Words of the Week: ChatGPT Returns

As you may recall, a couple of weeks ago I shared with you the result of a little experiment: ChatGPT’s response when prompted to design a syllabus for a course titled “Contemporary Jewish Short Stories,” which is, in fact, the title of a course that I am scheduled to begin teaching at the end of August.

Since comments on that post continue to come in (some of them on the post’s page, some on Twitter, and some privately), I thought that there might be interest in the results of a second experiment—when I asked ChatGPT for a list of recommended readings for a course on contemporary Jewish short stories. (Readings, alas, were not included on ChatGPT’s “original” syllabus.)

Below you’ll find what ChatGPT came up with.


Words of the Week: Chaim Weizmann (via Oren Kessler)

“If Moses had chosen to bring us to America, our problem would have been easy, but he did not choose to do so, and he is not here to discuss it.”

Chaim Weizmann, quoted in Oren Kessler, Palestine 1936 (p. 200; attributed to a meeting in London in February 1939).

Copies of Luis de Torres Sales to Freedom, the latest issue of Jewish Quarterly, and Palestine 1936 (on Kindle)
Three of my most recent reads, including a complimentary electronic review copy of Kessler’s PALESTINE 1936.

I hardly wish to quarrel with Chaim Weizmann, but I’m not so sure that the problem would have been “easy”; “easier,” quite likely.

Words of the Week: Elisha Wiesel

“These false charges of genocide against Israel are smears long used by critics who apply classical anti-Semitic tropes to the Jewish state. And they have consequences. These forms of blood libel fan the flames of hatred towards Jews as surely as the medieval claims once did that we murdered Jesus or were killing Christian infants. To utilize my father’s name in such vile accusations is so far beyond the pale that I am staggered by the silence in response.”

Source: Elisha Wiesel, “Tlaib’s Shameful Weaponization of the Elie Wiesel Genocide Act Against Israel” (The Hill)

Words of the Week: Vivian Bercovici

“How do we ‘tally’ or assess what is retaliatory or ‘proportional’, as the international community is always quick to remind Israel. Western media is quick to denounce Israel reflexively, no matter how many hundreds of rockets are aimed at the country’s civilians. Israel is ‘blamed’ and faulted for suffering fewer civilian casualties than Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. And the media seems oblivious to the reasons for this asymmetry; that Israel invests in defense capabilities – like the Iron Dome. Civilian shelters are also a priority. PIJ and Hamas, on the other hand, embed weapons caches in civilian areas quite intentionally, counting on the Israeli avoidance of collateral damage.”

Source: Vivian Bercovici, The State of Tel Aviv (the link will take you to the latest newsletter issue, from which I’ve excerpted the quote above; Bercovici also offers an accompanying podcast)