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Jewish Literary Links for Shabbat

Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

Every Friday morning My Machberet presents an assortment of Jewish-interest links, primarily of the literary variety.

  • A thoughtful review of Nora Gold’s Fields of Exile, which you’ve heard about here before.
  • Interesting call: “For this special issue of Prooftexts on Jewish Literature/World Literature, we seek papers that address Jewish literary multilingualism, translation, and circulation. Essays should combine theoretical and methodological concerns with readings of Jewish-language texts to illustrate the productive intersections of Jewish literature with the discourse on world literature.”
  • On the Lilith blog, Talia Lavin writes “On Mothers, Sisters, Narrative and War.”
  • “The interdisciplinary symposium ‘Global Yiddish Culture, 1938 – 1948′ invites historians, literary scholars, sociologists, cinema and theatre scholars to think about the nature of Yiddish culture that developed during this difficult period in Jewish history.”
  • Finally, I’m sad to say that this poem of mine, “Questions for the Critics,” is once again relevant.
  • Shabbat shalom.

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    Words of the Week: David Horovitz

    “It becomes wearying, conflict after conflict, but it is necessary, nonetheless, to urge policy-makers and opinion-shapers overseas to make just a modicum of effort, to look just a little closer, to exercise just a smidgen of intellectual honesty. And to recognize the bottom line: If there was no rocket fire from this non-disputed enclave, there would be no Israeli response, and nobody would be dying.”

    Source: David Horovitz, “Why Are We Fighting with Gaza, Again?” – a must-read piece in The Times of Israel

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    Jewish Literary Links for Shabbat

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

    Every Friday morning My Machberet presents an assortment of Jewish-interest links, primarily of the literary variety.

  • Barbara Krasner fills us in on the most recent conference of the Association of Jewish Libraries.
  • In this month’s Mosaic essay, Martin Kramer questions Ari Shavit’s much-publicized account of Lydda, 1948.
  • On Lilith blog: an interview with Nora Gold about her new novel Fields of Exile (which we discussed with her, too).
  • I mentioned last week how disappointed I was that I wouldn’t be able to attend “Pew-ish: Artists Responding to the New Jewish Identity,” a staged reading of short plays. Luckily, though, Gordon Haber made it to the event–and covered it for The Forward.
  • TBR: short stories from Poetica Magazine, which features contemporary Jewish writing.
  • Shabbat shalom.

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    Words of the Week: Thane Rosenbaum

    “The problem, however, is not just one of proportionate loss but the casualness with which many insist on drawing a moral equivalence between acts of terror and self-defense, between the purposeful kidnapping of teenagers hitching a ride and the inadvertent killing of teenagers who are hurling homemade grenades at armed soldiers going house-to-house in search of three boys who they don’t realize are already dead.

    There is no moral equivalence here, and there is a danger in continuing to make these false comparisons.”

    Source: Thane Rosenbaum, “There Is No Moral Equivalent to the Murder of Three Israeli Teenagers,” The Daily Beast.

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    From My Bookshelf: ISRAEL-A HISTORY by Anita Shapira

    About 18 months ago, I purchased a new book for my Kindle: Anita Shapira’s Israel: A History (translated from the Hebrew by Anthony Berris). But soon after that, I began attending a weekly seminar titled “Zionist Thought and Statesmanship”; that wonderful course came complete with its own considerable reading list. I put aside Shapira’s book for another time.

    It’s not that I’m glad that it has taken me so long to return to the book, which I’m about halfway through right now (I’m reading slowly). But I can’t help feeling that approaching it with at least a little more knowledge of Israeli history already in my mind has enriched my reading experience. Similarly, what I’ve read so far in Shapira’s book has reinforced and complemented the readings from my earlier seminar very, very nicely.

    I’m not quite prepared to write a review of my own, but I’ll point you to some reviews that piqued and sustained my interest in the book over time. In the meantime, I can assure you that this is a book very much worth reading.

  • In The Forward, Jerome Chanes wrote: “Anita Shapira ups the ante in her history, which recently won a 2012 National Jewish Book Award, offering a truly comprehensive narrative of Israel, from its genesis in the first stirrings of Zionism in the 19th century to present day’s unsettled Israeli society. Shapira is a historian who believes things actually happened in history and they deserve a good telling. But the author, who has had a distinguished academic career, is a superb analyst, as well.”
  • In the Jewish Review of Books, Allan Arkush noted: “Shapira, for one thing, has done away with all sorts of errors that have been passed through the years from one short history of Israel to another.”
  • In The Jewish Week, Francine Klagsburn wrote: “Unlike other histories that often tell Israel’s story by jumping from one war to the next, this one…captures the nation’s diversity and cultural richness along with its existential struggles.”
  • P.S. Yesterday came the tragic news about the three missing boys in Israel. It’s hard not to feel totally helpless and devastated at a time like this. But thinking of those boys and filled with the spirit of Jewish peoplehood, I will do something simple: continue my reading, mindful of my connections to Israel, and to those boys (one of whom is also connected through our common American citizenship).

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