THE WEEKLY STANDARD is happy to welcome a new kid on the magazine block--especially because he (she?) is smart, engaging and attractive. So we welcome the Jewish Review of Books--a new print and web publication for serious readers with Jewish interests, in which writers and scholars praise, criticize and analyze new (and some old) books and ideas about religion, literature, culture, and politics.

The first issue's just out, and it's pretty spectacular. In it you'll find articles that are high-quality and thought-provoking, engaging and unpredictable, lively and deep. Particularly striking in the first issue, I thought, was Hillel Halkin's brilliant reflection on the Jewish prayer book, using as its occasion the publication of the new Koren Sacks Siddur. It's an essay that will be of great interest not just to observant and non-observant Jews, but really to anyone who's puzzled about the question of prayer. Also fascinating is Michael Weingrad's, "Why There is No Jewish Narnia"--an article that's also of broad literary and religious interest. And there's more, lots more--Allan Arkush on Zionism, Jon Levenson on the idea of Abrahamic religion--great stuff.

So non-Jews: Don't be intimidated by the journal's title, and take a look. As for my fellow Jews--if I may be presumptuous--you really have no excuse not to read it, and subscribe. So do so!

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