Menachem Mendel

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Archive for May, 2012

Interview with Shlomo Sand

Haaretz has a long article and interview with Shlomo Sand about his new book. The concept of homeland is one of the most amazing and also, perhaps, one of the most ruinous of the modern era, says Prof. Shlomo Sand. In his new book, “When and How Was the Land of Israel Invented?” ‏(Kineret, Zmora-Bitan […]

The Kamatz, Segol, and the Israeli Supreme Court

Today two new judges were sworn into the Israeli Supreme Court. One of them, Justice Dafna Erez-Barak, became the Deputy to the Chief Justice. Until today, despite her being a woman, her position would have been המשנֶה לנשיא בית המשפט העליון with the nun in the first word vocalized with a segol, ha-Mishneh. Justice Erez-Barak […]

The Response to Gandhi on the Holocaust

Gandhi’s opinions about the Holocaust and Zionism are well known (see this op-ed from a grandson of his-more of the same), as is the response sent to him by Martin Buber. Mordechai Kaplan happened to be in Jerusalem when the response to Gandhi was written, and Mel Scult, the editor of Kaplan’s diary, posted Kaplan’s […]

Guess Who’s on the Best Seller List in Israel

I was looking at the best seller list from this weekend’s Yediot Aharonot and I saw that Shlomo Sand’s latest book on the invention of the Land of Israel comes in at number five. See here for a review of Sand’s previous book.

Lea Goldberg-Will There Ever Come Days

The Hebrew poet and author Lea Goldberg was born 101 years ago today, May 29, 1911. Goldberg was born in Russia and eventually received a doctorate from the University of Bonn. Goldberg was born on May 29, 1911 in the city of Königsberg, Prussia. She spent her childhood years in Kovno, Lithuania. During World War […]

A Shabbes Goy in Salonica

I just finished reading Mark Mazower‘s book Salonica, City of Ghosts: Christians, Muslims and Jews 1430-1950 and recommend it for anyone who is interested in reading about the history of the Jewish community of Salonica or the rise and fall of multi-ethnic communities. The following is from a section describing anti-Jewish attacks that occurred in […]

Scholarship on the 14 bus in Jerusalem

From Rebecca Lesses’s blog: I was taking the #14 bus back home from the National Library today, uncomfortably crammed into a small seat, and listening to the conversation between two people facing me, one who teaches at the Hebrew University and the other at the Schechter Institute (run by the Masorti movement, the Israeli version […]

New Book: The Land of Canaan and the Destiny of Israel

New from David Frankel, The Land of Canaan and the Destiny of Israel: Theologies of Territory in the Hebrew Bible. What place does the land of Canaan play in the biblical conception of “Israel”? To what extent does the religion promoted by the Hebrew Bible require that Israel live its communal life in the national […]

Shavuot 5772

Saturday night the theme of the Tikkun Leil Shavuot at our synagogue is Israel-Diaspora Relations. I am teaching a session on “Israel-Diaspora Relations in the Responsa Literature.” Below is the source sheet that I will be distributing. The first responsum addresses prioritizing charity. The second, the liturgical connection between Israel and the Diaspora. The third, […]

Studying Agnon and Ibn Gabirol in Gaza

The New York Times has an article on the study of Hebrew in Gaza. “Through the Hebrew language we can understand the structure of the Israeli society, the way they think,” explained Mahmoud Matar, director general of the Hamas-run Ministry of Education here. “The Arabic language is a basic thing for the Israelis, and they […]

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