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The Barbed-Wire College
The Barbed-Wire College
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In The Barbed-Wire College Ron Robin tells the extraordinary story of the 380,000 German prisoners who were brought to the USA during WWII and kept in camps throughout the country. Using personal narratives, camp newspapers, and military records, Robin re-creates in arresting detail the attempts of prison officials to mold the minds of their prisoners. From 1943 onward, despite the Geneva Convention, prisoners were subjected to an ambitious re-education program designed to turn them into American-style democrats. Under the direction of the Pentagon, liberal arts professors pushed through a program of arts and humanities that stressed only the positive aspects of American society. The American educators censored popular books and films in order to promote democratic humanism and downplay class and race issues, materialism, and wartime heroics. However, by the war's end, the curriculum was more concerned with combating the appeals of communism than with eradicating the evils of National Socialism. The re-education program, overall, failed to make these POWs shed their Nazi beliefs and become supporters of a liberal- democratic ethos. It succeeded less than the policies of other nations in indoctrinating prisoners of war or internees. In The Barbed-Wire College Ron Robin shows how this intriguing chapter of military history was also tied to two crucial episodes of twentieth- century American history: the battle over the future of American education and the McCarthy-era hysterics that awaited postwar America.
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Holding Their Own
Holding Their Own
Early Modern Yiddish Women's Fiction
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This anthology is a collection of stories, written by women at the turn of the twentieth century and published in the Yiddish press at that time. The have been translated to Hebrew for the first time. From its beginning the Yiddish press enabled all levels of society to sound their voices. Women too were quick to meet this challenge, and until the First World War more than ninety of their works were published: novellas, plays, fiction and a wide variety of short stories. This collection of nineteen stories represents this abundance and its unique qualities. It sounds anew the voices of forgotten women authors, who disappeared even from the eyes of critics and researchers: Maria Lerner, Isabella, Rokhl Brokhes, Yente Serdetsky, Salome Perl, Rokhl Feigenberg and others. Their stories open a window to the world of women at a time of dramatic changes in the lives of Jews in the Russian Empire. They portray conflicts between the generations, especially between the authors and their mothers, the dilemmas of love, and the anguished movement between the small town and the big city, between maintaining traditions and breaking free of frameworks. These stories highly enrich our knowledge of Jewish society at that time and are a fundamental expression of the part women played in that society.
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Ideology of Apostasy
Ideology of Apostasy
The Ideology of Jewish Spaniards Who Converted to Christianity
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This research project tries, for the first time, to analyze and compare all the key Spanish Jewish apostates, especially Petrus Alfonsi, Abner of Burgos, Geronimo de Santa Fe, Pablo de Santa Maria and Pedro de la Caballeria. The aim of this research is to understand the ideological background of the mass conversion of the Spanish Jewish community from the perspective of the intellectual elite involved in the conversion itself and not – as has usually been the case in modern scholarship – according to the rabbis who decided to stay Jewish. In the first part of the book, the author explains the impact of the conversion of a part of the Jewish intellectual elite on the Spanish Jewish population. In the second part, he examines the opinion of the various ideological converts regarding Christianity (especially the dogmas of the Trinity and Incarnation). In the third part, he analyzes their criticisms of Judaism. The main conclusion of this research is that there is a very important difference between the various converso intellectuals regarding the essence of Christianity. The conversos who were philosophers or kabbalists before their conversion continued with a similar approach even after their conversion, using their former philosophical/kabbalistic knowledge to try to convince their fellow Jews to convert as they had. The common denominator of the different writings of these apostates is not their opinions on Christianity but rather their similar criticisms of Judaism, and especially with regard to keeping Jewish religious obligations.
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Altered Pasts
Altered Pasts
Counterfactuals in History
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A bullet misses its target in Sarajevo, a would-be Austrian painter gets into the Viennese academy, Lord Halifax becomes British prime minister in 1940 instead of Churchill: seemingly minor twists of fate on which world-shaking events might have hinged. Alternative history has long been the stuff of parlor games, war-gaming, and science fiction, but over the past few decades it has become a popular stomping ground for serious historians. The historian Richard J. Evans now turns a critical, slightly jaundiced eye on a subject typically the purview of armchair historians. The book’s main concern is examining the intellectual fallout from historical counterfactuals, which the author defines as “alternative versions of the past in which one alteration in the timeline leads to a different outcome from the one we know actually occurred.” What if Britain had stood at the sidelines during the First World War? What if the Wehrmacht had taken Moscow? The author offers an engaging and insightful introduction to the genre, while discussing the reasons for its revival in popularity, the role of historical determinism, and the often hidden agendas of the counterfactual historian. Most important, Evans takes counterfactual history seriously, looking at the insights, pitfalls, and intellectual implications of changing one thread in the weave of history. A wonderful critical introduction to an often-overlooked genre for scholars and casual readers of history alike.
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The Book Smugglers
The Book Smugglers
Partisans, Poets and the Race to Save Jewish Treasures from the Nazis
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The Book Smugglers is the nearly unbelievable story of ghetto residents who rescued thousands of rare books and manuscripts—first from the Nazis and then from the Soviets—by hiding them on their bodies, burying them in bunkers, and smuggling them across borders. It is a tale of heroism and resistance, of friendship and romance, and of unwavering devotion—including the readiness to risk one’s life—to literature and art. And it is entirely true. Based on Jewish, German, and Soviet documents, including diaries, letters, memoirs, and the author’s interviews with several of the story’s participants, The Book Smugglers chronicles the daring activities of a group of poets turned partisans and scholars turned smugglers in Vilna, “The Jerusalem of Lithuania.” The rescuers were pitted against Johannes Pohl, a Nazi “expert” on the Jews, who had been dispatched to Vilna by the Nazi looting agency, Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg, to organize the seizure of the city’s great collections of Jewish books. Pohl and his Einsatzstab staff planned to ship the most valuable materials to Germany and incinerate the rest. The Germans used forty ghetto inmates as slave-laborers to sort, select, pack, and transport the materials, either to Germany or to nearby paper mills. This group, nicknamed “the Paper Brigade,” and informally led by poet Shmerke Kaczerginski, a garrulous, street-smart adventurer and master of deception, smuggled thousands of books and manuscripts past German guards. If caught, the men would have faced death by firing squad at Ponar, the mass-murder site outside of Vilna. To store the rescued manuscripts, poet Abraham Sutzkever helped build an underground book-bunker sixty feet beneath the Vilna ghetto. Kaczerginski smuggled weapons as well, using the group’s worksite, the former building of the Yiddish Scientific Institute, to purchase arms for the ghetto’s secret partisan organization. All the while, both men wrote poetry that was recited and sung by the fast-dwindling population of ghetto inhabitants. With the Soviet “liberation” of Vilna (now known as Vilnius), the Paper Brigade thought themselves and their precious cultural treasures saved—only to learn that their new masters were no more welcoming toward Jewish culture than the old, and the books must now be smuggled out of the USSR.
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Tiqqun Olam (Repairing the World)
Tiqqun Olam (Repairing the World)
Babylonian Talmud Tractate Gittin chapter 4
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The Babylonian Talmud is the Jewish composition of greatest scope, and its influence on Jewish life is decisive. Jewish sages have devoted more time and energy to its study and halakhic interpretation than to any other book, including the Bible, to the extent that "talmud Torah," Torah study, is mainly perceived as the study of the Babylonian Talmud. Its academic study, in contrast, is still in its initial stages. Critical editions, with the text based on the best manuscripts and an exhaustive and thorough critical commentary, have been published of only a few of the thirty-seven tractates of the Babylonian Talmud. Central questions pertaining to the manner of the formulation of the Talmud, its redaction, and its transmission are still unresolved. This is different from the state of research of other Rabbinic works, the study of which has taken significant strides in recent decades. Critical, balanced, and cautious interpretation of talmudic sugyot (discursive units) will likely illustrate the treasures to be revealed by a scholarly reading of the Babylonian Talmud: illuminating new facets of which traditional study is unaware; the consistent presentation of its meticulous literary fashioning, its contentual depth, and the creative force embodied in this corpus. All these find expression even in sugyot that seem tenuous and bothersome to the traditional student. Tiqqun Olam (Repairing the World) seeks to advance the research of the Babylonian Talmud with an annotated edition of the fourth chapter of Tractate Gittin, which contains various regulations that were enacted "for tiqqun olam." This chapter was chosen for the wide variety of its topics and the redactive methods employed, and for the benefit to be gained from their critical analysis. The widespread study of this chapter in high schools and yeshivot also influences its selection, in the hope it will aid both students and scholars in highlighting his difficulties and in exposing the overt and covert trends of the Amoraim and the redactors of the sugyot. The first chapter of this book examines the meanings of the term "tiqqun olam" in the Mishnah and the Tosefta, along with the structure of the tannaitic units containing regulations "for the repairing of the world" in these two tannaitic works. The main body of the book contains a systematic discussion of these mishnayot and sugyot, using philological-historical methodology, alongside the literary analysis, which has not been sufficiently developed in talmudic research to now. The talmudic text is divided into forty-nine sugyot. For each the book offers a new text based on MS. Firkovich 187, a list of parallels, a selection of textual variants and discussion of their originality, and a commentary. The commentary includes a detailed explanation of the sugyot and an analysis of their strata. A unique attempt is made to glean from within the traces of the difficulties within the sugyot and the dissonance they exhibit the aims of the redactors, who frequently formulated new laws, while devoting sophisticated literary effort in order to mask these innovations, and to impart to the sugyah a harmonious composition. In this book, much effort was invested to reveal the plain meaning of the Talmud, employing the tools of scholarly research - which, for various reasons, are not integrated into the widespread study of the Talmud today. The book undertakes to open a window to the academic world and its methodology, to enable Talmud students to come to know the world of Babylonian Talmud scholarship that is both demanding and profound, but also intriguing, while offering new insights.
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Women in the State of Israel
Women in the State of Israel
The Early Years
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According to its Declaration of Independence, the State of Israel "will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex". However, the equality between men and women in Israel was not de facto. What did Israeli women have to say about that? The book presents views and opinions of Israeli women in the 1950s and the early 1960s about their roles and duties in the public and the domestic spheres, based on contemporary women's sections in the press and women's magazines. It shows what women said about women in the Israeli parliament (Knesset) and about Golda Meir; women's service in the Israeli Defense Force and the exclusion of women from the public sphere; motherhood and parenthood, woman's right to choose to have an abortion and women's struggle for peace; women's duties as housewives and the discrimination of women as employees. The book also uncovers a forgotten feminist journal, sheds light on a famous adoption story of a Yemenite baby and discusses a protest of female cadets in the Israeli Air Force flight course that was ignored and silenced for many years. The book unveils Israeli women's voices from the past, which show that in an era of many fateful decisions, Israeli women also made choices that affected their status in society. Readers might find these decisions relevant vis-à-vis women's status in Israeli society nowadays.
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MA'ARAG
MA'ARAG
The Israel Annual of Psychoanalysis
8
Edited by:
MA'ARAG: The Israel Annual of Psychoanalysis is a democratic forum for psychoanalytic research, practice, and criticism published through the initiative and cooperation of the Sigmund Freud Center for Study and Research in Psychoanalysis of the Hebrew University, Israeli Association for Self Psychology and the Study of Subjectivity, Israel Society for Analytical Psychology, Israel Psychoanalytic Society, Israel Institute for Group Analysis, Tel-Aviv Institute for Contemporary Psychoanalysis, and the Israel Association for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. This issue contains the following essays: Hila Elyakam and Devora Rosner-Wachs | THE ROLE OF THE BODY EN ROUTE TO BUILDING THE BIONIAN CONTAINER: INTEGRATING SOMATIC EXPERIENCE AND PSYCHODYNAMIC PYCHOTHERAPY Dana Amir | STUDIUM AND PUNCTUM IN PSYCHOANALYTIC WRITING Dana Amir | THE ‘NEWSPEAK’ OF THE PERPETRATOR: REFLECTIONS ON THE PHENOMENON OF SCREEN CONFESSIONS Dorit Ashur | FREUD AS “MIDWIFE TO THE SOUL”: THE RESTORATION OF MATERNAL SEMIOTIC PROFUSION IN H.D.’S ANALYSIS WITH FREUD Micha Weiss | ETHICAL PRESENCE IN THE PSYCHOANALYTIC ENCOUNTER: APOLOGY AS A POSSIBILITY Naomi Teller | TWO POEMS: TO CONTAIN DESIRE Moshe Landau | ON TRANSFORMATION FROM CHAOS AND BECOMING TO RHYTHM AND MENTALIZATION, AND THE RHYTHM IN THE TRANSFORMATION PROCESS FROM ‘O’ TO ‘K’ Rivka Matzner | PSYCHOANALYTIC CONSIDERATIONS ON THE MEETING POINT BETWEEN THE LURIANIC CONCEPT OF “LIGHTS AND VESSELS” AND BION’S CONCEPT OF “CONTAINER-CONTAINED” Ruth Netzer | ‘LISTEN TO HER’: POEMS ON THE ANALYST-PATIENT RELATIONSHIP Gila Ofer, Batya Shoshani and Michael Shoshani | WHEN ONE PLUS ONE EQUALS ONE: THE VICISSITUDES OF CHOSING BETWEEN TRUTH AND BLINDNESS IN THE OEDIPAL MYTH, AND THE FILM “INCENDIES” Gal Kachman | SILENT GRAVES AND TRANSIENT LIFE: ON SUBJECTIVITY AND MELANCHOLY IN THE WRITINGS OF ABRAHAM AND TOROK Victor Rubinov | THE CAPACITY FOR SUBJECTIVITY Merav Roth | TEARING UP THE LETTER AND THE URGE TO GET RID OF THE OBJECT Alejandra Sternschein | MY LANGUAGE, MY SPEECH, AND MY EXPRESSION: REFLECTIONS ON MULTIPLE LANGUAGES IN THE PSYCHIC SPACE OF THE ANALYTIC PROCESS Ofer Shinar Levanon | BETWEEN THE PSYCHOANALYTIC AND THE ARTISTIC ENCOUNTER: REFLECTIONS ON THE SHARED WORK OF THE COMPOSER YONI RECHTER AND THE POETS AVRAHAM HALFI, DAHLIA RAVIKOVITCH AND ELI MOHAR
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The Soul is Big, Life is Small
The Soul is Big, Life is Small
The Duality of the Soul According to Plato's Phaedo and Republic
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The author argues that the key distinction in Plato's psychology, as it is elaborated in Phaedo and Republic, is not between soul and body but rather between two aspects of the soul. The main starting point in justifying this argument is an analysis of the theory of recollection that Phaedo presents. This theory, along with the proof for immortality which it proves, requires us to distinguish between two aspects: The soul contains, on the one hand, a perfect and forgotten knowledge – on the other hand, being one phenomenon among many, the soul exists and as part of this existence it recollects some of this perfect and forgotten knowledge. This duality is not one between the rational and non-rational parts of the soul. Recollection involves reason. The duality in recollection is between latent and perfect knowledge, on one hand, and the rational activity by means of which it is revealed, on the other. The opposition that is intrinsic to this duality is hence closely related to Plato's distinction between Ideas and phenomena. It is an opposition between the being and becoming, between the eternal and mortal. In Phaedo, throughout the various arguments and according to the various participants' grasp, this concept is developed and culminates in the last proof: This proof point at the source of life, much like the theory of recollection revealed the source of knowledge. The duality of the soul also elucidates the mythic symbols at the outset of Phaedo. The proofs that this dialogue furnishes for immortality clarify the duality of the soul and in doing so they offer a novel interpretation for the mythical symbols concerning the struggle of the soul which the body imprisons. This external conflict is rendered philosophically meaningful in Phaedo, turning thus into an expression of the basic tension between the two aspects of the soul. The interpretation that this book offers takes issue with more conventional ways of understanding Phaedo's psychology, which usually present it as though it was based on a division between body and soul. By reading this dialogue's arguments with reference to the duality of the soul, the author evokes the coherency of the proofs proposed in Phaedo to the immortality of the soul and clarifies the relationship between Plato's views of the soul as they appear in Phaedo and Republic respectively. Thus he sheds light on the latent dimension of the soul, on the inconceivable depth of the human soul which constitutes the foundation of Plato's philosophy of yearning.
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Human Choice
Human Choice
Biblical Narrative and the Drama of Choice
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The book Human Choice: Biblical Narrative and the Drama of Choice suggests, in contrast to the dominant position in the field of theology, that humanity and not God stands at the heart of biblical narrative. Underpinning many biblical narratives is a theology that may be termed a “theology of choice”, a theology predicated on the belief that human’s central task is to choose between good and evil. Theology of choice leads to biblical narratives' focus on the internal conflicts of characters, their struggles and the choices that they must make. The principle that a person’s choices determine one’s destiny lies at the foundation of biblical narrative and is one of the basic tenets of Israelite belief. In contrast to the belief in a predetermined destiny characteristic of idolatrous culture as evident in many ancient mythologies as well as Greek tragedy, the outlook underlying many biblical narratives is that a person is a free being and is responsible for one’s actions and one’s ultimate destiny. The book also argues against the belief that the books of the Bible reflect polarized thinking and a dichotomous worldview. A sophisticated literary analysis treating the different levels of the narrative – the syntagmatic, paradigmatic and dramatic – with a focus on the use of tripartite contrast – a literary device yet to be noticed in biblical research – reveals that the biblical perspectives are not polar in nature, but rather include complexity and a gray zone lying between the dichotomy of black and white. The doubts and wavering of middle-ground characters such as Lot, Saul and Ahab create a drama about choice and infuse the narratives with complexity and interest. Middle-ground characters in biblical narratives represent human complexity, characterized by internal conflict and struggles, and the need to decide between conflicting desires, values and beliefs. This tension creates the biblical drama of choice which focuses on human choice.
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Text Theory Interpretation
Text Theory Interpretation
Theories and Texts as Psycho-Cultural Prisms
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This book attempts to measure the effectiveness of research tools from different disciplines in analyzing and understanding works of theatre and literature. One of the most significant conclusions of this attempt is that art functions as a way to conceive reality through imagination. As a creative tool for expressing, shaping and reflecting the psycho-cultural spirits of artists, times and spaces, art produces mirrors in front of cultural variedness, different eras, human temperaments, truths, values and meanings. Part one introduces basic concepts of theories from various fields: the philosophy of esthetics, literary sociology, cultural anthropology and psychology written by Nietzsche, Bakhtin, Wolfflin, Croce, Storr, Shoham and others. The common base of these theories is a binary contemplation that highlights the existence of polar duality in the spirit of man. This duality has many forms and names: Apollo versus Dionysus (reason versus instinct), dialogism versus monologism, renaissance versus baroque, romanticism versus classicism, Sisyphus versus Tantalus, Schizoid versus manic-depressive. Part two focuses on interpretations of works of literature and theatre in the light of these theories. The works chosen belong to different writers, cultures and periods: Tonio Kruger of Thomas mann, Hamlet of Shakespeare, The Marriage of Mr. Mississippi and Angel Came Down to Earth by Durrenmatt, The Lover by A.B. Yehushua, The Adventure of Jaber's Head by Wannus, Bath Queen and The Patriot by Levin, The Rain Maker by Lahham and Jericho Governor by Mondi.
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The Kibbutz: The Risk of Enduring
The Kibbutz: The Risk of Enduring
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For one hundred years, the kibbutz was an undisputed model of an agricultural and industrial collective that implemented sharing, equality and direct democracy. Since the mid-1980s, however, the majority of the kibbutzim have undergone far-reaching changes (FRC). Differential salaries, privatization of property rights on apartments, or absorbing non-members as residents or “partial” members penetrate numerous settlements. This book tackles the question whether all this means that the kibbutz is gone. To answer this question, it investigates the dynamics of the new kibbutz reality, in this post-FRC era when some kibbutzim go as far as adopting all or nearly all FRCs possible while others still assert their loyalty to the “old regime. What comes out from this investigation definitely sets kibbutzim in the category of what Beck calls a “risk society”. The risk concerns the fact that for kibbutzniks, to remain a kibbutz or to step out from what a kibbutz still represents is a matter of choice that can be decided at any moment. The primary cost of this freedom is that kibbutzniks undergo a change of position vis-à -vis the society. While in the past, kibbutzim felt they represent a segment of the society that is appreciated for its contribution to national and societal challenges, today, they come to realize that in the eyes of the public, they are just “like anyone else” who pursues its own well-being. On the other hand, the pluralism that reigns today in many a kibbutz was studied, under the light of the Harvardian model with a research carried out from 2008 to 2010. This research focused on fourteen kibbutzim - some more “collective” and others more innovative. The investigation reveals many new actors and a reality that is far from reaching a point of “tranquility”. T he depiction obtained of kibbutz reality is anything but homogeneous and unified or clearly dichotomous and divided. Though, the singularity of the kibbutz, even when it adopts the most extreme FRCs, consists in its retaining attachment to two basic codes - mutual responsibility (‘arevut hadadit’) and decision by consensus. What kibbutzim still have in common is that they depend on the wishes and hopes of kibbutzniks themselves. The general picture that comes out is not that of an “exemplary non-failure” as Martin Buber described it more than two generations ago. The kibbutz now appears as a non-failure that has apparently lost something of its “exemplarity”. Its main achievement is that it is still with us. Only the future will say for how long.
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Was Their Voice Heard?
Was Their Voice Heard?
Early Holocaust Testimonies of Child Survivors
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This book is an edited collection of papers, in Hebrew, addressing the unique phenomenon of the collection of testimonies from child survivors of the Holocaust while they were still children or teenagers in the immediate aftermath of the Holocaust. The instructions for these interviews go as far back as 1945. The book maps the collecting, publication and filming of testimonies and addresses issues of authenticity, methodology dissemination and reception. Who interviewed the children and how? What is the correct way to read these interviews and what can be studied from them? Do the existing interviews faithfully reflect the children's experiences and feelings? What was the cultural and social background of these interviews and their publication? These testimonies teach the strategies Jewish families used to save themselves and especially the children: not passively like 'sheep to the slaughter' but coping with changing situations by struggling . The testimonies also teach us about the relationship between Jews and gentiles; rescue and sacrifice on the part of non-Jews on the one hand, and the persecution and murder on the other. Some of the papers are adapted translation of papers published in English and some were written for this volume by historians, linguists and literati. Included is also contemporary material from the period. Participating researchers: Boaz Cohen, Joanna Michlic, Gabriel Finder, Beate Muller, Rita Horvath, Zuzanna Schnepf-Kolacz, Sharon Geva, Emunah Nachmani-Gafni and Yvonne Kozlovski-Golan
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Studies in Mishnaic Hebrew and Related Fields
Studies in Mishnaic Hebrew and Related Fields
Proceedings of the Yale Symposium on Mishnaic Hebrew, May 2014
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The eighteen studies presented here originated in a symposium held at Yale in 2014, attended by scholars from Europe, Israel, and North America. The papers approach the subject of Mishnaic Hebrew from many different angles and directions, including grammar, from morphology to syntax to pragmatics; the relationship between the literary dialect and epigraphic evidence; manuscripts; questions of language contact, lexicography, social history, and medieval traditions; and the problem of translating Mishnaic Hebrew into modern languages. The contributors to this volume are among the leading scholars in the field and the collection represents both the current state of research and the cutting edge of future work. This volume includes the following essays: Chanan Ariel | Deviations from Mishnaic Hebrew Moshe Bar-Asher | Problems in the Description of the Morphology of Mishnaic Hebrew Elitzur A. Bar-Asher Siegal | Towards a Reconsideration of the Tense-Aspect-Mood System of Tannaitic Hebrew Gabriel Birnbaum | Phonological and Morphological Studies in MS Antonin 262 ( Mishnah Seder Teharoth ) Steven E. Fassberg | The Language of the Bet Amar Papyrus in Light of Other Judean Desert Documents Steven D. Fraade | The Innovation of Nominalized Verbs in Mishnaic Hebrew as Marking an Innovation of Concept Aaron Koller | The Social and Geographic Origins of Mishnaic Hebrew Aharon Maman | Rabbinic Hebrew in the Eyes of Medieval Hebrew Philologists Emmanuel Mastey | Cases of Semantic Variation in Mishnaic Hebrew: The Verbs hillek and qaras Michael Ryzhik | The Language of the Mishnah from the Late Manuscripts to the Printed Editions Bernard Septimus | The Face of Shame: Between Palestinian Blushing and Babylonian Blanching Rivka Shemesh-Raiskin | Towards a Description of Halakhic Give- and-Take Conversations in the Mishnah Nurit ShovalDudai | Identical Lemmata of Greek and Latin Loanwords in the Historical Dictionary of the Hebrew Language : Classes and Criteria Ruth Stern | The Noun haluq and Its Variant Forms in Rabbinic Hebrew Daniel Stokl Ben Ezra | The Mishnah into French: Translation Issues Ofra Tirosh-Becker | The Relative Pronoun Se- Rabbinic Hebrew as Reflected in Karaite Sources Doron Ya'akov | The Relation between Maimonides and the Yemenite Tradition in Mishnaic Hebrew Alexey (Eliyahu) Yuditsky | qosin and qorpayot To view the other volumes please press here
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Introductions to Sources and Traditions
Introductions to Sources and Traditions
Studies in the Formation of the Talmud
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The standard study of Talmud is to accept the given as ultimate, that the sayings and the interpretations recorded therein are faithful to what was actually said. After having checked for the genuine version, for the right GIRSAH, eliminating the scribal errors, the text assumes reliability and serves as a starting point for further discussions and additional deductions. For over forty years, Prof. David Halivni has questioned the given as the authoritative text and argued for the necessity to go back in time and reexamine the veracity of the interpretations. Many of the given interpretations are forced, do not neatly fit the text they interpret and often attribute to the authors of the statements intentions that they did not necessarily share. As a consequence, substitute interpretations were necessary to which the multi volumes of "Sources and Traditions" were dedicated. While the books dealt mainly with the actual Talmudic interpretations, the introductions dealt with the causes responsible for the deviations from the original. It took the writings of a few volumes to become clear that the interpretations, unlike the apodictic statements were not officially transmitted by the Transmitters, the professional reciters and reached the later compilers which are referred to in the volumes as STAMMAIM, anonymous scholars, only through random survival which was not always complete. Sometimes it survived in a truncated form which the later compilers filled in, conjecturing what was missing. The present volume contains all of the introductions which provide the reader not only with the final conclusion but also with the developmental stages which led to that conclusion further strengthening its plausibility.
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Rousseau: Progress as a Trap
Rousseau: Progress as a Trap
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Jean-Jacques Rousseau is described by many as a paradoxical philosopher. He often seems to be asserting both sides of a contradiction. His teaching has been a source of inspiration for various opposing and even antagonistic political movements and doctrines: He is considered to be one of the first thinkers of modern democracy, and an apostle of totalitarianism. He is the father of "Natural Education", but his thoughts might sound as a program for "Social Engineering" of human beings. He is a romantic, longing to simple life within nature, but again, he is a loyal son of the bourgeois civilization of his era. Rousseau's Paradoxical character is also reveled in his account of "Progress". It seems that he is saying to contradictionary things about this notion. On the one hand, it appears that, according to Rousseau, mankind can realize freedom only through a process of historical progress. On the other: that progress has enslaved men and brought disaster upon them. These paradoxes have deceived many of Rousseau's readers and interpreters, who chose to emphasize one side of Rousseau at the expanse of the opposite. The book "Rousseau: Progress as a trap" strive to avoid this mistake. It shows that the greatness of Rousseau's philosophy lies precisely in its dialectical character. Rousseau is indeed a Severe critic of progress, but his critique is not merely an "external" and purely-negative one: He is a philosopher of the enlightenment, and accepts the principles of enlightenment (in fact, he is one of the formulators of such principles). On behalf of these principles he criticizes enlightenment itself. Rousseau's decree, that progress has enslaved mankind, gets its critical substance only if one presumes, as did Rousseau, that progress should emancipate mankind. The philosophers of the enlightenment celebrated progress. In his optimistic epoch, and without denying the credo of enlightenment, Rousseau pointed out a dark and dangerous character of human progress. This book shows the Rousseau's dialectical, or ambivalent approach to progress anticipates important currents in 20th century philosophy and critical theory. Due to this approach, Rousseau's philosophy is perhaps more relevant today than it was during his lifetime.
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Revelation and Rectification
Revelation and Rectification
In the Revealed and Hidden Writings of R. Nahman of Breslav
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In the book Revelation and Rectification, private aspects of Rabbi Nachman's personal spiritual world, previously unknown and never before discussed, are revealed. The first section of the book explores the spiritual revelations experienced by Rabbi Nachman of Bretslav as well as the spiritual experiments he conducted . Among the topics discussed is the powerful story of spiritual revelation entitled "The Story of the Bread" wherein Rabbi Nachman newly receives the Torah, as did Moses on Mount Sinai. This story was kept secret for two hundred years because of Rabbi Nachman's warning against showing it to any stranger. The second section of the book is dedicated to the rectifications - tikunim - which Rabbi Nachman established. The content and the process of the formulation of the tikun klali (general rectification) are discussed, as are the tikun following nocturnal emission and the tikun to be performed during the pilgrimage to his grave. In this context, the secret story "The Story of the Armor," which deals with the unique quality of the tikun established by Rabbi Nachman is included . In the book, the connection between the personal trials that Rabbi Nachman weathered successfully and the tikunim he established becomes clear. The secret Breslav traditions which tell of the temptations with which Rabbi Nachman struggled while still a young bridegroom comparing him to the Biblical Joseph are discussed.. Also addressed in the book are the motives behind Rabbi Nachman's choice of the city of Uman as his final resting place and the place where the tikun of pilgrimage to his grave was to be performed. The book's final chapter jumps 200 years forward and discusses the developments which took place following the death of Rabbi Nachman, focusing in particular of those developments which have taken place during the past decade (2000-2010 ), among them, new rituals surrounding the pilgrimage to Rabbi Nachman's grave such as the "universal general tikun" and the tossing away of piercing jewelry while reciting the traditional tashlich prayer. The book explores the novel context given by today's Breslav Hasidim to the phenomenon of the pilgrimage to Rabbi Nachman's grave in Uman on the Rosh Hashana holiday, in an era when Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav has become a contemporary Israeli cultural hero who plays an important role in the worlds of varied populations who are not traditionally Breslav Hasidim.
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Literacy and Language
Literacy and Language
Relationship, Bilingualism and Difficulties
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One measure of the economic and cultural strength of a country is the level of its citizens' literacy since literacy is important for integration in the occupational and social world. In Israel, about one-third of the students exhibit literacy difficulties. Furthermore, literacy level gaps between the upper and the lower percentile are among the largest of 43 OECD countries. Israeli children, therefore, need support in literacy acquisition. Several public committees have discussed ways supporting education on these issues, basing their conclusion on current research. However, only two Hebrew books were published on the subject since the 1990's. This book attempts to address this scarcity. The book focuses on learners' literacy development and includes suggestions for intervention programs for supporting the literacy of children. It presents recent studies and programs of the best Israeli researchers on mono and bilingual learners, on children with normal development and those with special needs. This book is suitable for policy makers, psychologists, school teachers, kindergarten teachers, educational counselors, language and learning diagnosticians and therapists, teachers for reading rehabilitation, university, and college researchers, teachers and students. This book was written in honor of Prof. Iris Levin's (Tel Aviv University, Israel) retirement. Prof. Levin is a renowned and influential researcher, has studied early literacy for over 35 years, and has published in leading journals. She is among the leaders of the early literacy policy in Israel. The editors of the book, Dr. Dorit Aram and Dr. Ofra Korat, were Prof. Levin's students and are now her colleagues.
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In spite of it all...
In spite of it all...
Aron Menczer and Jewish Youth Vienna-Theresienstadt (1938-1943)
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Aron Menczer (1917-1943) was an active member of the Zionist youth movement Gordonya. After the annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany in March 1938, he became deeply involved in the efforts of the Youth Aliyah to enable Jewish youngsters to emigrate from Austria to Palestine. Menczer postponed his own Aliyah in order to continue to work for the exit of Jewish youth from Nazi Austria, and became in September 1939 the director of the Youth Aliyah in Vienna. His absolute devotion to the emigration efforts and to the educational work with the remaining Jewish youngsters in Vienna made him their recognized leader. Menczer was deported to Ghetto Theresienstadt in September 1942, where he continued his educational work. In October 1943 he was transported to Birkenau with a group of 1196 children, who were brought to Theresienstadt from Bialistok, and with 52 adults who, like him, volunteered to take care of them. They were all murdered there. The personality and deeds of Aron Menczer are the center of the book. A couple of chapters deal with the historical background: the Nazi policy of pressuring Jews to exit the country, prior to the phase of deportation and murder, and the efforts by the Youth Aliyah and other organizations to rescue them. The book is based on the original German version edited by Joanna Nittenberg und Benjamin Kaufmann. Two new parts were added to the current Hebrew version, edited by Jacob (Kobi) Metzer . One is a comprehensive introduction which examines Menczer’s activity in light of some general issues raised in the research literature. The other part consists of archival sources which were added to the book for additional insights.
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Studies in the Culture of North African Jewry
Studies in the Culture of North African Jewry
Collection of the Lectures Presented in the Workshop at Yale University October 15–24, 2012
3
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This volume offers twelve studies based on lectures delivered by participants of the workshop. These studies deal with culture and history, customs and traditions from all North African Jewish communities. The studies are to a large extent based on documents housed in the Yale University Library. This volume is a continuation of volume 1 that appeared in 2011. The articles in this volume: Moshe Bar-Asher – Moroccan Traditions on Worshippers of the Golden Calf and Profaned Priests Nathalie Akun – Vestiges of Eretz Israel in the Hebrew of Morocco Avishai Bar-Asher – Tablets and Fragments of Tablets: Some Notes on R. Yehuda b. Yoseph Al- Carasani's Aron ha- 'Edut Yaakov Bentolila – The Nineteenth-Century Book of Records from the Jewish Community of Tangier and Its Contribution to a Dictionary of Hebrew Elements in Haketia Ephraim Hazan and Rachel Hitin-Mashiah – Mi Khamokha, Local Piyyutim on Miraculous Deliverance in North African Jewish Communities Yehudit Henshke – The Judeo-Arabic Origins of Modern Israeli Idioms and Proverb s Nahem Ilan – A Letter of Intervention on Behalf of the Greek Patriarch Egypt Aharon Maman – Textual Metonymy in Jewish Languages Jessica M. Marglin – Cooperation and Competition among Jewish and Islamic Courts: Double Notarization in Nineteenth-Century Morroco Ariel Shaveh – Trends in Contemporary North African Prayer Books Joseph Tedghi – An Unpublished Responsum by Rabbi Yoseph Messas about Jewish Marriage Contracts Ofra Tirosh-Bedker – A Reflection of a Linguistic Reality: An Algerian Judeo-Arabic Book for the New Year To view the other volumes please press here .
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Ideology of Apostasy
Ideology of Apostasy
The Ideology of Jewish Spaniards Who Converted to Christianity
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This research project tries, for the first time, to analyze and compare all the key Spanish Jewish apostates, especially Petrus Alfonsi, Abner of Burgos, Geronimo de Santa Fe, Pablo de Santa Maria and Pedro de la Caballeria. The aim of this research is to understand the ideological background of the mass conversion of the Spanish Jewish community from the perspective of the intellectual elite involved in the conversion itself and not – as has usually been the case in modern scholarship – according to the rabbis who decided to stay Jewish. In the first part of the book, the author explains the impact of the conversion of a part of the Jewish intellectual elite on the Spanish Jewish population. In the second part, he examines the opinion of the various ideological converts regarding Christianity (especially the dogmas of the Trinity and Incarnation). In the third part, he analyzes their criticisms of Judaism. The main conclusion of this research is that there is a very important difference between the various converso intellectuals regarding the essence of Christianity. The conversos who were philosophers or kabbalists before their conversion continued with a similar approach even after their conversion, using their former philosophical/kabbalistic knowledge to try to convince their fellow Jews to convert as they had. The common denominator of the different writings of these apostates is not their opinions on Christianity but rather their similar criticisms of Judaism, and especially with regard to keeping Jewish religious obligations.
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The Halakhah as an Event
The Halakhah as an Event
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The Halakha is not just a body of literature; it is also a cultural event. It follows then that the philosophy of Halakha must address the happening of the Halakha. Surprisingly, till now philosophers of Halakha have not addressed this dimension of the event or the happening of the Halakha. The articles in this book are an attempt at facing this challenge. But this is not simple because herein lies a paradox. If the event or the happening is something that lies outside the confines of what is captured in the written word, the effort to write about it is one that must take us on a fascinating journey between what is possible and what perhaps is not. What is the nature of the Halakha as an event? What is the knowledge contained in this dimension of the Halakha that defies conceptualization in the written word? How does the insight that the Halakha is principally an event dramatically affect the philosophy of the Halakha? As we have said, philosophers of the Halakha have not addressed this question before and the authors in this collection – scholars and researchers from a wide range of fields – are all facing it for the first time bringing to it a wide range of tools from fields as varied as philosophy, Jewish thought, performance, cinema, group dynamics, cognition, gender studies and more. Together they offer us a new discourse and framework for conceptualizing the philosophy of the Halakha.
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The Parable of the Three Rings and the Idea of Religious Toleration in Premodern European Culture
The Parable of the Three Rings and the Idea of Religious Toleration in Premodern European Culture
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This study of the Parable of the Three Rings is the first full account in Hebrew of the history and the literary and allegorical origins of the parable, as well as of its reception from the early Middle Ages to the Early Modern period. The study provides evidence for the non-Western origins of the parable, which are known mostly through its Western European renderings in Lessing's Nathan the Wise and Boccaccio's Decameron. In some of its versions, the parable contains the idea of religious relativism. This idea was often accommodated in its particular cultural and religious surroundings, but at other times negated and altered to suit the preferences of the other narrators and audiences. Whether the original, relativist, possibly tolerant, message were upheld or not – makes the history of the parable more intriguing to modern readers. The study of the parable tracks the religious idea -- presented in various allegorical forms -- back to its Muslim origins. It also reveals the Eastern origins of the parable's literary framework. The discussion follows the evolution of the parable and its entrance into Catholic Europe, analyzing it contextually and with reference to prevalent contemporary religious ideas among Muslims, Jews, and Christians between the eighth and the sixteenth centuries . A Hebrew translation of Avishai Margalit's “The Ring: On Religious Pluralism” provides a logical-philosophical perspective on the idea of religious pluralism .
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Israelis in Their Own Way
Israelis in Their Own Way
Migration Stories of Young Adults From Former U.S.S.R
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Israelis on the Move” tells the story of young adults from the Former Soviet Union as they beat a path to Israeliness Based on analyses of their immigration stories, the book offers a new perspective in immigration studies that sees belonging as achieved not through the adoption of foundational national ethos of the new place, but rather through participation in local debates about this ethos . More particularly, the book examines the way in which the young immigrants shape their belonging to Israel through a reading of the homecoming ethos that awards them automatic citizenship. Based on an interpretation of instantiations of the homecoming ethos in everyday life, they form an affinity to their new home, construct their identity, and locate themselves within Israeli society. In doing so they are concerned with decoding, interpreting and critiquing the building blocks of the ethos: the memory of the Holocaust and anti-Semitism, military service, the new Jew, and allegiance to their new place. The book shows how the immigrants hold onto an ethos that promises them recognition and inclusion within the ethno-religious nation. At the same time, they resist the total demands Imposed by the ethos, and criticize Zionist premises that are considered as taken for granted . We term this double, interrelated movement critical belonging, a concept that suggests that the immigrants’ belonging to the new place does not entail the unconditional acceptance of local ethos, while at the same time implying that their critique does not entail their rejection of the new place or a retreat into socio-cultural enclaves.
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Holding Their Own
Holding Their Own
Early Modern Yiddish Women's Fiction
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This anthology is a collection of stories, written by women at the turn of the twentieth century and published in the Yiddish press at that time. The have been translated to Hebrew for the first time. From its beginning the Yiddish press enabled all levels of society to sound their voices. Women too were quick to meet this challenge, and until the First World War more than ninety of their works were published: novellas, plays, fiction and a wide variety of short stories. This collection of nineteen stories represents this abundance and its unique qualities. It sounds anew the voices of forgotten women authors, who disappeared even from the eyes of critics and researchers: Maria Lerner, Isabella, Rokhl Brokhes, Yente Serdetsky, Salome Perl, Rokhl Feigenberg and others. Their stories open a window to the world of women at a time of dramatic changes in the lives of Jews in the Russian Empire. They portray conflicts between the generations, especially between the authors and their mothers, the dilemmas of love, and the anguished movement between the small town and the big city, between maintaining traditions and breaking free of frameworks. These stories highly enrich our knowledge of Jewish society at that time and are a fundamental expression of the part women played in that society.
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When a Jew Laughs
When a Jew Laughs
Yiddish Humor
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You now have before you this volume which contains an assemblage of popular Yiddish humor: jokes both folksy and racy, proverbs and colloquial curses which originated in the hundreds of towns and cities of Eastern Europe up to the Second World War. In recent decades interest in Yiddish has been growing in Israel and in many other countries. It expresses itself as a longing, a nostalgia, for the language that was spoken in people's parents' home, and that they heard from their grandparents. This volume reveals some of the treasures of Yiddish humor to the many lovers of Yiddish around the world. This sampler does not specify the origin of the jokes it contains, because "An anecdote and a cat have no master, they belong to whoever manages to catch them." (N. Stutchkoff, p. 571, see Bibliography.) In order to select the approximately 400 jokes and sayings appearing in this book, the collector spent many months searching through anthologies, joke books, lexicons etc. The most important sources are listed in the Bibliography. In their world of poverty, pogroms, persecutions and evil decrees, the Jewish masses of Eastern Europe were in dire need of spiritual support and psychological defence. They found this support in humor, which relieves tension and makes life more bearable. This book is organized by theme into 51 sections, each section exhibiting a particular aspect or feature of Jewish life in the cities, towns and townlets of Eastern Europe.
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Commentary on the Book of Exodus
Commentary on the Book of Exodus
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The late Professor U. Cassuto had originally planned to write, in Hebrew, a monumental commentary on the Bible that would comprise a series of detailed expositions of the Book of Genesis, and less elaborate commentaries, consisting of one volume for each book, devoted to the remaining four books of the Pentateuch. It was also his intention to compose a compendious Introduction to the Torah as a whole, and a comprehensive commentary on the Book of Psalms. Unhappily the author died after completing only three of his commentaries (two on Genesis and one on Exodus). Cassuto's comments have a vivid quality seldom found in the exegetical writings of other Biblical expositors, who all too often prefer a jejune and lifeless approach to their subject. Cassuto succeeds in injecting a sense of dramatic excitement into his interpretations. Without neglecting the scientific data provided by archaeological and philological research, he makes us conscious of the literary attributes of the Bible. Unlike the volumes dealing with the first two pericopes of Genesis, the present work does not separate the annotations from the Biblical text, but forms a continuous, unified commentary in which the Scriptural citations are interlinked with the exposition. The elements are so closely and artistically interwoven as to form a new literary entity not a text with notes, but a homogeneous expository work, which must rank among the finest modern contributions to the treasury of Biblical learning.
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The Stage as a Temporary Home
The Stage as a Temporary Home
On Dzigan and Shumacher's Theater (1927-1980)
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The Stage as a Temporary Home : On Dzigan and Shumacher's Theater (1927-1980) has been designated as the winner of the prestigious Shapiro Award for 2019 for the best book in Israel Studies The Stage as a Temporary Home takes us through the fascinating stages in the life and career of the duo Shimen Dzigan and Isroel Shumacher , over the course of half a century - from the beginning of their work at the Ararat avant-garde Yiddish theater in Łodz, Poland, and to their Warsaw theater, where they produced bold, groundbreaking political satire. The book further discusses their wanderings through the Soviet Union during the Second World War and their attempt to revive Jewish culture in Poland after the Holocaust, and finally describes their arrival in Israel, first as guest performers and later as permanent residents. Despite the restrictions on Yiddish actors in Israel, the duo insisted on performing in their own language and succeeded in translating the new Israeli reality into unique and timely satire. In the 1950s, they voiced a political and cultural critique of a kind that was not heard on any of the Hebrew stages. After they parted ways, and following the death of Shumacher in 1961, Dzigan continued to perform on his own and with other Israeli artists until his death in 1980 . The book is based on rare recordings, transcriptions, programs, personal diaries, letters, photographs, oral testimonies, and critical articles, all of which come together to create the first critical portrait of this extraordinary duo. The book also examines their art, the connection between theater and politics, and the complex relationship between majority culture and minority language . The study includes several valuable indexes: of titles of programs and plays, of the artists who participated in them, of writers and the drafts they wrote, of actors and the programs in which they participated, and a general name index. The book also includes a facsimile of the manuscript Der Nayer Dybbuk [The New Dybbuk].
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The United Nations and Peacekeeping Operations 1988-1995
The United Nations and Peacekeeping Operations 1988-1995
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This study examines the concept of United Nations peacekeeping operations and their execution in Cambodia, Former Yugoslavia and Somalia from 1988 to 1995. The research is anchored primarily in United Nations documents, which were produced following the diplomatic discussions that took place in the organization on the subject of peacekeeping in general and in the cases of Cambodia, Former Yugoslavia and Somalia in particular This research demonstrates, using the records of diplomatic discourse at the United Nations, that although there was an attempt to change the concept of peacekeeping operations, it eventually failed. The best explanation for this outcome is that international politics at the United Nations – at least as it concerns peacekeeping operations – is still conducted according to the principles of each state’s realpolitik. The states formed their stance on a case by case basis, while calculating power relations in order to advance their own national interests. Therefore their position on each topic did not necessarily match the declared position of any particular political alliance. Furthermore, many multi-functional operations were still executed in accordance with the traditional concept. The main objective of these operations was international mediation between belligerent sides in order to form sovereign governments and to deploy a 'peacekeeping force' in accordance with the traditional principles of international and local consent, impartiality and the non-use of force. Traditional objectives were preferred over new objectives such as democratization, human rights, and economic development.
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Civic Tongue in Israel
Civic Tongue in Israel
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What are the basic values that bind Israel's diverse citizenry? What characterizes Israeli citizenship, a State that incorporates a society with a Jewish majority and an Arab minority? What are the sources of inspiration guiding the civics curriculum taught in Israel's schools? How can higher education enrich Israel's civic tongue? Civic Tongue in Israel is collection of research reports, theoretical essays and observations about Jewish and Arab attempts to dialogue with one another around these issues. The first group of essays examine the dissonance between the roots of the Hebrew culture in Biblical Hebrew and ethics and its use in the context of Zionist and democratic ethics (Dan Avnon, Eyal Chowers and Revital Amiran-Sapir, Moshe Behar). The second group of essays addresses the tension between native-Arabis speakers and native-Hebrew speakers (Michal Zak, Issam Abu-Rayah, Ruth Gavison). The third group present critical analysis of ways to incorporate and to implement recurring attempts (and failures) to rectify the paucity of democratic civic education in Israel (Hallili Pinson, Gayil Talshir). Daphna Saring and Avner de-Shalit offer innovative perspectives on the public arena and on the responsibility of higher education (and educators) to empower the critical capacities of Israel's citizens. All who feel a need to deepen civic consciousness in Israel - of the individual, of groups and of civic society associations, of students and of teachers - will find in this book a fresh civic language: educated, reasoned, equal, diverse and sensitive to the needs of Israel's citizen.
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De Dieu Qui Vient a L’idee
De Dieu Qui Vient a L’idee
(Of God Who Comes to Mind)
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“For my dear grandson, David, this book in which he will not always recognize – and not incorrectly - the God of his fathers”: Levinas’ dedication encapsulates the issues he addresses in the thirteenth essays collected in De Dieu qui vient à l’idée ( Of God who comes to mind ). In contrast with a whole tradition of Jewish and Christian philosophy (Juda Halevi, Blaise Pascal), Levinas’ God is nor “The God of the philosophers”, neither “the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob”. “God” is not an object of thought or of faith, He cannot be approached nor by rational knowledge, neither through dialogue, or religious and mystical experience. Basing himself on Husserl’s phenomenology as well as on Talmudic tradition and on the writings of Rabbi Haim Voloziner, Levinas focuses on the ethical meaning encapsulated in the word “God”. Despite his quasi absence, “God” - or the absolute transcendence signified by this word - is never indifferent to the “here below”, he is never detached from “terrestrial existence and from human society”, from the place where infinite responsibility for the other is incumbent on me. In addition to his insights on “God”, Levinas deals with issues such as politics, religion and language, the Marxist concept of ideology, death, hermeneutics, the concept of evil, the philosophy of dialogue. He addresses the thought of Husserl, Heidegger, Rosenzweig, Buber, Bergson, Kierkegaard, Marx, Ernst Bloch, and Derrida.
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Second Nature
Second Nature
Economic Origins of Human Evolution
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Translation:
From the Critics: "...the boldness, coherence, and sweep of the book are impressive...Ofek has good and highly persuasive ideas about his main concern, which is the importance and centrality of economic analysis from an early point in human evolution...Second Nature is an exhilarating and interesting read that raises powerful questions about how humans got here and how we should be studied." Alan Grafen (Professor of Biological Sciences, Oxford University) Science “This is without a doubt one of the most important books to be published in the field of socio-economics in recent years. Ofek has done a superb job in linking what he calls Bioeconomics with Paleoeconomics to explain the transition from Homo Erectus to Homo Sapiens . . . . Briefly put, any reader would benefit from the wealth of new ideas that virtually jump out from almost each and every page.” Warren Young (Professor of Economics, Bar Ilan University) European Journal of Political Economy "Ofek synthesizes an enormous range of research on human origins to advance to the key role of exchange of goods and services in the evolution of distinctively human species.... This superb book seems poised to be a touchstone for work in prehistory and human origins for the foreseeable future; essential for all academic libraries; highly recommended for others." D. Bantz (University of Alaska) Choice "Ofek's book is, in fact, remarkable because it gives interesting, exhausting and insightful answers to old problems and, at the same time, it provides a new way to approach human evolution from the economic viewpoint." Joao Ricardo Faria (Professor of Economics, University of Texas ) Economic History Network “Altogether this is a stimulating and well-done book. It’s even written better than most books involving either biology or anthropology. It seems to me that it should be the beginning of a major revamping of our views of the early history of our ancestors. Its interest to economists is of course particularly great, but I would hope that biologists and anthropologists will find it equally stimulating.” Gordon Tullock (economics and law professor at George Mason University) Journal of Bioe conomics
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Biblical and Talmudic Medicine
Biblical and Talmudic Medicine
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The book Biblisch- talmudische Medizin , first published in Berlin, in 1911, is a unique life's work bringing together a comprehensive knowledge in medicine, Jewish and general sources. The various chapters include a broad review of the world of medicine in the Bible and the Talmud in light of Jewish law, a detailed description of the biological organs, diseases of body and mind, deformities, gynecological and sexual. There are chapters on legal medicine, preventative medicine, health cures and dietetics. The material is also based on in-depth study of Bible, Mishnah, Talmudic and Rabbinic literature, Midrash, the External Books, the works of Joseph Ben Matityahu, the New Testament, as well as ancient and modern legal literature, Likewise illuminating sources from Greek and Latin literature, western medical literature, referencing hundreds of publications from the eighteen and nineteen hundreds were used. The writer Dr. Julius Preuss (1861-1913) was born in a small town in Prussia, in which his parents' house was the only Jewish family. He studied medicine in Berlin and was close to the orthodox Jewish community, where he acquired much of his extensive knowledge in Judaism. Over the years Preuss published over thirty articles on medicine and Judaism in various scientific journals, all the while maintaining a medical practice in the town of his birth and afterward in Berlin. He passed away two years after publishing his book in German, based on his articles. Preuss' book was translated into English by Dr. Fred Rosner (Biblical and Talmudic Medicine ) and was published in the United State in 1978. At a conference on Jewish and medical law, which took place in Jerusalem in 1998, the book was quoted and it was indicated that a translation into Hebrew was sorely needed. The translator into Hebrew, Uri Wurzburger , remained loyal to the original German, at the same time expanding the quoted references appearing in the book and adding modern interpretations.
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Human, All Too Human
Human, All Too Human
A Book for Free Spirits
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The book breaks with Nietzsche's previous essay style (as in The Birth of Tragedy). It is a collection of aphorisms, largely concerned with human psychology. He criticizes social Darwinism in it: Wherever progress is to ensue, deviating natures are of greatest importance. Every progress of the whole must be preceded by a partial weakening. The strongest natures retain the type, the weaker ones help to advance it. Something similar also happens in the individual. There is rarely a degeneration, a truncation, or even a vice or any physical or moral loss without an advantage somewhere else. In a warlike and restless clan, for example, the sicklier man may have occasion to be alone, and may therefore become quieter and wiser; the one-eyed man will have one eye the stronger; the blind man will see deeper inwardly, and certainly hear better. To this extent, the famous theory of the survival of the fittest does not seem to me to be the only viewpoint from which to explain the progress of strengthening of a man or of a race.§224 Nietzsche also distinguishes in this work the obscurantism of the metaphysicians and theologians from the more subtle obscurantism of Kant's critical philosophy and modern philosophical skepticism, claiming that obscurantism is that which obscures existence rather than obscures ideas alone: "The essential element in the black art of obscurantism is not that it wants to darken individual understanding but that it wants to blacken our picture of the world, and darken our idea of existence" (Vol. II, Part 1, 27).
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