Signs and Wonders
A Jewish man prays in the men's section at the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest site, in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Associated Press/Photo by Zoom 77
A Jewish man prays in the men's section at the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest site, in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Signs and Wonders: Are Jews losing their grip on the Promised Land?

Newsworthy

Jews a minority in Israel? According to an article in the (admittedly leftist) newspaper The Forward, the number of non-Jews living in Israel and the occupied territories now exceeds the number of Jews in the same area by about 50,000 (according to census data released this month). In a part of the world where people have not only their own opinions, but their own facts, this factoid has political and ideological implications. Leftists are using it to say that Israeli control of the West Bank and Gaza regions is fundamentally unfair: “a minority ruling a majority.”

Eliot speaks. Sept. 26, marks the 125th year since the birth of poet T.S. Eliot, who was certainly recognized in his own day. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature and—here’s one most people don’t remember—he also won the 1950 Tony Award for Best Play for the Broadway production of The Cocktail Party. And, of course, there’s Cats, based on his Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. But Eliot should be remembered as a prophet of the modern age. Poems such as The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, The Hollow Men, and The Waste Land highlight modernist secularism and nihilism. His later poems, including “The Four Quarters” point the way toward Christian hope, though melancholy is never far from Eliot. Critic Ronald Bush called him one of the 20th century’s “major poets.” Eliot himself said he was a minor poet born in an age that would produce no major poets.

Revenge porn. OK, just for the record, let’s stipulate the obvious: If you take naked pictures of yourself, you’ve got issues. (File under: “Anthony Weiner.”) If you send them to ANYONE, you’ve got more issues, and you’re insane, at least temporarily so. That said, it’s hard not to feel a very mild bit of sympathy for Holly Jacobs, whose boyfriend posted nude photos of her online after they ended a three-year relationship. She’s trying to get the law changed to prevent this exploitation from happening to others.

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A classier Cosmo? A new women’s magazine attempts to step into the “fashion-forward” space dominated by such titles as Cosmopolitan, Self, Glamour, and Vogue—but to do so without those publications’ emphasis on overt sexuality and banality. Verily is not a Christian magazine, but the overwhelming majority of the staff and writers are people of faith. The magazine aspires to “feature fashion that is worthy of the woman, relationship articles that go beyond sex tips, and strong cultural and lifestyle journalism.” I’ve read the first two issues. So far so good.

Warren Cole Smith
Warren Cole Smith

Warren, who lives in Charlotte, N.C., is vice president of WORLD News Group and the host of the radio program Listening In. Follow Warren on Twitter @WarrenColeSmith.

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