Tag: Jewish

A Modern Day Medici: The Life and (Tumultous) Times of Pannonica de Koenigswarter, Bebop Baroness

 

When we think Rothschild, it is almost inevitable that banking and high finance are the first things to spring to mind. Conspiracy theories come in a close second. But beyond their involvement in shaping the monetary map of modern Europe, or leading the lizard people, the Rothschilds were also major contributors to culture. (Baron Phillipe alone was a prolific vigneron, race car driver, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and poet). Even the family rebels had much to help give the world.

Charles, son of the first Baron Rothschild, was a Harrow and Cambridge educated banker who loved nothing quite so much as chasing after insects in the English countryside and around the world. In the Sudanese town of Shendi, a former stronghold of the Nubian Ja’alin tribe, he discovered and named Xenopsylla cheopis; what we know as the Oriental rat flea, the primary vector for the bubonic plague which devastated Asia, Africa, and Europe in the 14th century. He was a dedicated partner at NM Rothschild and Sons, though, and never missed a day at the bank. Instead, he used his scientific bent to the family’s benefit, keeping a close watch on the company’s gold refinery and working on new inventions for the extraction, location, and refinement of the precious metal. 

It’s all good news on Tuesday’s Three Martini Lunch! Join Jim and Greg as they cheer a new rule which no longer requires many nonprofits to disclose donors to the IRS. They also cheer retail sales from May more than doubling expectations and suggesting Americans are ready to buy again. And they cheer politicians in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn for defying New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and busting open locked playgrounds in response to the city’s heavy-handed crackdown on the Orthodox Jewish community over COVID restrictions.

Exile: Portraits of the Jewish Diaspora

 

The nation of Israel is constantly in the news, a small nation whose very existence attracts a disproportionate interest from the rest of the world. Israel is also a modern creation, whose groundwork was laid in the late 19th century, and whose birth came as a promised land of safety and return after the horrors of WWII. Return from what? From the Diaspora of Jews after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 AD. From Roman Palestine, over the next 1900 years, the Jews spread throughout much of the world. And with the creation of Israel, many did return. But many communities of the Jewish Diaspora either remain where they planted themselves centuries (or even millennia) ago, or have continued to spread into different, and sometimes unlikely places around the world.

Exile, the first published book by an author already known here on Ricochet, Annika Hernroth-Rothstein, is Annika’s investigation into a number of these Diaspora communities. How did they arrive where they are? When did they arrive? And why do they stay, with the promise of a return to Israel beckoning? Over the past several years, Annika has been visiting some of the most unlikely or far-flung Jewish communities around the world, and she presents their stories here in a single volume.

Annika has chosen communities that seem very unlikely — Jewish communities within Muslim-majority nations both liberal and repressive, communities deep within Asia, the last remnants of a Jewish community in Cuba, and several other surprising ones along the way. For instance, the author chose to avoid looking at places like Germany or Poland or France, in no small part because for those places the Holocaust looms ever large. One of the common threads in her selection is instead the study of communities who either were largely sheltered from the Holocaust, or who are peopled by those who managed to stay ahead of it, though she confesses that this was not entirely by design:

Introducing the Tikvah Podcast

 

Hello Ricochet! The Tikvah Podcast is the latest show to join the Ricochet Audio Network. (If you haven’t listened yet, here it is!) We couldn’t be more excited about it. We want you to be excited as well, so let’s introduce ourselves…

The Tikvah Fund is a think tank, educational institution, and philanthropic foundation committed to supporting the intellectual, religious, and political leaders of the Jewish people and the Jewish state. We do our work through a wide range of venues, from great books-oriented summer programs, to publications like Mosaic and the Jewish Review of Books, to online courses and podcasts. Intellectually and politically, we’re broadly center-right, admiring and learning from the likes of Irving Kristol, Leo Strauss, Leon Kass, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, and Vladimir Jabotinsky.

We think politics is important—both in Israel and in America. But Tikvah isn’t fundamentally in the business of commenting on the news cycle. And neither is the Tikvah Podcast. Our podcast is focused on asking big questions about great Jewish and Zionists texts and ideas. We hope that by taking a step back, we can help our listeners think a little more deeply about the most significant issues facing the Jewish people, our Christian friends, the State of Israel, and the United States of America.

David French of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America celebrate the Supreme Court decision that upheld a portion of President Trump’s travel ban, overturning lower court rulings. They also applaud the SCOTUS decision in favor of Trinity Lutheran Church against the State of Missouri in a religious liberty case. And they question Pride Month’s “inclusivity” as LGBT members of the Jewish community are ejected from a Chicago pride march for having the Star of David on a rainbow flag.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are surprised by who is arrested for allegedly issuing scores of threats to Jewish Community Centers and other institutions. They also react to the details of the terrorist attack in London and shred the rationale behind radical Islamic terrorism. And they discuss North Korea being suspected of a massive heist of money from Bangladesh that was held in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York – and something about that story seems very familiar to them.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud the FBI for arresting a man in connection to threats made against Jewish Community Centers and other institutions, and the suspect might surprise you. They also get a kick out of Colin Kaepernick suddenly ending his national protests now that he needs a job. And they unload on Rep. Cedric Richmond for his horrible comments about KellyAnne Conway and for stating that Trump is not his president.

Member Post

 

In the past, I have connected the blowing of the shofar to G-d’s blowing of his spirit into Adam; by blowing the shofar we are connecting to Hashem’s creation of mankind, showing that we understand our mission is to imitate Hashem in elevating the world around us, contributing our focused energy into the world, and […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

Scholars, journalists, and even politicians uphold Muslim-ruled medieval Spain—“al-Andalus”—as a multicultural paradise, a place where Muslims, Christians, and Jews lived in harmony. There is only one problem with this widely accepted account: it is a myth. Preview Open

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

I contribute to the American Society for Yad Vashem, the US supporters of the big Holocaust Memorial in Israel. [which should be high on your list of places to visit there] They have a quarterly newsletter that I receive, entitled “Martyrdom and Resistance”. I always learn valuable things from their newsletter-they often have interesting stories […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

Bernie Sanders is Jewish. Trump and Rubio are Jew-ish. Trump is the New York Jew caricature you’d draw for a neo-Nazi paper. Loud, offensive, full of Chutzpah, flaunting the rules others live by, socially liberal, and rich. Obsessed with money and his own superiority. He’s the Kosher-style candidate, the deli that serves ham & cheese on rye. The content may […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

A Happy Jew on Christmas

 

I’m not sure what it is that makes it so magical. Perhaps it’s the silence, or even the desolate streets, but being a Jew in the Galut on Christmas is a strange and unexpected blessing.

I do the same thing, every year, and I have it down like clockwork. I take a lengthy morning walk in my cold, abandoned city and cook myself burgers before watching all three Lord of The Rings movies in a row. I know, it may sound like any old Sunday, but I guess that is the point and just what makes it so special.

Member Post

 

My second son attends a school with no other observant Jews. He is, quite probably, the first of his kind to attend in its 120 year history. He recently dressed up on the day before Halloween as a married man – a married Chasidic man, complete with long coat (mine), tall fur hat known as a shtreimel (a […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Brothers of Israel, Part 3

 

israel-645x250Continued from Part 2

“Think of the Middle East as a football field. Israel is the size of a matchbox on that football field. A matchbox! And the world says Israel should give up half of their matchbox.” — Rabbi Ken Spiro

Entering the Israeli Army base on the border of the West Bank, we were given an opportunity to hone our Krav Maga skills (or, in reality, to demonstrate we had none) and perform countless push-ups under orders from a 25-year-old Army Commander. When he wasn’t yelling at us 40- to 70-year-old flabby desk jockeys, he was tasked to ensure his young regiment of Israeli soldiers was ready to handle the threats from Islamic terrorists (yeah, I said it).

Member Post

 

During the festival of Sukkot, we live in huts (“sukkot” means “booths”). Why? Because G-d commanded us to do so: You will dwell in booths for seven days; all natives of Israel shall dwell in booths. –Lev. 23:42. This is to remember, the Torah tells us, that we lived in booths in the wilderness between […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

Do you know how, after going to a funeral, life seems that much sweeter? We often step away and resume our daily lives with renewed vigor and a focus on what really matters. In the back of our minds, we are often thinking about our own funerals, and what we will leave behind when we […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

There has long been a love affair between Jewish immigrants and the United States. From Gershwin and Kern, to Irving Berlin and Rogers and Hammerstein, the Jewish immigrant community in the United States dove into the potential and energy of this great country, and they responded to that energy in kind, creating perhaps the most […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Perfection and Its Discontents

 

shutterstock_161407115Greeks promoted the notion of “perfection” – that there was such a thing as a perfect ratio, or a perfect body. And this word and concept has similarly entered our modern world: perfection has become the standard against whom everyone or everything is measured. Sadly, it is also part of our religious thinking as well: the concept that some people are “almost” perfect, for example.

The problem with the notion of perfection is that it is not only hard to achieve, but that it is, itself, a lie.

Take, for example, a simple physical object – a little cube. It might look like a perfect cube, but if you look closely enough, you will find that it is full of imperfections and impurities. The dimensions themselves can only be measured within certain tolerances, limited by instruments. There is nothing in this world that is “perfectly” any dimension at all, given that even a measurement is true only for a specific temperature and atmospheric pressure and composition of the ambient air… the list is endless.

A Violent Weekend

 

Let us begin our tour with a quarrel in a faraway country. As Yahoo Japan reports, “A Vietnamese fishing vessel has sunk after being rammed by a Chinese vessel and the 10 fishermen have been rescued. While Vietnam has not responded yet, the Coast Guard warned “the situation at the site it very tense.”‘

This is not an isolated incident, but rather an escalation of recent tensions. It is most likely a response to last week’s announcement of cooperation between Vietnam and Japan, which followed the Chinese “deploying an oil rig off the Paracel Islands, which Vietnam also claims, leading to physical clashes between Chinese and Vietnamese vessels.”