Every weekend I participate in David Abrams’s “#SundaySentence” project, sharing the best sentence I’ve read during the past week, “out of context and without commentary.”

In the History Department alone we had Baer, Koebner, and Tcherikover, who together were fluent in something like 22 languages; Polak, who liked to say that he could read two books at once, one with each eye, and his mortal enemy, Dinur, who liked to say that he could write two books at once, one with each hand, would jockey for lectures and office-supplies with Shelomo Dov Goitein, who was just starting on his project of deciphering the Cairo Genizah; it was a common occurrence to walk down the hall and meet the dusty figures of Leo Aryeh Mayer and Eleazar Sukenik, two archaeologists taking a break to consult the archives between their excavations of Jerusalem’s walls; it was a common occurrence to walk out for some air and have to hold the door for Martin Buber or Gershom Scholem (I once neglected to hold the door for Buber, who walked straight into it).

Source: Joshua Cohen, The Netanyahus: An Account of a Minor and Ultimately Even Negligible Episode in the History of a Very Famous Family

Against a plain background, the hashtag #SundaySentence appears.

3 thoughts on “#SundaySentence

  1. Rabbi Mindy Portnoy says:

    The quote sounds a little like Dropsie (College of Semitic and Cognate Studies) which was in Philadelphia . I studied there as a graduate student in 1973-1974, where I had teachers such as Zeitlin, Grayzel, Jacob Agus, Morton Enslin, Chomsky (Noam’s father)….quite an experience! BenTzion Netanyahu was not there when I was, but he did teach there.

    1. Erika Dreifus says:

      The Philadelphia school is definitely part of this book, but unless I read too quickly/misread, this specific sentence refers to Israeli academia.

  2. Rabbi Mindy Portnoy says:

    I plan to read the book. The sentence you quoted also sounds like the Israeli movie “Footnotes”…..scholars seem to be the same everywhere, always squabbling, and envious of one another. But often brilliant at the same time. Another example: Klausner and Agnon (in Israel).

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