The focus of this volume is on essential themes, images and generic patterns, beginning with a Talmudic legend about four scholars. They, by means of daring mystical interpretations of Scripture, entered a Paradise, representing different means of imaginative reading, perception, memory and application of the law. One of them died, one went mad, another became a heretic and the other came back as a traditional exegete and teacher. Based on that legend, this book examines a small group of late 19th and early 20th century European Jewish intellectuals and artists in the light of their dreams, writings, and moments of crisis. These men and women, comedians in both the sense of stage actors and clowns or witty performers, believed they had entered a new secular and tolerant society, but discovered that there was no escape from their Jewish heritage and way of seeing the world. This monograph looks into the imperfect mirror of cultural experience, discovers a hazy world of illusions, dreams and nightmares on the other side of the looking glass, and sometimes constructs a midrashic conceit of the comical and grotesque screen between them.
The corpus of Jewish mystical writings has developed over thousands of years in different parts of the world. Its creators sought to discover hidden realms that would shed light on existing reality. The literature they created, one of the central sources of inspiration of religious thought, comprises hundreds of volumes. This masterly investigation of the Jewish mystical phenomenon, from antiquity to the twentieth century, contextualizes it in the spiritual and historical circumstances in which it evolved.
"A priceless asset to any traveler whose goal is to explore the Jewish past of these two historical countries." --The Jewish Advocate The author follows in the footsteps of his namesake, the rabbi explorer of the twelfth century, Benjamin of Tudela, to create the first all-encompassing guide to Jewish Russia and Ukraine, with stops in Bulgaria and Romania. Until Communism fell, the Jews of Russia and Ukraine had been suppressed and denied human and religious rights. Today, not only are they reborn, but they are rebuilding a new, vibrant community for the twenty-first century. Frank explores this rebirth and guides both first-time and experienced travelers to Jewish and historical sites. He profiles synagogues, monuments, and schools that can be found in such cities as St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kiev, Odessa, and even Kishinev in Moldava. Approximately 120 years ago, the majority of the world's Jews lived in what was called the "Pale of Settlement" in the Russian Empire. Most American Jews today trace their ancestry to Russia and the surrounding territories, especially Ukraine. A Travel Guide to Jewish Russia & Ukraine will aid those visiting places where relatives once lived, as well as those simply in search of history.
Jews and Germans is the only book in English to delve fully into the history and challenges of the German-Jewish relationship, from before the Holocaust to the present day. The Weimar Republic era—the fifteen years between Germany’s defeat in World War I (1918) and Hitler’s accession (1933)—has been characterized as a time of unparalleled German-Jewish concord and collaboration. Even though Jews constituted less than 1 percent of the German population, they occupied a significant place in German literature, music, theater, journalism, science, and many other fields. Was that German-Jewish relationship truly reciprocal? How has it evolved since the Holocaust, and what can it become? Beginning with the German Jews’ struggle for emancipation, Guenter Lewy describes Jewish life during the heyday of the Weimar Republic, particularly the Jewish writers, left-wing intellectuals, combat veterans, and adult and youth organizations. With this history as a backdrop he examines the deeply disparate responses among Jews when the Nazis assumed power. Lewy then elucidates Jewish life in postwar West Germany; in East Germany, where Jewish communists searched for a second German-Jewish symbiosis based on Marxist principles; and finally in the united Germany—illuminating the complexities of fraught relationships over time.
This anthology features an eclectic mix of eighteen modern works by a selection of Switzerland's heterogeneous community of Jewish writers. Questions about Jewish identity and the legacy of the Holocaust remain current and controversial in Switzerland because of the country's now well-publicized economic involvement with Hitler's Germany and the scandal that erupted when the purported Holocaust memoir of Binjamin Wilkomirski was revealed to be a hoax. This collection includes an excerpt from a novel by Daniel Ganzfried, the journalist who exposed the Wilkomirski Affair; two chilling counterfactual accounts of a Nazi-occupied Switzerland by television scriptwriter Charles Lewinsky; an epistolary satire of contemporary Swiss and Jewish life by Sergue Hazanov, a Russian-Jewish immigrant; lyrical evocations of exile by Gabriele Markus; a memoir by renowned theatre director Luc Bondy; strikingly harsh portraits of contemporary European life from painter and performance artist Miriam Cahn; and a screenplay about the Holocaust and Jewish refugees in Switzerland by Swiss filmmaker Stina Werenfels. Surprising in its diversity and sometimes disturbing in its preoccupations, this anthology will make it hard to generalize about Jewish life in Switzerland or to think in polarities such as Switzerland and "the Jews."
The "Jewish Stories" is Isaac Loeb Peretz's collection of short stories and novellas. Peretz found the inspiration for his work in the folklore of Hasidic Judaism. However, all of his stories, with exception of the legend "The Image," are set in late nineteenth century Russia and Poland and deal with social issues related to the life of Jewish population. Contents: If Not Higher Domestic Happiness In the Post-chaise The New Tune Married The Seventh Candle of Blessing The Widow The Messenger What is the Soul? In Time of Pestilence Bontzye Shweig The Dead Town The Days of the Messiah Kabbalists Travel-pictures Trust Only Go! What Should a Jewess Need? No. 42 The Maskil The Rabbi of Tishewitz Tales That Are Told A Little Boy The Yartseff Rabbi Lyashtzof The First Attempt The Second Attempt At the Shochet's The Rebbitzin of Skul Insured The Fire The Emigrant The Madman Misery The Làmed Wòfnik The Informer The Outcast A Chat The Pike The Fast The Woman Mistress Hannah In the Pond The Chanukah Light The Poor Little Boy Underground Between Two Mountains The Image
Jewish Anxiety and the Novels of Philip Roth argues that Roth's novels teach us that Jewish anxiety stems not only from fear of victimization but also from fear of perpetration. It is impossible to think about Jewish victimization without thinking about the Holocaust; and it is impossible to think about the taboo question of Jewish perpetration without thinking about Israel. Roth's texts explore the Israel-Palestine question and the Holocaust with varying degrees of intensity but all his novels scrutinize perpetration and victimization through examining racism and sexism in America. Brett Ashley Kaplan uses Roth's novels as springboards to illuminate larger problems of victimization and perpetration; masculinity, femininity, and gender; racism and anti-Semitism. For if, as Kaplan argues, Jewish anxiety is not only about the fear of oppression, and we can begin to see how these anxieties function in terms of fears of perpetration, then perhaps we can begin to unpack the complicated dynamics around the line between the Holocaust and Israel-Palestine.
"Bringing together contributions from a diverse group of scholars, Volume XXX of Studies in Contemporary Jewry presents a multifaceted view of the subtle and intricate relations between Jews and their relationship to place. The symposium covers Europe, the Middle East, and North America from the 18th century to the 21st."--
InGerman-Jewish Thought and Its Afterlife,Vivian Liska innovatively focuses on the changing form, fate and function of messianism, law, exile, election, remembrance, and the transmission of tradition itself in three different temporal and intellectual frameworks: German-Jewish modernism, postmodernism, and the current period. Highlighting these elements of theJewish tradition in the works of Franz Kafka, Walter Benjamin, Gershom Scholem, Hannah Arendt, and Paul Celan, Liska reflects on dialogues and conversations between themandonthereception of their work.She shows how this Jewish dimension of their writings is transformed, but remains significant in the theories of Maurice Blanchot and Jacques Derrida and how it is appropriated, dismissed or denied by some of the most acclaimed thinkers at the turn of the twenty-first century such as Giorgio Agamben, Slavoj i ek, and Alain Badiou.
This book brings together the perspectives of apocalypticism and early Jewish mysticism to illuminate the New Testament. The first part explores the importance of apocalypticism across the whole of the New Testament, and the second part the relevance of Jewish mystical to the New Testament.