Vox Tablet

Forget Spelling It: Most of Us Have No Idea What This Holiday Is Even About

Tablet friends and family help us puzzle out Hanukkah’s origin story—and explain why we don’t celebrate a ninth day of oil

Being Ben-Gurion

In a new biography, historian Anita Shapira deciphers Israel’s inscrutable founding father

The Life and Good Times of Norman Lear

The genius behind ‘All in the Family,’ ‘The Jeffersons,’ and other barrier-breaking TV shows talks about his childhood and career

Don’t Mess With a Missionary Man

Israel Story, Episode 4: When a hobby becomes a calling—from a freelance hitman in Eilat to a Knesset groupie in Herzliya

Have a Good Sex Life? Thank These People.

Jonathan Eig examines the renegade Jewish biologist and his three co-crusaders who made having sex without having a baby possible

When Repression, Regression, and Neurosis Seeped Into Viennese Music

New York Festival of Song’s Steven Blier’s latest program showcases Freud’s influence on the Golden Age of German lieder

Radical Writer Tillie Olsen Gave Her Grandson Text Fragments. He Made Music From Them.

Jesse Olsen Bay uses his grandmother’s unpublished prose on ‘Makings,’ by turns a whimsical and melancholy album

From Etgar Keret to a Lovelorn Student in Dimona, Tales of the Book-Obsessed

Israel Story, Episode 3: How Yiddish books, ancient texts, and even a collection of stories make people all kinds of crazy

A Grandfather’s Hidden Love Letters From Nazi Germany Reveal a Buried Past

Reporter Sarah Wildman’s grandfather escaped Vienna in 1938. Long after he died, she discovered the life—and lover—he left behind.

Royal Contradictions: The Flawed, Paradoxical Heroism of King David

In a new book, Rabbi David Wolpe examines what made the Jewish leader fallible and why, despite his bad behavior, he was great

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