The Founders in Context

From First Thoughts

The Brookings Institute recently launched an initiative called ConText, dedicated to promoting the study of what Benjamin Wittes, senior fellow at the Brookings Institute, calls “the most important document in American history that nobody ever reads”: James Madison’s Notes of the . . . . Continue Reading »

Deciphering the ‘Patio Tomb’

From First Thoughts

A team of archaeologists in Israel claim to have found the earliest archeological evidence of Christianity—a burial site known the “Patio Tomb” located in Talpiot, a southern Jerusalem neighborhood. Philologos, writing for the Jewish Daily Forward , details the putatively . . . . Continue Reading »

Southern Israel Under Fire

From First Thoughts

Yossi Melman, writing for Tablet , filed a bleak report following the latest round of fire between Israel and its Gazan neighbors: After four days of rocket shelling and air raids—which began last Friday when Israeli forces assassinated the secretary general of the Popular Resistance . . . . Continue Reading »

Purim and the Exceptional Book of Esther

From Web Exclusives

Yesterday marked the Jewish holiday of Purim, when Jews gather together for festive meals and merriment, exchange gifts, and most centrally, assemble in synagogue for mirthful public readings of the Book of Esther”all in celebration of the salvation recounted therein. A quick synopsis of the somewhat elliptical storyline … Continue Reading »

Concern for the Captive’s Plight

From Web Exclusives

I don’t generally think of myself as a man easily brought to tears, but I tried in vain to hold them back when I heard the news that Gilad Shalit would be coming home. Over five years ago, on the morning of June 25, 2006, several Palestinian militants infiltrated an Israeli army base on the Gaza strip border, killing two, wounding three, and abducting 20-year-old corporal Gilad Shalit. … Continue Reading »