catholic Church and the Jewish People, edited by Philip A. Cunningham, Norbert J. Hofmann and Joseph Sievers. New York: Fordham University Press, 2007. 271 pp. $50. The Second Vatican Council that lasted from 1962 to 1965 and the revolutionary...
The Poison of History; the Doctrines of "Jihad" and "Stages"
The question of achieving a genuine and permanent peace between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs has become a central Middle East preoccupation. During the Annapolis conference of November 2007, weak Israeli and Palestinian governments pledged to work...