Thomas Hibbs considers this year’s Best Picture nominees:
Perhaps in the hope of expanding interest in its fatuous and self-indulgent awards ceremony, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has expanded its list of nominees for Best Picture from five to ten. This year’s list includes three films that rank in the box-office top ten for the year 2009: Up, The Blind Side, and the record-pummeling Avatar, about which I have already opined. Of the three, each of which has received some recognition in other year-end award ceremonies, Pixar’s Up is the most finely crafted story—a tale about loving fidelity, grief, old age, renewal, and growing up. It is one of the most compelling films ever made about friendship between young and old.
Also, David Klinghoffer discusses the mission of the Jewish people:
You will often hear Jews say, with pride, that Judaism rejects a missionary or evangelizing stance. This is true in the narrow sense that Jews do not pursue converts to Judaism, but it is deeply misleading in another. The German Orthodox rabbi, polemicist, and scriptural expositor Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch (1808–1888), a towering figure in modern Jewish thought, taught insistently that God brought the “Abrahamitic nation” onto the stage of history for “the salvation of the world through Judaism.”