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Latest episodes from New Books in Jewish Studies

Joseph Sassoon, "The Sassoons: The Great Global Merchants and the Making of an Empire" (Pantheon Books, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 1, 2022 44:28


The Sassoons were one of the great merchant families of the nineteenth century, alongside such names as the Jardines, the Mathesons, and the Swires. They dominated the India-China opium trade through the David Sassoon and E.D. Sassoon companies. They became Indian tycoons, English aristocracy, Hong Kong board directors, and Shanghai real estate moguls. Yet unlike the Kadoories and Swires, the Sassoon companies no longer exist today. Professor Joseph Sassoon in his latest book The Sassoons: The Great Global Merchants and the Making of an Empire (Pantheon, 2022) helps to answer that question, from the Sassoons' start fleeing Baghdad for Bombay, through to Victor Sassoon's investments in the Shanghai before the Second World War. In this interview, Joseph and I talk about the Sassoon family: from David, the patriarch of the family, through to Victor Sassoon, Shanghai real estate mogul. And we also think about the Sassoons as a business: how did this great, global family trading house decline–and are there lessons for the businesses of today? Joseph Sassoon is Professor of History and Political Economy and Director of the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University. He is also a Senior Associate Member at St Antony's College, Oxford and a Trustee of the Bodleian Library. His previous books include the prize-winning Saddam Hussein's Ba'th Party: Inside an Authoritarian Regime (Cambridge University Press: 2012), The Iraqi Refugees: The New Crisis in the Middle East (I. B. Taurus, 2010), and Anatomy of Authoritarianism in the Arab Republics (Cambridge University Press: 2016). You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of The Sassoons. Follow on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia. Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at@nickrigordon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/jewish-studies

James Yansen, "Daughter Zion's Trauma: A Trauma Informed Reading of Lamentations" (Gorgias Press, 2019)

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 30, 2022 165:12


Utilizing insights from trauma studies, James Yansen's book Daughter Zion's Trauma: A Trauma Informed Reading of Lamentations (Gorgias Press, 2019) advances the view that awareness of trauma's potential effects sheds light on many of the book of Lamentations' complex literary features, and suggests new interpretive possibilities. Three characteristic features of traumatic experiences make this concept useful for a critical reading of Lamentations: 1) survivors' testimonies often convey a history that is not straightforwardly referential; 2) trauma causes rupture in memory; and 3) the trauma process includes rhetorical dimensions; individuals and communities work through and construct trauma in different ways in order to reconstitute themselves and ensure their survival in the aftermath of extreme catastrophe. Furthermore, social, political, cultural, historical, and theological/religious contexts are crucial for understanding how individuals and collectivities construe, respond to, witness to, work through, and create trauma. Attending to Lamentations' likely traumatic matrix, the concept of non-referential history functions as a heuristic lens through which to view the historical significance of the Book's content, particularly its ubiquitous uses of stereotypical and metaphorical language. In addition, trauma-informed structural analysis demonstrates and mirrors the debilitating realities of caesura in life often associated with experiences of trauma. Drawing on insights from cultural trauma, specifically the rhetorical dimensions of the trauma process, Daughter Zion's Trauma asserts that Lamentations ensures the survival of those whose pain and anguish it voices by strategically adapting some of ancient Israel's religious traditions. The literary figure of Daughter Zion embodies and witnesses to the trauma of the survivor-communities she represents. The sheer enormity of Daughter Zion's trauma overshadows and undermines assertions and acknowledgements of her culpability. Further, protest, ambiguity, and ambivalent hope form the foundation for resilience and survival in Lamentations. Ultimately, trauma-informed readings of biblical literature that utilize an historically-informed, synchronic approach enable biblical scholars to pursue the interpretive possibilities of trauma studies without bracketing historical questions. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/jewish-studies

Jonathan Rosen and Henry Herz, "Coming of Age: 13 B'nai Mitvah Stories" (Albert Whitman & Company, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 28, 2022 50:30


In our exciting conversation with author-agent Jonathan Rosen we talk about his recent anthology, Coming of Age: 13 B'nai Mitvah Stories (Albert Whitman & Company, 2022), his funny and scary middle grade horror book, Night of the Living Cuddle Bunnies, and his new career as a literary agent for the Seymour Agency, where he helps other writers achieve the same dream of publication that he has fulfilled. Jonathan grew up in Brooklyn, Mexico and Israel and now makes his home in southern Florida, where he is agent by day and writer by night. Late night. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/jewish-studies

The Future of Religious Studies: A Conversation with Russell McCutcheon

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 28, 2022 76:37


Russell McCutcheon shares his views on the academic study of religion, and the path ahead for religion graduates and the field itself. McCutcheon is a professor of religious studies at the University of Alabama and a contributor to the Religious Studies Project podcast.  Raj Balkaran is a scholar of Sanskrit narrative texts. He teaches at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies and at his own virtual School of Indian Wisdom. For information see rajbalkaran.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/jewish-studies

Moshe Koppel, "Judaism Straight Up: Why Real Religion Endures" (Maggid, 2020)

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 25, 2022 48:44


In Judaism Straight Up: Why Real Religion Endures (Maggid, 2020), Moshe Koppel explores the central differences between traditional societies - including traditional Judaism - and contemporary cosmopolitan ones. He explains the subtleties of Jewish morality, tradition, and belief, and how these have unfolded to beat cosmopolitanism at its own game: advancing cooperation, fairness, and freedom. Written with a scientific sensibility that draws on economics, game theory, and other disciplines - Judaism Straight Up attempts to explain Jewish traditionalism's endurance. Matthew Miller is a graduate of Yeshivat Yesodei HaTorah. He studied Jewish Studies and Linguistics at McGill for his BA and completed an MA in Hebrew Linguistics at Queen Mary University of London. He works with Jewish organizations in media and content distribution, such as TheHabura.com and RabbiEfremGoldberg.org. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/jewish-studies

Joseph McBride, "Billy Wilder: Dancing on the Edge" (Columbia UP, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 24, 2022 87:11


The director and cowriter of some of the world's most iconic films―including Double Indemnity, Sunset Blvd., Some Like It Hot, and The Apartment―Billy Wilder earned acclaim as American cinema's greatest social satirist. Though an influential fixture in Hollywood, Wilder always saw himself as an outsider. His worldview was shaped by his background in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and work as a journalist in Berlin during Hitler's rise to power, and his perspective as a Jewish refugee from Nazism lent his films a sense of the peril that could engulf any society. In this critical study, Joseph McBride offers new ways to understand Wilder's work, stretching from his days as a reporter and screenwriter in Europe to his distinguished as well as forgotten films as a Hollywood writer and his celebrated work as a writer-director. In contrast to the widespread view of Wilder as a hardened cynic, McBride reveals him to be a disappointed romantic. Wilder's experiences as an exile led him to mask his sensitivity beneath a veneer of wisecracking that made him a celebrated caustic wit. Amid the satirical barbs and exposure of social hypocrisies, Wilder's films are marked by intense compassion and a profound understanding of the human condition. Mixing biographical insight with in-depth analysis of films from throughout Wilder's career as a screenwriter and director of comedy and drama, and drawing on McBride's interviews with the director and his collaborators, this book casts new light on the full range of Wilder's rich, complex, and distinctive vision. Joseph McBride is a film historian and professor in the School of Cinema at San Francisco State University. His many books include the critical study How Did Lubitsch Do It? (Columbia, 2018) as well as acclaimed biographies of Frank Capra, John Ford, and Steven Spielberg and three books on Orson Welles. Morteza Hajizadeh is a Ph.D. graduate in English from the University of Auckland in New Zealand. His research interests are Cultural Studies; Critical Theory; Environmental History; Medieval (Intellectual) History; Gothic Studies; 18th and 19th Century British Literature. YouTube Channel. Twitter. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/jewish-studies

Eli Gumener, "A Ukrainian Chapter: A Jewish Aid Worker's Memoir Of Sorrow" (Slavica, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 23, 2022 122:46


Today I talked to Michael Eli Nutkiewicz about his translation A Ukrainian Chapter: A Jewish Aid Worker's Memoir Of Sorrow (Slavica, 2022).  Eli Gumener's 1921 Yiddish memoir, A Ukrainian Chapter, is a rare historical source about relief work spanning the two most devastating years of the pogroms in the Russian Civil War. He concentrates on the collapse of Jewish communities in Podolia, a region in southwest Ukraine. Gumener worked for the major Russian and American organizations that were active in providing aid to Jewish victims during both World War I and the Russian Civil War. Thus, he presents a unique perspective on leaders, parties, and institutions struggling to respond to the suffering and dislocation that came with wild episodes of violence. This annotated translation serves as a roadmap for the reader by clarifying the social and political contexts in which the events took place. A Ukrainian Chapter is a contribution to the history of pogroms, relief work, and Jewish party politics, through the day-to-day experience of a witness “in the trenches.”  Born in Marijampole (near Vilnius) in 1886 and trained for the law in St. Petersburg, Eli (Illia) Gumener (1886–1941?) was a representative and investigator for the Committee to Aid Jewish Pogrom Victims (EKOPO) and the Russian Red Cross. After the Civil War, he worked on behalf of Jewish war orphans for the American Joint Distribution Committee (AJC) in the Białystok region. A Ukrainian Chapter was published in Vilnius in 1921. In 1925 Gumener moved to Novogrudok, Poland (now in Belarus) where he continued to be engaged in communal affairs, including as a city councilman from 1929 to 1934. He and his wife and daughter were murdered during the Holocaust in late 1941 or early 1942. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/jewish-studies

Books, Antisemitism, and a Viral Tweet: A Conversation with Library Director Susan Kusel

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 22, 2022 64:44


Need help curating a list of Holocaust books for your students or library patrons? What's on your shelf? What should be there? This podcast episode explores: The most commonly assigned Holocaust books. Why some of them are books you should never assign. Recommendations for books to assign, read, and share. Gaps in the literature. Gatekeepers of higher education. Susan's wish-list. Our guest is: Susan Kusel, who is the Library Director at Temple Rodef Shalom in Falls Church, Virginia. She is also an author, a children's book consultant and a former independent bookstore buyer. She has served on multiple book award committees including the Caldecott Medal and as the chair of the Sydney Taylor Book Award. She is a former board member of the Association of Jewish Libraries. Her debut picture book, The Passover Guest won the Sydney Taylor Book Award. Our host is: Dr. Christina Gessler, a historian of women and gender. Listeners to this episode may also be interested in: Deborah Hopkinson, We Must Not Forget Dita Kraus, A Delayed Life: The True Story of the Librarian of Auschwitz Susan Kusel, The Passover Guest Primo Levi, The Periodic Table Doreen Rappaport, Beyond Courage: The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust David Safier, 28 Days: A Novel of Resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto Hana Volavkova et al, I Never Saw Another Butterfly: Children's Drawings and Poems from the Terezin Concentration Camp, 1942-1944 Liza Wiemer, The Assignment Elie Wiesel, Night Susan's wish list The Blog: The Sydney Taylor Schooze The Association of Jewish Libraries Sydney Taylor Book Award Welcome to The Academic Life! We reach across our mentor network to bring you podcasts on everything from how to finish a project to how to take care of your beautiful mind. On the Academic Life channel we embrace a broad definition of what it means to lead an academic life. We view education as a transformative human endeavor and are inspired by today's knowledge-producers working inside and outside the academy. DMs us on Twitter: @AcademicLifeNBN. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/jewish-studies

Samuel J. Levine, "Was Yosef on the Spectrum?: Understanding Joseph Through Torah, Midrash, and Classical Jewish Sources" (Urim Publications, 2018)

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 18, 2022 64:03


Samuel J. Levine's Was Yosef on the Spectrum?: Understanding Joseph Through Torah, Midrash, and Classical Jewish Sources (Urim Publications, 2018) offers a coherent and cohesive reading of the well-known Biblical story of Joseph, presenting a portrait of him as an individual on the autism spectrum. Viewed through this lens, he emerges as a more familiar and less enigmatic individual, exhibiting both strengths and weaknesses commonly associated with autism spectrum disorder. Matthew Miller is a graduate of Yeshivat Yesodei HaTorah. He studied Jewish Studies and Linguistics at McGill for his BA and completed an MA in Hebrew Linguistics at Queen Mary University of London. He works with Jewish organizations in media and content distribution, such as TheHabura.com and RabbiEfremGoldberg.org. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/jewish-studies

Boruch Twersky, "From Moav to Mashiach" (Menucha Publishers, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 18, 2022 16:23


Elimelech's family living in Moab, the conversion of Ruth, and Boaz's efforts to establish his permission for marrying Ruth despite her Moabite roots, these were all important links in the chain that led to the establishment of the Davidic dynasty. Join us as we speak with Rabbi Boruch Twersky about his adaptation of the Maharal Tzinz's commentary on the story of Ruth. Boston-born Boruch Twersky lives in Beitar, Israel, with his wife and 15 children. He has spent several years pursuing advanced Torah learning in kollel, authored many articles and translated a number of books.  Michael Morales is Professor of Biblical Studies at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and the author of The Tabernacle Pre-Figured: Cosmic Mountain Ideology in Genesis and Exodus(Peeters, 2012), Who Shall Ascend the Mountain of the Lord?: A Biblical Theology of Leviticus(IVP Academic, 2015), and Exodus Old and New: A Biblical Theology of Redemption (IVP Academic, 2020). He can be reached at mmorales@gpts.edu Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/jewish-studies

Michael Frank, "One Hundred Saturdays: Stella Levi and the Search for a Lost World" (Simon and Schuster, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 17, 2022 60:03


With nearly a century of life behind her, Stella Levi had never before spoken in detail about her past. Then she met Michael Frank. He came to her Greenwich Village apartment one Saturday afternoon to ask her a question about the Juderia, the neighborhood in Rhodes where she'd grown up in a Jewish community that had thrived there for half a millennium. Neither of them could know this was the first of one hundred Saturdays over the course of six years that they would spend in each other's company. During these meetings Stella traveled back in time to conjure what it felt like to come of age on this luminous, legendary island in the eastern Aegean, which the Italians conquered in 1912, began governing as an official colonial possession in 1923, and continued to administer even after the Germans seized control in September 1943. The following July, the Germans rounded up all 1,700-plus residents of the Juderia and sent them first by boat and then by train to Auschwitz on what was the longest journey--measured by both time and distance--of any of the deportations. Ninety percent of them were murdered upon arrival. Probing and courageous, candid and sly, Stella is a magical modern-day Scheherazade whose stories reveal what it was like to grow up in an extraordinary place in an extraordinary time--and to construct a life after that place has vanished. One Hundred Saturdays: Stella Levi and the Search for a Lost World (Simon and Schuster, 2022) is a portrait of one of the last survivors drawn at nearly the last possible moment, as well as an account of a tender and transformative friendship that develops between storyteller and listener as they explore the fundamental mystery of what it means to collect, share, and interpret the deepest truths of a life deeply lived. Drora Arussy, EdD, MA, MJS, is the Senior Director of the ASF Institute of Jewish Experience. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/jewish-studies

Francesca Stavrakopoulou, "God: An Anatomy" (Knopf, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 14, 2022 45:50


The scholarship of theology and religion teaches us that the God of the Bible was without a body, only revealing himself in the Old Testament in words mysteriously uttered through his prophets, and in the New Testament in the body of Christ. The portrayal of God as corporeal and masculine is seen as merely metaphorical, figurative, or poetic. But, in this revelatory study, Dr. Francesca Stavrakopoulou presents a vividly corporeal image of God: a human-shaped deity who walks and talks and weeps and laughs, who eats, sleeps, feels, and breathes, and who is undeniably male. God: An Anatomy (Knopf, 2022) present a portrait—arrived at through the author's close examination of and research into the Bible—of a god in ancient myths and rituals who was a product of a particular society, at a particular time, made in the image of the people who lived then, shaped by their own circumstances and experience of the world. From head to toe—and every part of the body in between—this is a god of stunning surprise and complexity, one we have never encountered before. This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/jewish-studies

Ephraim (Alexander) Kholmyansky, "The Voice of Silence: The Story of the Jewish Underground in the USSR" (Academic Studies Press, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 10, 2022 110:25


The Ephraim (Alexander) Kholmyansky's book The Voice of Silence: The Story of the Jewish Underground in the USSR (Academic Studies Press, 2021) is the personal story of an underground Hebrew teacher in the communist Soviet Union who was sentenced to prison after false claims by the KGB. He kept a hunger strike for 207 days to draw international solidarity. But his book is more than exotic memoir literature. It is a vivid, touching and thoughtful account of his Jewish spiritual growth, a painful discovery of the most subtle inner aspects of faith. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/jewish-studies

J. Richard Middleton, "Abraham's Silence: The Binding of Isaac, the Suffering of Job, and How to Talk Back to God" (Baker Academic, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 9, 2022 60:01


It is traditional to think we should praise Abraham for his willingness to sacrifice his son as proof of his love for God. But have we misread the point of the story? Is it possible that a careful reading of Genesis 22 could reveal God was not pleased with Abraham's silent obedience? Widely respected biblical theologian, creative thinker, and public speaker J. Richard Middleton suggests we have misread and misapplied the story of the binding of Isaac and shows that God desires something other than silent obedience in difficult times. Middleton focuses on the ethical and theological problem of Abraham's silence and explores the rich biblical tradition of vigorous prayer, including the lament psalms, as a resource for faith. Middleton also examines the book of Job in terms of God validating Job's lament as "right speech," showing how the vocal Job provides an alternative to the silent Abraham. Abraham's Silence: The Binding of Isaac, the Suffering of Job, and How to Talk Back to God (Baker Academic, 2021) provides a fresh interpretation of Genesis 22 and reinforces the church's resurgent interest in lament as an appropriate response to God. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/jewish-studies

Sarah Ifft Decker, "The Fruit of Her Hands: Jewish and Christian Women's Work in Medieval Catalan Cities" (Pennsylvania State, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 7, 2022 46:45


In the thriving urban economies of late thirteenth-century Catalonia, Jewish and Christian women labored to support their families and their communities. The Fruit of Her Hands: Jewish and Christian Women's Work in Medieval Catalan Cities (Penn State Press, 2022) examines how gender, socioeconomic status, and religious identity shaped how these women lived and worked. Sarah Ifft Decker draws on thousands of notarial contracts as well as legal codes, urban ordinances, and Hebrew responsa literature to explore the lived experiences of Jewish and Christian women in the cities of Barcelona, Girona, and Vic between 1250 and 1350. Relying on an expanded definition of women's work that includes the management of household resources as well as wage labor and artisanal production, this study highlights the crucial contributions women made both to their families and to urban economies. Christian women, Ifft Decker finds, were deeply embedded in urban economic life in ways that challenge traditional dichotomies between women in northern and Mediterranean Europe. And while Jewish women typically played a less active role than their Christian counterparts, Ifft Decker shows how, in moments of communal change and crisis, they could and did assume prominent roles in urban economies. Through its attention to the distinct experiences of Jewish and Christian women, The Fruit of Her Hands advances our understanding of Jewish acculturation in the Iberian Peninsula and the shared experiences of women of different faiths. It will be welcomed by specialists in gender studies and religious studies as well as students and scholars of medieval Iberia. Jana Byars is the Academic Director of Netherlands: International Perspectives on Sexuality and Gender. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/jewish-studies

Alan Verskin, "A Vision of Yemen: The Travels of a European Orientalist and His Native Guide--a Translation of Hayyim Habshush's Travelogue" (Stanford UP, 2019)

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 31, 2022 63:21


In 1869, Hayyim Habshush, a Yemeni Jew, accompanied the European orientalist Joseph Halévy on his archaeological tour of Yemen. Twenty years later, Habshush wrote A Vision of Yemen a memoir of their travels, that provides a vivid account of daily life, religion, and politics. More than a simple travelogue, it is a work of trickster-tales, thick anthropological descriptions, and reflections on Jewish-Muslim relations. At its heart lies the fractious and intimate relationship between the Yemeni coppersmith and the "enlightened" European scholar and the collision between the cultures each represents. The book thus offers a powerful indigenous response to European Orientalism. A Vision of Yemen: The Travels of a European Orientalist and His Native Guide--a Translation of Hayyim Habshush's Travelogue (Stanford UP, 2019) is the first English translation of Habshush's writings from the original Judeo-Arabic and Hebrew and includes an accessible historical introduction to the work. The translation maintains Habshush's gripping style and rich portrayal of the diverse communities and cultures of Yemen, offering a potent mixture of artful storytelling and cultural criticism, suffused with humor and empathy. Habshush writes about the daily lives of men and women, rich and poor, Jewish and Muslim, during a turbulent period of war and both Ottoman and European imperialist encroachment. With this translation, Alan Verskin recovers the lost voice of a man passionately committed to his land and people. Drora Arussy, EdD, MA, MJS, is the Senior Director of the ASF Institute of Jewish Experience. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/jewish-studies

Rachel Aumiller, "A Touch of Doubt: On Haptic Scepticism" (de Gruyter, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 27, 2022 84:59


What can we know about ourselves and the world through the sense of touch and what are the epistemic limits of touch? Scepticism claims that there is always something that slips through the epistemologist's grasp.  A Touch of Doubt: On Haptic Scepticism (de Gruyter, 2021) explores the significance of touch for the history of philosophical scepticism as well as for scepticism as an embodied form of subversive political, religious, and artistic practice. Drawing on the tradition of scepticism within nineteenth- and twentieth-century continental philosophy and psychoanalysis, this volume discusses how the sense of touch uncovers contradictions within our knowledge of ourselves and the world. It questions 1) what we can know through touch, 2) what we can know about touch itself, and 3) how our experience of touching the other and ourselves throws us into a state of doubt. This volume is intended for students and scholars who wish to reconsider the experience of touching in intersections of philosophy, religion, art, and social and political practice. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/jewish-studies

John Jeffries Martin, "A Beautiful Ending: The Apocalyptic Imagination and the Making of the Modern World" (Yale UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 27, 2022 58:04


Professor Martin's A Beautiful Ending: The Apocalyptic Imagination and the Making of the Modern World (Yale, 2022) is a survey of Early Modern European history from the Age of Discovery to the French Revolution with two important distinctions. First, Professor Martin views modernity through the enduring dream of the Apocalypse (which he calls the “stamp of modernity,” 250); second, he compares the Christian philosophy of the Apocalypse to the views of the two other great European religious traditions in this era—Judaism and Islam. The result is a magisterial survey of the age that presents familiar stories examined from a new angle. Christians, Muslims, and Jews alike understood the rapidly-changing, modern world they shared in terms of their common Abrahamic faith with its messianic elements, or “Apocalyptic Braid” (13). And, in addition, Christian Habsburgs and Muslim Ottomans entertained competing narratives of World Empire contested on continental battlefields and in the Mediterranean Sea as well as in literature. The Beautiful Ending ultimately was both the balm for the terrible uncertainties of the age but also a motivation for the modern Europeans to shape their own destiny—a motivation that Professor Martin argues has remained with us until today—“the idea that we are not simply made by history but also make history continues to stem from faith, and it matters little whether or not this faith is religious” (247). John Jeffries Martin is a historian of early modern Europe at Duke University. He specializes in social, cultural, and intellectual history of Italy in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. He is the author of Venice's Hidden Enemies: Italian Heretics in a Renaissance City (1993), which won the Herbert Baxter Adams Prize of the American Historical Association, Myths of Renaissance Individualism (2004), as well as this book, A Beautiful Ending. He is the author of over 50 articles and essays and several edited volumes, including The Renaissance World (2007). After recording this interview about history for the New Books in History Podcast, Krzysztof Odyniec and John Jeffries Martin recorded a second conversation about Apocalypse from the Early Modern period to the present day for the Almost Good Catholics podcast; the link is here. Krzysztof Odyniec is a historian of the Early Modern Europe and the Atlantic World, specializing in sixteenth-century diplomacy and travel. His forthcoming book is Diplomacy at the Edges of Empires: Johannes Dantiscus in Spain, 1519-1352 (published by Brepols). He also hosts and produces the Almost Good Catholics podcast. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/jewish-studies

Sustainable Agriculture in the Global South: A Religious Response to the Global Food Crisis

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 25, 2022 46:09


Micha Odenheimer is the founder and director of Tevel B'Zedek, an Israeli NGO that aims to create Israeli and Jewish leadership passionately engaged in Tikkun Olam – fixing the world – locally and globally. Tevel B'Zedek provides community development support for sustainable agriculture in remote rural areas. Odenheimer is an activist and former journalist who reported from worldwide locations including Somalia, Ethiopia, Myanmar, Bangladesh and India. Born in California and educated at Yale, Odenheimer is an ordained Orthodox rabbi for whom reducing global poverty is a religious imperative. Around the world, more than enough food is produced to feed the global population—but hundreds of millions of people still go hungry. After steadily declining for a decade, world hunger is on the rise today, reportedly affecting nearly 10% percent of people globally. The growing food crisis is driven largely by wars, the COVID-19 pandemic, and climate change. Renee Garfinkel, Ph.D. is a psychologist, writer, Middle East television commentator and host of The New Books Network's Van Leer Jerusalem Series on Ideas. Write her at reneeg@vanleer.org.il. She's on Twitter @embracingwisdom. She blogs here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/jewish-studies

Rachel Schreiber, "Elaine Black Yoneda: Jewish Immigration, Labor Activism, and Japanese American Exclusion and Incarceration" (Temple UP, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 25, 2022 84:47


During World War II, Elaine Black Yoneda, the daughter of Russian Jewish immigrants, spent eight months in a concentration camp--not in Europe, but in California. She did this voluntarily and in solidarity, insisting on accompanying her husband, Karl, and their son, Tommy, when they were incarcerated at the Manzanar Relocation Center. Surprisingly, while in the camp, Elaine and Karl publicly supported the United States' decision to exclude Japanese Americans from the coast. Elaine Black Yoneda: Jewish Immigration, Labor Activism, and Japanese American Exclusion and Incarceration (Temple UP, 2021) is the first critical biography of this pioneering feminist and activist. Rachel Schreiber deftly traces Yoneda's life as she became invested in radical politics and interracial and interethnic activism. In her work for the International Labor Defense of the Communist Party, Yoneda rose to the rank of vice president. After their incarceration, Elaine and Karl became active in the campaigns to designate Manzanar a federally recognized memorial site, for redress and reparations to Japanese Americans, and in opposition to nuclear weapons. Schreiber illuminates the ways Yoneda's work challenged dominant discourses and how she reconciled the contradictory political and social forces that shaped both her life and her family's. Highlighting the dangers of anti-immigrant and anti-Asian xenophobia, Elaine Black Yoneda recounts an extraordinary life. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/jewish-studies

Ela Gezen et al., "Minority Discourses in Germany since 1990" (Berghahn Books, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 21, 2022 62:40


While German unification promised a new historical beginning, it also stirred discussions about contemporary Germany's Nazi past and ideas of citizenship and belonging in a changing Europe. Minority Discourses in Germany Since 1990 explores the intersections and divergences between Black German, Turkish German, and German Jewish experiences, with reflections on the evolving academic paradigms with which these are studied. Informed by comparative approaches, the volume investigates social and aesthetic interventions into contemporary German public and political discourse on memory, racism, citizenship, immigration, and history. In this episode, the editors, Ela Gezen, Priscilla Layne, and Jonathan Skolnik, talk about how they came to cross the bridge of often isolated disciplinary fields and in what ways some of the chapters converse with each other. They discuss four chapters in more detail and open up a path to future dialogue between scholars studying minoritized groups in Germany. Nicole Coleman is Associate Professor of German at Wayne State University. She tweets @drnicoleman. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/jewish-studies

David Weinfeld, "An American Friendship: Horace Kallen, Alain Locke, and the Development of Cultural Pluralism" (Cornell UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 18, 2022 63:24


In An American Friendship: Horace Kallen, Alain Locke, and the Development of Cultural Pluralism (Cornell UP, 2022), David Weinfeld presents the biography of an idea, cultural pluralism, the intellectual precursor to modern multiculturalism. He roots its origins in the friendship between two philosophers, Jewish immigrant Horace Kallen and African American Alain Locke, who advanced cultural pluralism in opposition to both racist nativism and the assimilationist "melting pot." It is a simple idea—different ethnic groups can and should coexist in the United States, perpetuating their cultures for the betterment of the country as whole—and it grew out of the lived experience of this friendship between two remarkable individuals. Kallen, a founding faculty member of the New School for Social Research, became a leading American Zionist. Locke, the first Black Rhodes Scholar, taught at Howard University and is best known as the intellectual godfather of the Harlem Renaissance and the editor of The New Negro in 1925. Their friendship began at Harvard and Oxford during the years 1906 through 1908 and was rekindled during the Great Depression, growing stronger until Locke's death in 1954. To Locke and Kallen, friendship itself was a metaphor for cultural pluralism, exemplified by people who found common ground while appreciating each other's differences. Weinfeld demonstrates how this understanding of cultural pluralism offers a new vision for diverse societies across the globe. An American Friendship provides critical background for understanding the conflicts over identity politics that polarize US society today. Hettie V. Williams Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of African American history in the Department of History and Anthropology at Monmouth University where she teaches courses in African American history and U.S. history. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/jewish-studies

P. De Vries, "The Kābôd of Yhwh in the Old Testament: With Particular Reference to the Book of Ezekiel" (Brill, 2015)

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 17, 2022 30:01


What is the function and meaning of the Kābôd of the LORD in the Old Testament, and how is it integral to the Book of Ezekiel especially? Pieter de Vries takes a canonical and synchronic approach to these questions, demonstrating that in Ezekiel "kābôd" is used almost exclusively as a hypostasis of YHWH.  Tune in as we speak with Pieter de Vries about his monograph, The Kābôd of YHWH in the Old Testament: With Particular Reference to the Book of Ezekiel (Brill, 2015). Pieter de Vries is assistant professor of biblical theology and hermeneutics at Free University of Amsterdam. He is also a scholar of Christian doctrine, with a thesis on John Owen. Michael Morales is Professor of Biblical Studies at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and the author of The Tabernacle Pre-Figured: Cosmic Mountain Ideology in Genesis and Exodus(Peeters, 2012), Who Shall Ascend the Mountain of the Lord?: A Biblical Theology of Leviticus (IVP Academic, 2015), and Exodus Old and New: A Biblical Theology of Redemption (IVP Academic, 2020). He can be reached at mmorales@gpts.edu Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/jewish-studies

Eran Kaplan, "Projecting the Nation: History and Ideology on the Israeli Screen" (Rutgers UP, 2020)

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 11, 2022 64:10


Eran Kaplan's book Projecting the Nation: History and Ideology on the Israeli Screen (Rutgers UP, 2020) is a wide-ranging history of over seven decades of Israeli cinema. The only book in English to offer this type of historical scope was Ella Shohat's Israeli Cinema: East West and the Politics of Representation from 1989. Since 1989, however, Israeli cinema and Israeli society have undergone some crucial transformations and, moreover, Shohat's book offered a single framework through which to judge Israeli cinema: a critique of orientalism. Projecting the Nation contends that Israeli cinema offers much richer historical and ideological perspectives that expose the complexity of the Israeli project. By analyzing Israeli films which address such issues as the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Ashkenazi-Mizrahi divide, the kibbutz and urban life, the rise of religion in Israeli public life and more, the book explores the way cinema has represented and also shaped our understanding of the history of modern Israel as it evolved from a collectivist society to a society where individualism and adherence to local identities is the dominant ideology. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/jewish-studies

Warren Klein et al., "Be Fruitful! The Etrog in Jewish Art, Culture, and History" (Mineged, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 7, 2022 54:38


The etrog is a curious fruit. The Bible commands its readers: “And you shall take for yourselves on the first day beautiful tree-fruit (peri etz hadar), palm fronds, boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days.” Native to the Far East and adapted to the culture of the eastern Mediterranean, the rituals of the etrog are among the very few that are dependent upon a particular environment for growth. In their wanderings across the globe, the etrog has remained part of Jews' practices and of the annual rhythms of the Jewish harvest festival, Sukkot, the Feast of Booths.  This book is a lovely collection, both intellectually and visually, covering everything from the sale of etrog throughout its history to visual representations, medical remedies and much more. This interview is with Joshua Teplitsky, Jordan Katz, and Jonathan Surnow. Matthew Miller is a graduate of Yeshivat Yesodei HaTorah. He studied Jewish Studies and Linguistics at McGill for his BA and completed an MA in Hebrew Linguistics at Queen Mary University of London. He works with Jewish organizations in media and content distribution, such as TheHabura.com and RabbiEfremGoldberg.org. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/jewish-studies

Angela Costley, "Creation and Christ: An Exploration of the Topic of Creation in the Epistle to the Hebrews" (Mohr Siebeck, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 7, 2022 36:26


The Epistle to the Hebrews is widely associated with its theology of Christ the High Priest. The opening four chapters of Hebrews, however, arguably contain greater emphasis on the topic of creation. Angela Costley uses discourse analysis to explore the importance of creation in the Epistle to the Hebrews, uncovering a close link between creation and salvation, which offers a depiction of Christ as the creator who descends to take on human flesh, God who becomes human, in order to lead humanity heavenward. Tune in as we speak with Angela Costley about her recent book, Creation and Christ: An Exploration of the Topic of Creation in the Epistle to the Hebrews (Mohr Siebeck, 2021). Angela Costley earned her MSt in Jewish Studies from the University of Oxford, and a PhD from St. Patrick's College, the Pontifical University, Maynooth. Michael Morales is Professor of Biblical Studies at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and the author of The Tabernacle Pre-Figured: Cosmic Mountain Ideology in Genesis and Exodus(Peeters, 2012), Who Shall Ascend the Mountain of the Lord?: A Biblical Theology of Leviticus (IVP Academic, 2015), and Exodus Old and New: A Biblical Theology of Redemption (IVP Academic, 2020). He can be reached at mmorales@gpts.edu Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/jewish-studies

Ion Popa, "The Romanian Orthodox Church and the Holocaust" (Indiana UP, 2017)

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 3, 2022 122:16


In 1930, about 750,000 Jews called Romania home. At the end of World War II, approximately half of them survived. Only recently, after the fall of Communism, are details of the history of the Holocaust in Romania coming to light.  In The Romanian Orthodox Church and the Holocaust (Indiana UP, 2017), Ion Popa explores this history by scrutinizing the role of the Romanian Orthodox Church from 1938 to the present day. Popa unveils and questions whitewashing myths that covered up the role of the church in supporting official antisemitic policies of the Romanian government. He analyzes the church's relationship with the Jewish community in Romania, with Judaism, and with the state of Israel, as well as the extent to which the church recognizes its part in the persecution and destruction of Romanian Jews. Popa's highly original analysis illuminates how the church responded to accusations regarding its involvement in the Holocaust, the part it played in buttressing the wall of Holocaust denial, and how Holocaust memory has been shaped in Romania today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/jewish-studies

Aviva Ben-Ur, "Jewish Autonomy in a Slave Society: Suriname in the Atlantic World, 1651-1825" (U Pennsylvania Press, 2020)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 30, 2022 54:13


Jewish Autonomy in a Slave Society: Suriname in the Atlantic World, 1651-1825 (U Pennsylvania Press, 2020) explores the political and social history of the Jews of Suriname, a Dutch colony on the South American mainland just north of Brazil. Suriname was home to the most privileged Jewish community in the Americas where Jews, most of Iberian origin, enjoyed religious liberty, were judged by their own tribunal, could enter any trade, owned plantations and slaves, and even had a say in colonial governance. Aviva Ben-Ur sets the story of Suriname's Jews in the larger context of Atlantic slavery and colonialism and argues that, like other frontier settlements, they achieved and maintained their autonomy through continual negotiation with the colonial government. Drawing on sources in Dutch, English, French, Hebrew, Portuguese, and Spanish, Ben-Ur shows how, from their first permanent settlement in the 1660s to the abolition of their communal autonomy in 1825, Suriname Jews enjoyed virtually the same standing as the ruling white Protestants, with whom they interacted regularly. She also examines the nature of Jewish interactions with enslaved and free people of African descent in the colony. Jews admitted both groups into their community, and Ben-Ur illuminates the ways in which these converts and their descendants experienced Jewishness and autonomy. Lastly, she compares the Jewish settlement with other frontier communities in Suriname, most notably those of Indians and Maroons, to measure the success of their negotiations with the government for communal autonomy. The Jewish experience in Suriname was marked by unparalleled autonomy that nevertheless developed in one of the largest slave colonies in the New World. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/jewish-studies

Reeva Spector Simon, "The Jews of the Middle East and North Africa: The Impact of World War II" (Routledge, 2019)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 28, 2022 22:30


Incorporating published and archival material, Reeva Spector Simon's book The Jews of the Middle East and North Africa: The Impact of World War II (Routledge, 2019) fills an important gap in the history of the Jewish experience during World War II, describing how the war affected Jews living along the southern rim of the Mediterranean and the Levant, from Morocco to Iran. Surviving the Nazi slaughter did not mean that Jews living in the Middle East and North Africa were unaffected by the war: there was constant anti-Semitic propaganda and general economic deprivation; communities were bombed; and Jews suffered because of the anti-Semitic Vichy regulations that left them unemployed, homeless, and subject to forced labor and deportation to labor camps. Nevertheless, they fought for the Allies and assisted the Americans and the British in the invasion of North Africa. These men and women were community leaders and average people who, despite their dire economic circumstances, worked with the refugees attempting to escape the Nazis via North Africa, Turkey, or Iran and connected with international aid agencies during and after the war. By 1945, no Jewish community had been left untouched, and many were financially decimated, a situation that would have serious repercussions on the future of Jews in the region. Covering the entire Middle East and North Africa region, this book on World War II is a key resource for students, scholars, and general readers interested in Jewish history, World War II, and Middle East history. Drora Arussy, EdD, MA, MJS, is the Senior Director of the ASF Institute of Jewish Experience. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/jewish-studies

Andreas Hackl, "The Invisible Palestinians: The Hidden Struggle for Inclusion in Jewish Tel Aviv" (Indiana UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 27, 2022 63:00


The city of Tel Aviv presents itself as a bastion of liberal values, tolerance, and ultimately of freedom. But like many self-definitions, there is something of a gap between this description and the reality of everyday life. In this gap resides a hidden reality—Palestinians who work, study, and live as an unseen minority, to some degree denied full benefits of equal urban citizenship. Much of the discourse concerning this descriptive gap focuses on attempts to preserve or contextualise the claim to social liberalism from the Israeli Jewish perspective. A new book by the anthropologist Andreas Hackl, takes a different point of view. The Invisible Palestinians: The Hidden Struggle for Inclusion in Jewish Tel Aviv (Indiana UP, 2022) focuses on what he terms the “immersive invisibility” of Israel's minority Palestinian population: the challenges they face, the strategies they deploy, and ultimately the consequences of acts of personal and collective self-censorship that define and circumscribe their everyday life and presence in Tel Aviv. The Invisible Palestinians documents the experiences of a diverse Palestinian population in the Jewish Israeli city: residents and commuters, professionals and day laborers, activists, artists, students. Differences of education, economic wherewithal, and social class aside, all share one central experience: circumscribed citizenship of the Jewish metropolis. Andreas Hackl is Lecturer in Anthropology of Development at the University of Edinburgh. His research has been published in leading academic journals such as World Development, American Ethnologist, and Social Anthropology. He has worked as a consultant with the International Labour Organization and as a newspaper correspondent based in Jerusalem. Akin Ajayi (@AkinAjayi) is a writer and editor, based in Tel Aviv. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/jewish-studies

Dario Miccoli, "A Sephardi Sea: Jewish Memories Across the Modern Mediterranean" (Indiana UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 22, 2022 69:51


A Sephardi Sea: Jewish Memories Across the Modern Mediterranean (Indiana UP, 2022) tells the story of Jews from the southern shore of the Mediterranean who, between the late 1940s and the mid-1960s, migrated from their country of birth for Europe, Israel, and beyond. It is a story that explores their contrasting memories of and feelings for a Sephardi Jewish world in North Africa and Egypt that is lost forever but whose echoes many still hear. Surely, some of these Jewish migrants were already familiar with their new countries of residence because of colonial ties or of Zionism, and often spoke the language. Why, then, was the act of leaving so painful and why, more than fifty years afterward, is its memory still so tangible? Dario Miccoli examines how the memories of a bygone Sephardi Mediterranean world became preserved in three national contexts—Israel, France, and Italy—where the Jews of the Middle East and North Africa and their descendants migrated and nowadays live. A Sephardi Sea explores how practices of memory- and heritage-making—from the writing of novels and memoirs to the opening of museums and memorials, the activities of heritage associations and state-led celebrations—has filled an identity vacuum in the three countries and helps the Jews from North Africa and Egypt to define their Jewishness in Europe and Israel today but also reinforce their connection to a vanished world now remembered with nostalgia, affection, and sadness. Roberto Mazza is currently an independent scholar. He is the host of the Jerusalem Unplugged Podcast and to discuss and propose a book for interview can be reached at robbymazza@gmail.com. Twitter and IG: @robbyref Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/jewish-studies

David Bashevkin, "Sin•a•gogue: Sin and Failure in Jewish Thought (Academic Studies Press, 2019)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 19, 2022 61:07


By its very nature, the ideals of religion entail sin and failure. Judaism has its own language and framework for sin that expresses themselves both legally and philosophically. Both legal questions―circumstances where sin is permissible or mandated, the role of intention and action―as well as philosophical questions―why sin occurs and how does Judaism react to religious crisis―are considered within this volume. This book will present the concepts of sin and failure in Jewish thought, weaving together biblical and rabbinic studies to reveal a holistic portrait of the notion of sin and failure within Jewish thought. The suffix "agogue" means to lead or grow. Here as well, Sin•a•gogue: Sin and Failure in Jewish Thought (Academic Studies Press, 2019) will provide its readers frameworks and strategies to develop even in the face of failure. Matthew Miller is a graduate of Yeshivat Yesodei HaTorah. He studied Jewish Studies and Linguistics at McGill for his BA and completed an MA in Hebrew Linguistics at Queen Mary University of London. He works with Jewish organizations in media and content distribution, such as TheHabura.com and RabbiEfremGoldberg.org. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/jewish-studies

Corinne E. Blackmer, "Queering Anti-Zionism: Academic Freedom, LGBTQ Intellectuals, and Israel/Palestine Campus Activism" (Wayne State UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 19, 2022 32:59


Why do some scholars sacrifice truth and logic to political ideology and peer acceptance? With courage and intellectual integrity, queer scholar-activist Corinne Blackmer stages a pointed critique of scholars whose anti-Israel bias pervades their activism as well as their academic work. In contrast to the posturing that characterizes her colleagues' work, this work demonstrates true scholarship and makes an important contribution to the field of Israel studies. In Queering Anti-Zionism: Academic Freedom, LGBTQ Intellectuals, and Israel/Palestine Campus Activism (Wayne State UP, 2022), Blackmer demonstrates how the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement that seeks to delegitimize and isolate Israel has become a central part of social justice advocacy on campus, particularly within gender and sexuality studies programs. The chapters focus on the intellectual work of Sarah Schulman, Jasbir Puar, Angela Davis, Dean Spade, and Judith Butler, demonstrating how they misapply critical theory in their discussions of the State of Israel. Blackmer shows how these LGBTQ intellectuals mobilize queer theory and intersectionality to support the BDS movement at the expense of academic freedom, open discourse, and intellectual integrity. Send comments and suggestions to: reneeg@vanleer.org.il Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/jewish-studies

Sara Ronis, "Demons in the Details: Demonic Discourse and Rabbinic Culture in Late Antique Babylonia" (U California Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 19, 2022 64:30


The Babylonian Talmud is full of stories of demonic encounters, and it also includes many laws that attempt to regulate such encounters. In Demons in the Details: Demonic Discourse and Rabbinic Culture in Late Antique Babylonia (University of California Press, 2022), Sara Ronis takes the reader on a journey across the rabbinic canon, exploring how late antique rabbis imagined, feared, and controlled demons. Ronis contextualizes the Talmud's thought within the rich cultural matrix of Sasanian Babylonia, placing rabbinic thinking in conversation with Sumerian, Akkadian, Ugaritic, Syriac Christian, Zoroastrian, and Second Temple Jewish texts about demons to delve into the interactive communal context in which the rabbis created boundaries between the human and the supernatural, and between themselves and other religious communities. Demons in the Details explores the wide range of ways that the rabbis participated in broader discussions about beliefs and practices with their neighbors, out of which they created a profoundly Jewish demonology. Sara Ronis is Associate Professor of Theology at St. Mary's University in San Antonio, Texas. Schneur Zalman Newfield is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Borough of Manhattan Community College, City University of New York, and the author of Degrees of Separation: Identity Formation While Leaving Ultra-Orthodox Judaism (Temple University Press, 2020). Visit him online at ZalmanNewfield.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/jewish-studies

Sasha Senderovich, "How the Soviet Jew Was Made" (Harvard UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 14, 2022 88:57


The Russian Revolution of 1917 transformed the Jewish community of the former tsarist empire. The Pale of Settlement on the empire's western borderlands, where Jews had been required to live, was abolished several months before the Bolsheviks came to power. Many Jews quickly exited the shtetlekh, seeking prospects elsewhere. Some left for bigger cities, others for Europe, America, or Palestine. Thousands tried their luck in the newly established Jewish Autonomous Region in the Far East, where urban merchants would become tillers of the soil. For these Jews, Soviet modernity meant freedom, the possibility of the new, and the pressure to discard old ways of life. This ambivalence was embodied in the Soviet Jew – not just a descriptive demographic term but a novel cultural figure. In his monograph How the Soviet Jew Was Made (Harvard University Press, 2022), Sasha Senderovich finds this new cultural figure through close readings of post-1917 Russia/Yiddish literature, films, and reportage. Suddenly mobile after more than a century of restrictions under the tsars, Jewish authors created characters who traversed space and history, carrying with them the dislodged practices and archetypes of a lost world. Senderovich urges us to see the Soviet Jew anew, as not only a minority but also a particular kind of liminal being. How the Soviet Jew Was Made emerges as a profound meditation on culture and identity in a shifting landscape. Sasha Senderovich is an assistant professor in Slavic Languages and Literatures and the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington. Miriam Chorley-Schulz is the Ray D. Wolfe Postdoctoral Fellow at the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies and the Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies at the University of Toronto. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/jewish-studies

Tamar Biala, "Dirshuni: Contemporary Women's Midrash" (Brandeis UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 13, 2022 61:12


Dirshuni: Contemporary Women's Midrash (Brandeis UP, 2022), is the first-ever English edition of a historic collection of midrashim composed by Israeli women, which has been long-anticipated by multiple American audiences, including synagogues, rabbinical seminaries, adult learning programs, Jewish educators, and scholars of gender and religion. Using the classical forms developed by the ancient rabbis, the contributors express their religious and moral thought and experience through innovative interpretations of scripture.  The women writers, from all denominations and beyond, of all political stripes and ethnic backgrounds, contribute their Torah to fill the missing half of the sacred Jewish bookshelf. This book reflects dramatic changes in the agency of women in the world of religious writings. The volume features a comprehensive introduction to Midrash for the uninitiated reader by the distinguished scholar Tamar Kadari and extensive annotation and commentary by Tamar Biala. Matthew Miller is a graduate of Yeshivat Yesodei HaTorah. He studied Jewish Studies and Linguistics at McGill for his BA and completed an MA in Hebrew Linguistics at Queen Mary University of London. He works with Jewish organizations in media and content distribution, such as TheHabura.com and RabbiEfremGoldberg.org. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/jewish-studies

Book Talk 55: Courtney B. Hodrick and Amir Eshel on Hannah Arendt's "Rachel Varnhagen: The Life of a Jewish Woman"

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 12, 2022 91:06


Hannah Arendt said that she had one life-long “best friend.” That was Rachel Varnhagen, a Jewish woman who lived in Enlightenment-era Berlin around 1800 and died 73 years before Arendt was born, in 1906. Arendt wrote her first book, a startlingly original literary biography of Varnhagen who founded one of the most celebrated yet short-lived salons in Enlightenment era Prussia. I spoke with Courtney Blair Hodrick, a doctoral candidate completing a book-long study of Arendt, and Professor Amir Eshel, both of Stanford University to discover what is at stake in Arendt's unusual biography, why the book meant at once so much to Arendt and why she nonetheless almost neglected to publish it, and what this biography of a Jewish women in 19th century Berlin can teach us today about questions of identity, belonging, assimilation, women, Jews, anti-Semitism, freedom, politics, the private and the public, and many of the other topics that concerned Arendt throughout her lifetime. Uli Baer teaches literature and photography as University Professor at New York University. A recipient of Guggenheim, Getty and Humboldt awards, in addition to hosting "Think About It” he hosts (with Caroline Weber) the podcast "The Proust Questionnaire” and is Editorial Director at Warbler Press. Email ucb1@nyu.edu; Twitter @UliBaer. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/jewish-studies

Kimberley Czajkowski and Benedikt Eckhardt, "Herod in History: Nicolaus of Damascus and the Augustan Context" (Oxford UP, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 12, 2022 90:24


Most of our information about Herod the Great derives from the accounts found in Josephus' Jewish War and Jewish Antiquities. Together they constitute a unique resource on one of the most famous personalities of ancient history. But from where did Josephus get his information? It is commonly agreed that his primary source was Nicolaus of Damascus, Herod's court historian, though the extent to which Josephus adapted his material remains disputed.  Herod in History: Nicolaus of Damascus and the Augustan Context (Oxford UP, 2021) takes a modern, source-critical approach to Josephus' extensive account of Herod's reign to suggest that Josephus did indeed rely heavily on Nicolaus's work, but that previous scholarship was mistaken in seeing Nicolaus as a mere propagandist. Nicolaus may have begun his Universal History while Herod was alive, but he finished it after his death and so had no reason to write propaganda. This makes his work all the more interesting, for what we have instead is something rather different: a Syrian intellectual claiming a place in Augustan Rome, by telling a story about what the Augustan World looks like on the Eastern periphery. Kimberley Czajkowski and Benedikt Eckhardt delineate Nicolaus' approach to various critical topics in Herod's reign in order to reveal his perception of client kingship, the impact of empire, and the difficulties involved in ruling Judaea. This study uncovers an Eastern intellectual's view on how to succeed and how to fail in the new Augustan world order. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/jewish-studies

Seth M. Ehorn, "Exodus in the New Testament" (T&T Clark, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 9, 2022 35:48


The book of Exodus played a significant role in forming the identity of the Jewish people, with exodus traditions appearing throughout the Hebrew Scriptures. As the paradigmatic act of redemption, the exodus event is featured prominently not only in Israel's prophetic corpus, but also in literature throughout the Second Temple period. The storyline of Exodus even provides the narrative framework for some New Testament texts, written by Jewish authors within a context of hoping for a new exodus. Join us as we speak with Seth Ehorn about Exodus in the New Testament (T&T Clark, 2022) Seth M. Ehorn teaches Greek language and linguistics in the department of Modern and Classical Languages at Wheaton College, USA. Michael Morales is Professor of Biblical Studies at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and the author of The Tabernacle Pre-Figured: Cosmic Mountain Ideology in Genesis and Exodus(Peeters, 2012), Who Shall Ascend the Mountain of the Lord?: A Biblical Theology of Leviticus (IVP Academic, 2015), and Exodus Old and New: A Biblical Theology of Redemption (IVP Academic, 2020). He can be reached at mmorales@gpts.edu Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/jewish-studies

Tilde Rosmer, "The Islamic Movement in Israel" (U Texas Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 7, 2022 80:13


Since its establishment in the late 1970s, Israel's Islamic Movement has grown from a small religious revivalist organization focused on strengthening the faith of Muslim Palestinian citizens of Israel to a countrywide sociopolitical movement with representation in the Israeli legislature. But how did it get here? How does it differ from other Islamic movements in the region? Particularly, what are the differences and connections – if any – with Hamas? And why does its membership continue to grow? Tilde Rosmer examines these issues in The Islamic Movement in Israel (U Texas Press, 2022) as she tells the story of the movement, its identity, and its activities. Using interviews with movement leaders and activists, their documents, and media reports from Israel and beyond, she traces the movement's history from its early days to its 1996 split over the issue of its relationship to the state. She then tell us how the two factions have functioned since, revealing that while leaders of the two branches have pursued different approaches to the state, until the outlawing of the Northern Branch in 2015, both remained connected and dedicated to providing needed social, education, and health services in Israel's Palestinian towns and villages. The first book in English on this group, The Islamic Movement in Israel is a timely study about how an Islamist movement operates within the unique circumstances of the Jewish state that may also help the listeners to make sense of the upcoming Israeli elections. Roberto Mazza is visiting professor at Northwestern University. He is the host of the Jerusalem Unplugged Podcast and to discuss and propose a book for interview can be reached at robbymazza@gmail.com. Twitter and IG: @robbyref Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/jewish-studies

Michael Engel, "Elijah Del Medigo and Paduan Aristotelianism: Investigating the Human Intellect" (Bloomsbury, 2016)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 5, 2022 79:53


Elijah Del Medigo (1458-1493) was a Jewish Aristotelian philosopher living in Padua, whose work influenced many of the leading philosophers of the early Renaissance. His Two Investigations on the Nature of the Human Soul uses Aristotle's De anima to theorize on two of the most discussed and most controversial philosophical debates of the Renaissance: the nature of human intellect and the obtaining of immortality through intellectual perfection. In this book, Michael Engel places Del Medigo's philosophical work and his ideas about the human intellect within the context of the wider Aristotelian tradition. Providing a detailed account of the unique blend of Hebrew, Islamic, Latin and Greek traditions that influenced the Two Investigations, Elijah Del Medigo and Paduan Aristotelianism: Investigating the Human Intellect (Bloomsbury, 2016) provides an important contribution to our understanding of Renaissance Aristotelianisms and scholasticisms. In particular, through his defense of the Muslim philosopher Averroes' hotly debated interpretation of the De anima and his rejection of the moderate Latin Aristotelianism championed by the Christian Thomas Aquinas, Engel traces how Del Medigo's work on the human intellect contributed to the development of a major Aristotelian controversy. Investigating the ways in which multicultural Aristotelian sources contributed to his own theory of a united human intellect, Elijah Del Medigo and Paduan Aristotelianism demonstrates the significant impact made by this Jewish philosopher on the history of the Aristotelian tradition. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/jewish-studies

Manuel Duarte de Oliveira, "Humanity Divided: Martin Buber and the Challenges of Being Chosen" (de Gruyter, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 2, 2022 44:49


Throughout a hugely productive intellectual career spanning more than half a century, the Austrian-born philosopher Martin Buber returned repeatedly to the question of Israel's divine election. Buber, who left Nazi Germany to settle in Mandatory Palestine in 1938, found in chosenness a historically enacted and contested concept that could either the world under divine kingship, or divide and alienate its different cultures and continents. In Humanity Divided: Martin Buber and the Challenges of Being Chosen, published by De Gruyter in 2021, Manuel Oliveira of Portuguese Catholic University calls upon more than 30 years of research to explore in depth Buber's teleological concept of chosenness, and the strands of philosophy, theology, and history that shaped it. Professor Oliveira does more than this, however: he also brings unprecedented depth and scholarly acuity to bear on how chosenness has been infused with a poisonous nationalism. The author analyzes Buber's increasing concern over the influence of Zionism on the co  ncept of chosenness, and his tireless work to ameliorate its nationalist and self-glorifying variants, by bringing to bear a vast range of sources and concepts that illuminate chosenness as, in the end, a sacred task and not an elite status. David Gottlieb is the Director of Jewish Studies at the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership in Chicago. He is the author of Second Slayings: The Binding of Isaac and the Formation of Jewish Memory (Gorgias Press, 2019). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/jewish-studies

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