The great tragedy of Yiddish literature is that, at the very moment when it was blossoming into modernity in all genres, its writers, audience, and cultural matrix were completely destroyed by the double knockout punch of German and Soviet anti-Semitism.
When Jews begin their Hanukkah celebrations this week, they will commemorate a 2,200-year old revolt led by Judah Maccabee against a Greek empire attempting to crush the Jewish faith. For some, the holiday holds an added resonance, linking their military service to one of the greatest Jewish warriors of all time.
These are the Jews of the United States Marine Corps.
On Friday, President Obama addressed the Union for Reform Judaism's convention. As Jen Rubin notes, "A good two-thirds of the address was devoted to liberal nostrums, reflecting his confidence that no matter how badly he treats the Jewish state, liberal Democratic Jews will stick by him."
Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz has recently been going around her home state of Florida trying to convince Jews that Barack Obama is in fact pro-Israel. As the Sun-Sentinel reports, “Democrats hope to avoid losing Jewish voters in South Florida.”
President Obama tried to reassure more than 900 rabbis today on a half-hour conference call that he’s a stalwart friend of Israel. In the midst of all the happy talk, though, he inadvertently revealed how he really thinks about the Middle East: