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Editor's corner.

It is not a mistake. This really is the Fall-Winter 2006 issue, even though the last one was "Summer-Fall 2006" and these are the waning days of Summer 2007. Somewhere along the line, we got out of sync with our publication dates (as librarians keep reminding us).

Getting "in sync" is important for another reason, as well. We live in what is called the "information age," although that term does not even begin to describe the possibilities technology has opened up. Of primary importance to us at JUDAISM are the ability to publish articles at more frequent intervals and the opportunity to obtain more immediate feedback from you, our readers. We can do both if we transform JUDAISM from a printed journal into an electronic one.

That is not as easy a task as that may sound, however. There are a number of matters that need to be addressed and technical issues that need to be resolved. Rest assured, however, that you will be informed of any such change.

As regards the current issue, it begins with a pair of mysteries, of a sort. Up first, David Arnow explores the place of Moses in the Haggadah. The mystery here is not why Moses does not appear in the traditional text, but why nearly everyone seems to think he does not.

Sarah, on the other hand, really is missing from the text of Genesis from the moment she succeeds in having Hagar and Ishmael thrown out of Abraham's encampment. When next we meet her, she has died after apparently living apart from her husband for a period of time. In between, of course, Abraham tries to sacrifice Sarah's "miracle baby."

David J. Zucker offers, as he puts it, "an alternative way of understanding" what happened during those missing years. As he also states, his proposals "are speculation. Some may see this as a form of modern midrash, understanding the ancient text in a newly imaginative way." Some, on the other hand, may take serious exception to Zucker's "solution." We welcome your responses (as we do, of course, to all the articles we publish).

There is no mystery regarding how A.J. Heschel felt about the assimilationist tendencies of moden Jewish thinkers. For the centenary of Heschel's birth, Byron L. Sherwin examines his mentor's fears that Judaism is being turned into an unacceptable and grotesque hybrid by the never-ending attempts to marry non-Jewish thoughts and ideas to it.

Mystery is at the heart of Aron Pinker's article, as he investigates what it was that drove the sage Ben Zoma out of his mind. Pinker believes he has the answer. Do you agree?

Next, we introduce a new feature, First Person Singular, in which experts (not all of whom are Jewish) will write about aspects of their fields that raise issues of Jewish concern, offer insights into Jewish life, or are interesting from a Jewish perspective.

First up is Willi Korte, a German-born art investigator, who says that the recovery of Nazi-looted artworks offers an opportunity that is not being explored--to restore the names and memory of European Jewish collectors, patrons and dealers, and to acknowledge their profound contribution to European cultural life before World War II.

From Nazi-looted art, we turn to Shoah-related art of a different kind, as Hedvig Turai takes on a tour of a unique exhibition and the artworks it is inspiring.

In Prayer Matters ..., the chancellor emeritus of the Jewish Theological Seminary, Ismar Schorsch, makes a strong case for preserving and promoting the minyan, arguing that "You Can't Be Holy Alone."

Darren Kleinberg, an Orthodox rabbi, offers his prescription for "Getting Pluralism Back on Track" in his Critical Issues essay. It will raise eyebrows in some quarters; hackles in others. At the very least, his proposal could help get the dialogue started again.

In a second Critical Issues article, John T. Pawlikowski OSM, president of the International Council of Christians and Jews, discusses the last 15 years of the Catholic-Jewish relationship.

Finally, in Words on Words, JUDAISM's managing editor, Marilyn Henry, looks at the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion. Sadly, Merle Rubin passed away shortly after writing her review of Mark Krypnick's Jewish Writing and the Deep Places of the Imagination. A federal judge, Judith M. Barzilay, opens the section with her review of The Judge in a Democracy, by Aharon Barak.

Shammai Engelmayer

Teaneck, New Jersey



Managing Editor


Editor Emeritus

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Article Details
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Author:Engelmayer, Shammai
Publication:Judaism: A Quarterly Journal of Jewish Life and Thought
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Sep 22, 2006
Previous Article:Communications.
Next Article:The Passover Haggadah: Moses and the human role in redemption.

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