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Shortlisted for the Wolfson History Prize 2018 This book is the first to offer a full account of the varied contributions of German Jews to Imperial Germany's endeavors during the Great War. Historian Tim Grady examines the efforts of the 100,000 Jewish soldiers who served in the German military (12,000 of whom died), as well as the various activities Jewish communities supported at home, such as raising funds for the war effort and securing vital food supplies. However, Grady's research goes much deeper: he shows that German Jews were never at the periphery of Germany's warfare, but were in fact heavily involved. The author finds that many German Jews were committed to the same brutal and destructive war that other Germans endorsed, and he discusses how the conflict was in many ways lived by both groups alike. What none could have foreseen was the dangerous legacy they created together, a legacy that enabled Hitler's rise to power and planted the seeds of the Holocaust to come.
The love of books in the Jewish tradition extends back over many centuries, and the ways of interpreting those books are as myriad as the traditions themselves. Skies of Parchment, Seas of Ink offers the first full survey of Jewish illuminated manuscripts, ranging from their origins in the Middle Ages to the present day. Featuring some of the most beautiful examples of Jewish art of all time--including hand-illustrated versions of the Bible, the Haggadah, the prayer book, marriage documents, and other beloved Jewish texts--the book introduces readers to the history of these manuscripts and their interpretation. Edited by Marc Michael Epstein with contributions from leading experts, this sumptuous volume features a lively and informative text, showing how Jewish aesthetic tastes and iconography overlapped with and diverged from those of Christianity, Islam, and other traditions. Featured manuscripts were commissioned by Jews and produced by Jews and non-Jews over many centuries, and represent Eastern and Western perspectives and the views of both pietistic and liberal communities across the Diaspora, including Europe, Israel, the Middle East, and Africa. Magnificently illustrated with pages from hundreds of manuscripts, many previously unpublished or rarely seen, Skies of Parchment, Seas of Ink offers surprising new perspectives on Jewish life, presenting the books of the People of the Book as never before.
From the days of steamship travel to Palestine to today's evangelical Christian tours of Jesus's birthplace, the relationship between the United States and the Holy Land has become one of the world's most consequential international alliances. While the political side of U.S.-Israeli relations has long played out on the world stage, the relationship, as Shalom Goldman shows in this illuminating cultural history, has also played out on actual stages. Telling the stories of the American superstars of pop and high culture who journeyed to Israel to perform, lecture, and rivet fans, Goldman chronicles how the creative class has both expressed and influenced the American relationship with Israel. The galaxy of stars who have made headlines for their trips includes Frank Sinatra, Johnny Cash, Leonard Bernstein, James Baldwin, Barbra Streisand, Whitney Houston, Madonna, and Scarlett Johansson. While diverse socially and politically, they all served as prisms for the evolution of U.S.-Israeli relations, as Israel, the darling of the political and cultural Left in the 1950s and early 1960s, turned into the darling of the political Right from the late 1970s. Today, as relations between the two nations have only intensified, stars must consider weighty issues, such as cultural boycotts, in planning their itineraries.
This superb collection presents more than forty incisive portraits of leading Jewish thinkers, artists, scientists, and other public figures of the last hundred years who, in their own unique ways, engaged with and helped shape the modern world. Makers of Jewish Modernity features entries on political figures such as Walther Rathenau, Rosa Luxemburg, and David Ben-Gurion; philosophers and critics such as Walter Benjamin, Hannah Arendt, Isaiah Berlin, Jacques Derrida, and Judith Butler; and artists such as Mark Rothko. The book provides fresh insights into the lives and careers of novelists like Franz Kafka, Saul Bellow, and Philip Roth; the filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen; social scientists such as Sigmund Freud; religious leaders and thinkers such as Avraham Kook and Martin Buber; and many others. Written by a diverse group of leading contemporary scholars from around the world, these vibrant and frequently surprising portraits offer a global perspective that highlights the multiplicity of Jewish experience and thought. A reference book like no other, Makers of Jewish Modernity includes an informative general introduction that situates its subjects within the broader context of Jewish modernity as well as a rich selection of photos.
A new account of the famous site and story of the last stand of a group of Jewish rebels who held out against the Roman Empire Two thousand years ago, 967 Jewish men, women, and children-the last holdouts of the revolt against Rome following the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Second Temple-reportedly took their own lives rather than surrender to the Roman army. This dramatic event, which took place on top of Masada, a barren and windswept mountain overlooking the Dead Sea, spawned a powerful story of Jewish resistance that came to symbolize the embattled modern State of Israel. The first extensive archaeological excavations of Masada began in the 1960s, and today the site draws visitors from around the world. And yet, because the mass suicide was recorded by only one ancient author-the Jewish historian Josephus-some scholars question if the event ever took place. Jodi Magness, an archaeologist who has excavated at Masada, explains what happened there, how we know it, and how recent developments might change understandings of the story. Incorporating the latest findings, she integrates literary and historical sources to show what life was like for Jews under Roman rule during an era that witnessed the reign of Herod and Jesus's ministry and death. Featuring numerous illustrations, this is an engaging exploration of an ancient story that continues to grip the imagination today.
Jewish law is a singular legal system that has been evolving for generations. Often conflated with Biblical law or Israeli law, Jewish law needs to be studied in its own right. An Introduction to Jewish Law expounds the general structure of Jewish law and presents the cardinal principles of this religious legal system. An introduction to modern Jewish law as it applies to the daily life of Jews around the world, this volume presents Jewish law in a way that answers all the questions that a student of comparative law would ask when encountering an unfamiliar legal system. Sources of Jewish law such as revelation, rabbinical and communal legislation, judicial decisions, and legal reasoning are defined and analyzed, and the authority of who decides what Jewish law is and why their decisions are binding is investigated.
As the Holocaust passes out of living memory, future generations will no longer come face-to-face with Holocaust survivors. But the lessons of that terrible period in history are too important to let slip past. How Was It Possible?, edited and introduced by Peter Hayes, provides teachers and students with a comprehensive resource about the Nazi persecution of Jews. Deliberately resisting the reflexive urge to dismiss the topic as too horrible to be understood intellectually or emotionally, the anthology sets out to provide answers to questions that may otherwise defy comprehension. This anthology is organized around key issues of the Holocaust, from the historical context for antisemitism to the impediments to escaping Nazi Germany, and from the logistics of the death camps and the carrying out of genocide to the subsequent struggles of the displaced survivors in the aftermath. Prepared in cooperation with the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous, this anthology includes contributions from such luminaries as Jean Ancel, Saul Friedlander, Tony Judt, Alan Kraut, Primo Levi, Robert Proctor, Richard Rhodes, Timothy Snyder, and Susan Zuccotti. Taken together, the selections make the ineffable fathomable and demystify the barbarism underlying the tragedy, inviting readers to learn precisely how the Holocaust was, in fact, possible.
This superb collection of writings comes as a tribute to one of the
leading scholars of Judaic Studies in our century, Alexander
Altmann, and to the Institute of Jewish Studies, which he founded.
His former students and colleagues present essays which touch upon
the many areas of Professor Altmann's interests. The studies range
from early rabbinic mystical texts to contemporary theological
investigations. The majority of the articles explore leading
figures and issues in medieval and early modern Jewish philosophy
For centuries before its ""rebirth"" as a spoken language, Hebrew writing was like a magical ship in a bottle that gradually changed design but never voyaged out into the world. Isolated, the ancient Hebrew ship was torpid because the language of the Bible was inadequate to represent modern life in Europe. Early modern speakers of Yiddish and German gave Hebrew the breath of life when they translated dialogues, descriptions, and thought processes from their vernaculars into Hebrew. By narrating tales of pilgrimage and adventure, Jews pulled the ship out of the bottle and sent modern Hebrew into the world. In Travels in Translation, Frieden analyzes this emergence of modern Hebrew literature after 1780, a time when Jews were moving beyond their conventional Torah- and Zion-centered worldview. Enlightened authors diverged from pilgrimage narrative traditions and appropriated travel narratives to America, the Pacific, and the Arctic. The effort to translate sea travel stories from European languages-with their nautical terms, wide horizons, and exotic occurrences-made particular demands on Hebrew writers. They had to overcome their tendency to introduce biblical phrases at every turn in order to develop a new, vivid, descriptive language. As Frieden explains through deft linguistic analysis, by 1818, a radically new travel literature in Hebrew had arisen. Authors such as Moses Mendelsohn-Frankfurt and Mendel Lefin published books that charted a new literary path through the world and in European history. Taking a fresh look at the origins of modern Jewish literature, Frieden launches a new approach to literary studies, one that lies at the intersection of translation studies and travel writing.
CHURCHILL AND THE JEWS covers the whole life of this greatest of Britons -- from his youth, when he was shocked by the anti-Semitism displayed during the Dreyfus Affair, to his last meeting with David Ben-Gurion in 1960, when he gave Ben-Gurion an article he had written about Moses. In the intervening years, during which Churchill cemented his place in history, his affinity with the Jews remained undimmed, even though his championing of Zionist issues and interests was often like a red rag to the bull of the British Establishment. One of those closest to Churchill once confided to the author that "Winston had one fault -- he was too fond of Jews." What does this mean? How did this fondness manifest itself? Exploring all aspects of his life and career, CHURCHILL AND THE JEWS sheds new light on a key figure of the twentieth century and how his attitudes affected not just the prosecution of the Second World War but the establishment of a Jewish state that followed it.
Judith Butler follows Edward Said's late suggestion that through a consideration of Palestinian dispossession in relation to Jewish diasporic traditions a new ethos can be forged for a one-state solution. Butler engages Jewish philosophical positions to articulate a critique of political Zionism and its practices of illegitimate state violence, nationalism, and state-sponsored racism. At the same time, she moves beyond communitarian frameworks, including Jewish ones, that fail to arrive at a radical democratic notion of political cohabitation. Butler engages thinkers such as Edward Said, Emmanuel Levinas, Hannah Arendt, Primo Levi, Martin Buber, Walter Benjamin, and Mahmoud Darwish as she articulates a new political ethic. In her view, it is as important to dispute Israel's claim to represent the Jewish people as it is to show that a narrowly Jewish framework cannot suffice as a basis for an ultimate critique of Zionism. She promotes an ethical position in which the obligations of cohabitation do not derive from cultural sameness but from the unchosen character of social plurality. Recovering the arguments of Jewish thinkers who offered criticisms of Zionism or whose work could be used for such a purpose, Butler disputes the specific charge of anti-Semitic self-hatred often leveled against Jewish critiques of Israel. Her political ethic relies on a vision of cohabitation that thinks anew about binationalism and exposes the limits of a communitarian framework to overcome the colonial legacy of Zionism. Her own engagements with Edward Said and Mahmoud Darwish form an important point of departure and conclusion for her engagement with some key forms of thought derived in part from Jewish resources, but always in relation to the non-Jew.
Butler considers the rights of the dispossessed, the necessity of plural cohabitation, and the dangers of arbitrary state violence, showing how they can be extended to a critique of Zionism, even when that is not their explicit aim. She revisits and affirms Edward Said's late proposals for a one-state solution within the ethos of binationalism. Butler's startling suggestion: Jewish ethics not only demand a critique of Zionism, but must transcend its exclusive Jewishness in order to realize the ethical and political ideals of living together in radical democracy.
Friedrich Nietzsche occupies a contradictory position in the
history of ideas: he came up with the concept of a master race, yet
an eminent Jewish scholar like Martin Buber translated his Also
sprach Zarathustra into Polish and remained in a lifelong
intellectual dialogue with Nietzsche. Sigmund Freud admired his
intellectual courage and was not at all reluctant to admit that
Nietzsche had anticipated many of his basic ideas.
Marking the remarkable century of Ben Uri Gallery and Museum, from humble beginnings in London's East End in 1915 to a fully-fledged mainstream art museum, under its banner Art, Identity and Migration, this publication reveals eleven essays covering each aspect of the century's art history in parallel with the effect of emigre and Jewish artists on the cultural mosaic of Britain and Europe. They discuss the museum's world class collection including masterworks by some of the greatest artists of the twentieth century, including Soutine, Chagall, Auerbach, Bomberg, Kitaj and Kossoff. An array of distinguished scholars survey the 'Whitechapel Boys'; Yiddish London, Les Peintres Juifs de L'Ecole de Paris, Official War artists from both conflicts; mid-century emigres influencing the direction of the arts, and contemporary artists making ground-breaking work across new media. They point to this unique collection, primarily of artists born into the Jewish faith, many shaping modern British, European and American art history, representing a distinct visual survey of artistic and social life in Britain and the cultural heritage of British Jewry.
A rich trove of contemporary global Jewish cuisine, featuring hundreds of stories and recipes for home cooks everywhere
The Jewish Cookbook is an inspiring celebration of the diversity and breadth of this venerable culinary tradition. A true fusion cuisine, Jewish food evolves constantly to reflect the changing geographies and ingredients of its cooks. Featuring more than 400 home-cooking recipes for everyday and holiday foods from the Middle East to the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Africa - as well as contemporary interpretations by renowned chefs including Yotam Ottolenghi, Michael Solomonov, and Alex Raij - this definitive compendium of Jewish cuisine introduces readers to recipes and culinary traditions from Jewish communities the world over, and is perfect for anyone looking to add international tastes to their table.
In this illuminating volume, Dan Cohn-Sherbok traces the development of Jewish history from ancient times to the present day. Generously illustrated with over 100 maps and 24 black-and-white illustrations, the atlas details the central developments of the Jewish heritage. It is the first extensive, up-to-date atlas of Jewish history designed for students and the general reader. It is ideally suited for those taking courses in Jewish or Biblical Studies, serving as a handy reference guide as well as a textbook.
Jewish drama and theatre has followed a tortuous path from extreme rabbinical intolerance to eventual secular liberalism, with its openness to the heritages of both Judaism as a culture and prominent foreign cultures, to the extent of multicultural integration. No wonder, therefore, that since biblical times until the seventeenth century there are only examples of tangential theatre practices. This initial intolerance, shared by the Church, was rooted in pagan connotations of theatre rather than in the neutral nature of the theatre medium, capable of formulating and communicating contrasting thoughts. Whereas by the tenth century the Church understood that theatre could be harnessed to its own ends, Jewish theatre was only created seven centuries later through spontaneous and amateurish theatrical practices, such as the Yiddish purim-shpil and the purim-rabbi. Due to their carnivalesque and cathartic nature these practices were tolerated by the rabbinical establishment, albeit only during the Purim holiday. But as a result, Jewish drama and theatre were created and emerged despite rabbinical antagonism. Under the influence of the Jewish Enlightenment, Yiddish-speaking theatres were increasingly established, a trend that became central in the cultural enterprise of the Jews in Israel. This process involved a renewed use of Hebrew as a spoken language, and the transition from a profound religious identity to a secular Jewish one, characterised by a basic liberalism to the extent of openness to cultures traditionally perceived as archetypal enemies of Judaism. This book sets out to analyse play-scripts and performance-texts produced in the Israeli theatre in order to illustrate these trends, and concludes that only a liberal society can bring about the full realisation of theatres potentialities.
A historical tour de force, The Invention of the Jewish People offers a groundbreaking account of Jewish and Israeli history. Exploding the myth that there was a forced Jewish exile in the first century at the hands of the Romans, Israeli historian Shlomo Sand argues that most modern Jews descend from converts, whose native lands were scattered across the Middle East and Eastern Europe. In this iconoclastic work, which spent nineteen weeks on the Israeli bestseller list and won the coveted Aujourd'hui Award in France, Sand provides the intellectual foundations for a new vision of Israel's future.
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