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Advances in genetics are renewing controversies over inherited characteristics, and the discourse around science and technological innovations has taken on racial overtones, such as attributing inherited physiological traits to certain ethnic groups or using DNA testing to determine biological links with ethnic ancestry. This book contributes to the discussion by opening up previously locked concepts of the relation between the terms color, race, and "Jews", and by engaging with globalism, multiculturalism, hybridity, and diaspora. The contributors - leading scholars in anthropology, sociology, history, literature, and cultural studies - discuss how it is not merely a question of whether Jews are acknowledged to be interracial, but how to address academic and social discourses that continue to place Jews and others in a race/color category.
"Storm from Paradise "was first published in 1992. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
"Usefully complicating common sense understandings of history, catastrophe, loss, otherness, and possibility through reflections on contemporary Jewishness, Boyarin draws on Benjamins's famous image of the Angel of History blown into the future by a "storm from paradise" to constantly interrogate and recuperate the past, "without pretending for long that we can recoup its plentitude." The book's seven thoughtful essays are at times deliberately intangible but always worth reading. An important book for the rethinking of the relevance of Jewishness to anthropology and cultural studies." -"Religious Studies Review"
"An essay in the richest sense of that term, inspired by and modeled on Walter Benjamin's essays. Based on varied, diverse, and abundantly cross-disciplinary readings, it moves and builds, questions and interrogates, and ultimately convinces us that the Jewish experience with being the 'other' and, conversely and recently, with 'othering' is indeed relevant to theorists of contemporary culture." -Marianne Hirsch
Jonathan Boyarin is the author of "Palestine and Jewish History," and co-editor, with Daniel Boyarin, of "Jews and Other Differences" and "Powers of Diaspora."
The origin and development of the South African Jewish community is one small part of a vast and varied literature on the formation of 19th-century diasporic communities, worldwide. Records include ships' passenger lists, transit placements, immigration papers, memoirs, reminiscences and letters home and abroad. However, unedited, unbowdlerised memoirs that purport to tell how it actually was are few and far between. Such are the manuscripts of two members of the Schrire family. The reb and the rebel contains three previously unpublished autobiographical works mainly covering the period 1892-1913: A diary, a poem and a memoir. The first two were written by Yehuda Leib Schrire (1851-1912), and are set in a number of countries including Lithuania, Holland, England and South Africa. The third is by his son, Harry Nathan (1895-1980). Few of the early immigrants to South Africa were writers, let alone poets, and the social history provided in these documents embellishes and enlivens the picture of South African Jewish communities at the turn of the 20th century. Neither was ever intended for wide distribution nor for the discipline of an editor's pencil. Two manuscripts literally penned by Yehuda Leib Schrire, in pre-Ben Yehuda Hebrew, were intended as memoirs, reminders of his struggles to help his children understand his picaresque life. The account by his son Harry was written as a family memoir. Both writers chose their words carefully and neither script could be called hasty or even informal. Yehuda Leib transcribed his original diary into a neat, readable record and he embellished his epic poem with lavish scholarly allusions; Harry, on the other hand, deliberately wrote as he spoke, and with such intentionality that he forbade the transcriber to change the original in any way whatsoever. The voices of these two men differ. One is a foreign immigrant and the other, a Cape-born native of South Africa. Threads of his European Talmudic learning are braided tightly into the travels of Yehuda Leib, while Harry's words are studded with turn-of-the-century Cape Yiddish such as once echoed through the alleys and parlours of District Six. You might catch an indignant yowl as Yehuda Leib recalls his former colleagues, and sense his wife patting his arm as he stamps his stick. You might hear the rattle of tea cups as his wife Lily interrupts Harry's recollections of the old gang commandeering the corner of Harrington and Commercial streets almost a century ago. These manuscripts are the stuff of which history is made. Their publication represents a labour of love by their editors, translators and donors.
This History offers an unparalleled examination of all aspects of Jewish American literature. Jewish writing has played a central role in the formation of the national literature of the United States, from the Hebraic sources of the Puritan imagination to narratives of immigration and acculturation. This body of writing has also enriched global Jewish literature in its engagement with Jewish history and Jewish multilingual culture. Written by a host of leading scholars, The Cambridge History of Jewish American Literature offers an array of approaches that contribute to current debates about ethnic writing, minority discourse, transnational literature, gender studies, and multilingualism. This History takes a fresh look at celebrated authors, introduces new voices, locates Jewish American literature on the map of American ethnicity as well as the spaces of exile and diaspora, and stretches the boundaries of American literature beyond the Americas and the West.
German and Jewish ways of life have been interwoven in Worms,
Germany, for over a thousand years. Despite radical changes brought
about by expulsion of Jews, wartime devastation, social
advancement, cultural and religious renewal, and the Jewish
community's destruction during the Holocaust, the Jewish sites of
Worms display a remarkable degree of continuity, which has
contributed to the development of distinct urban Jewish cultures,
memories, and identities.
Bakan challenges the view of Freud that he was a secular, rationally and scientifically-orientated intellectual, educated in modern culture and with only a modicum of formal Jewish education. He argues that Freud was influenced in his major and revolutionary life work by a mystical tradition.
A critical examination of Zionism and its internal resistance by Israeli Jews, this book employs a unique perspective on Israel/Palestine by eschewing presenting identities as concrete and, rather, examining their creation through discourse.
"Hebrew and English text with new commentary and essays. "
Rabbi Silber has given us two books in one: the Haggadah itself, in English and Hebrew, with his seder commentary and a collection of essays that provide close readings of the classic biblical and rabbinic texts that inform Seder-night ritual and narration. Both parts work beautifully together to illuminate the central themes of Passover: peoplehood, Covenant, our relationship to ritual, God's presence in history, and other important issues that resonate with us all. Just as midrash attempts to bridge the gap between ancient text and contemporary meaning, Rabbi Silber's Haggadah provides new sources of insight that deepen the Passover experience for today's readers.
For some, Richard Wagner is infamous as the favorite composer of
Hitler, who seems to have admired Wagner as an early exponent of
his own racist ideology and worldview. Impressed by this assumption
victims of Hitler have also associated Wagner and his music with
Nazism to such an extent that in Israel a ban on public performance
of that music is upheld to this day. Jacob Katz, a scholar of
international repute, approaches the highly charged issue of
Richard Wagner's anti-Semitism with the tools of a critical
historian, asking two central questions: What role did
anti-Semitism play in the life and work of Richard Wagner? And how
did his anti-Jewish thoughts and sentiments contribute to the
development of political anti-Semitism and Nazism?
With the publication of The Origins of the Kabbalah in 1950, one of the most important scholars of our century brought the obscure world of Jewish mysticism to a wider audience for the first time. A crucial work in the oeuvre of Gershom Scholem, this book details the beginnings of the Kabbalah in twelfth- and thirteenth-century southern France and Spain, showing its rich tradition of repeated attempts to achieve and portray direct experiences of God. The Origins of the Kabbalah is a contribution not only to the history of Jewish medieval mysticism, but also to the study of medieval mysticism in general. Now with a new foreword by David Biale, this book remains essential reading for students of the history of religion.
The essays in this anthology study Israeli television, its different forms of representation, audiences and production processes, past and present, examining Israeli television in both its local, cultural dynamics and global interfaces. The book looks at Israeli television as a creator, negotiator, guardian and warden of collective Israeli memory, examining instances of Israeli original television exported and circulated to the US and the global markets, as well as instances of American, British and global TV formats, adapted and translated to the Israeli scene and screen. The trajectory of this volume is to shed light on major themes and issues Israeli television negotiates: history and memory, war and trauma, Zionism and national disillusionment, place and home, ethnicity in its unique local variations of Ashkenazim and Mizrahim, immigrants from the former Soviet Union and Ethiopia, Israeli Arabs and Palestinians, gender in its unique Israeli formations, specifically masculinity as shaped by the military and constant violent conflict, femininity in this same context as well as within a complex Jewish oriented society, religion and secularism. Providing multifaceted portraits of Israeli television and culture in its Middle Eastern political and local context, this book will be a key resource to readers interested in media and television studies, cultural studies, Israel and the Middle East.
The New Spice Box includes short fiction, personal essays, and poetry by Jewish writers from a broad range of cultural backgrounds. Fresh and relevant, profound and lasting, this anthology features works by acclaimed short story writers David Bezmozgis, Mireille Silcoff, and Ayelet Tsabari; groundbreaking memoirists Bernice Eisenstein and Alison Pick; and award-winning poets Isa Milman, Jacob Scheier, and Adam Sol. The driving force behind The New Spice Box is the desire to uncover the twin touchstones of original expression and writerly craft, and to balance the representation of genres, styles, and authorial perspectives. Here, authors summon the past as they probe their cultural inheritance and move forward into the future. The New Spice Box shows that Jewish literary tradition, Jewish experience, and Jewish identity can be expressed in innumerable ways.
Peter Hayes has been teaching Holocaust studies for decades and Why? grows out of the questions he's encountered from his students. Despite the outpouring of books, films, memorials, museums and courses devoted to the subject, a coherent explanation of why such carnage erupted still eludes people. Numerous myths have sprouted, many to console us that things could have gone differently if only some person or entity had acted more bravely or wisely; others cast new blame on favourite or surprising villains or even on historians. Why? dispels many legends and debunks the most prevalent ones, including the claim that the Holocaust never happened. Hayes brings scholarly wisdom to bear on popular views of the history, challenging some of the most prominent interpretations and arguing that the convergence of multiple forces at a particular moment resulted in this catastrophe.
It is a story like no other: an epic of endurance against destruction, of creativity in oppression, joy amidst grief, the affirmation of life against the steepest of odds. It spans the millennia and the continents - from India to Andalusia and from the bazaars of Cairo to the streets of Oxford. It takes you to unimagined places: to a Jewish kingdom in the mountains of southern Arabia; a Syrian synagogue glowing with radiant wall paintings; the palm groves of the Jewish dead in the Roman catacombs. And its voices ring loud and clear, from the severities and ecstasies of the Bible writers to the love poems of wine bibbers in a garden in Muslim Spain. Within these pages, the Talmud burns in the streets of Paris, massed gibbets hang over the streets of medieval London, a Majorcan illuminator redraws the world; candles are lit, chants are sung, mules are packed, ships loaded with spice and gems founder at sea. And a great story unfolds. Not - as often imagined - of a culture apart, but of a Jewish world immersed in and imprinted by the peoples among whom they have dwelled, from the Egyptians to the Greeks, from the Arabs to the Christians. Which makes the story of the Jews everyone's story, too.
It is so obvious that to treat people equally is the right thing to do,"" wrote Gertrude Weil (1879-1971). In the first-ever biography of Weil, Leonard Rogoff tells the story of a modest southern Jewish woman who, while famously private, fought publicly and passionately for the progressive causes of her age. Born to a prominent family in Goldsboro, North Carolina, Weil never married and there remained ensconced--in many ways a proper southern lady--for nearly a century. From her hometown, she fought for women's suffrage, founded her state's League of Women Voters, pushed for labor reform and social welfare, and advocated for world peace. Weil made national headlines during an election in 1922 when, casting her vote, she spotted and ripped up a stack of illegally marked ballots. She campaigned against lynching, convened a biracial council in her home, and in her eighties desegregated a swimming pool by diving in headfirst. Rogoff also highlights Weil's place in the broader Jewish American experience. Whether attempting to promote the causes of southern Jewry, save her European family members from the Holocaust, or support the creation of a Jewish state, Weil fought for systemic change, all the while insisting that she had not done much beyond the ordinary duty of any citizen.
This book examines the emotional aspects of revolutionary experience during a critical turning point in both Russian and Jewish history - the 1905 revolution. Shtakser argues that radicalization involved an emotional transformation, which enabled many young revolutionaries to develop an activist attitude towards reality.
Carol V Davis is the granddaughter of Jewish immigrants from Russia. Her fascination with Russia, aided by a Fulbright grant, drew her to St Petersburg in the mid 1990s. Over the next decade, she divided her time between the US and Russia, where, as an American-born Jew, she was an outsider in Russian society. This collection of poems expresses the struggle with language barriers and cultural differences - struggles heightened as Davis helped her children adjust to their new daily life. Inspired by Russia's rich history, its economic changes, and landscape, these poems express a unique perspective of Russia.
From stories of biblical patriarchs and matriarchs and their children, through the Gospel's Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, and to modern Jewish families in fiction, film, and everyday life, the family has been considered key to transmitting Jewish identity. Current discussions about the Jewish family's supposed traditional character and its alleged contemporary crisis tend to assume that the dynamics of Jewish family life have remained constant from the days of Abraham and Sarah to those of Tevye and Golde in Fiddler on the Roof and on to Philip Roth's Portnoy's Complaint. Jonathan Boyarin explores a wide range of scholarship in Jewish studies to argue instead that Jewish family forms and ideologies have varied greatly throughout the times and places where Jewish families have found themselves. He considers a range of family configurations from biblical times to the twenty-first century, including strictly Orthodox communities and new forms of family, including same-sex parents. The book shows the vast canvas of history and culture as well as the social pressures and strategies that have helped shape Jewish families, and suggests productive ways to think about possible futures for Jewish family forms.
David Cesarani's Final Solution is an intelligent and thought-provoking short history of the Holocaust. Not only does David Cesarani draw together and engage with the latest scholarly research, making extensive use of previously untapped resources such as diaries and letters from within the ghettos and camps (many of them in Polish or Yiddish and therefore previously largely inaccessible to Anglo-American scholars) but by adopting a rigorously Judeocentric approach the whole narrative of the march to genocide and its aftermath, the book presents a subtly different timeline which casts afresh the horror of the period and engenders a significant re-evaluation of the how and why. Eschewing some of the more fevered theses about the guilt of the perpetrators (and indeed recasting how wide that net should be spread), David Cesarani's measured and skilful negotiation of a crowded field is, as a result, all the more devastating.
A groundbreaking examination of a little-known but defining episode in early modern Jewish history A refugee crisis of huge proportions erupted as a result of the mid-seventeenth-century wars in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Tens of thousands of Jews fled their homes, or were captured and trafficked across Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. Rescue the Surviving Souls is the first book to examine this horrific moment of displacement and flight, and to assess its social, economic, religious, cultural, and psychological consequences. Drawing on a wealth of primary sources in twelve languages, Adam Teller traces the entire course of the crisis, shedding fresh light on the refugee experience and the various relief strategies developed by the major Jewish centers of the day. Teller pays particular attention to those thousands of Jews sent for sale on the slave markets of Istanbul and the extensive transregional Jewish economic network that coalesced to ransom them. He also explores how Jewish communities rallied to support the refugees in central and western Europe, as well as in Poland-Lithuania, doing everything possible to help them overcome their traumatic experiences and rebuild their lives. Rescue the Surviving Souls offers an intimate study of an international refugee crisis, from outbreak to resolution, that is profoundly relevant today.
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