New Article: Kaplan, Integrating Academic Talmudic Scholarship into Israeli Religious Zionist Yeshivas

Kaplan, Lawrence. “Back to Zechariah Frankel and Louis Jacobs? On Integrating Academic Talmudic Scholarship into Israeli Religious Zionist Yeshivas and the Spectre of the Historical Development of the Halakhah.” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 14.1 (2015): 89-108.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14725886.2015.1008730

 

Abstract

This paper will discuss three new methods of teaching Talmud that Israeli Religious Zionist Yeshivas have adopted over the past two decades against the backdrop of the hitherto and perhaps still dominant approach to teaching Talmud in these Yeshivas, namely, the classical conceptual, ahistorical, highly abstract “Brisker” approach: (1) a modified Brisker approach; (2) the “Torat Eretz Yisrael,” “the Torah of the Land of Israel” approach; and (3) what I would call the “shiluv” approach, a term that implies forming a new and harmonious whole. What these three approaches have in common is the desire to retain the conceptual analysis of the Brisker approach, but to abandon its strict formalism and combine it with the search for religious meaning and significance. However, while the first two approaches in their search for the religious significance of the text generally eschew the use of the critical methodologies employed by academic Talmudic scholarship, the third approach embraces the use of those methodologies and seeks to integrate them into the world of traditional Talmud study. I will focus on the theological challenges raised by this attempted integration and on how the exponents of the “shiluv” approach have sought to deal with them.

New Article: Reimer, A Translation and Analysis of the Zionist Congress’s Opening Speech

Reimer, Michael J. “‘The Good Dr. Lippe” and Herzl in Basel, 1897: A Translation and Analysis of the Zionist Congress’s Opening Speech.” Journal of Israeli History (early view, online first).

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13531042.2015.1005801

 

Abstract

Dr. Karpel Lippe of Jassy, who gave the opening speech at the first Zionist Congress, has been largely ignored in histories of Zionism. This article introduces an English translation of his speech. Lippe helped to legitimate “Congress-Zionism” by connecting it to earlier forms of Jewish activism. His address exposes tensions arising from the Basel meeting, including Ottoman suspicion, relations with the Orthodox, and conflicts over organizational priorities. Insisting upon his and his country’s priority in the movement’s history, Lippe’s oration suggests an alternative perspective on early Zionism and raises broader questions for the historiography of nationalism.

Reviews: Spiegel, Embodying Hebrew Culture

Spiegel, Nina S. Embodying Hebrew Culture. Aesthetics, Athletics, and Dance in the Jewish Community of Mandate Palestine. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2013.

 

getimage_1

 

Reviews:

  • Heidecker, Liora Bing. “Review.” Nashim 26 (2014): 163-165.
  • Elron, Sari. “Review.” Middle East Journal 68.1 (2014): 165-166.
  • Zer-Zion, Shelly. “Review.” Journal of Israeli History 33.2 (2014): 241-244.
  • Manor, Dalia. “Review.” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 15.1 (2016): 159-61.

New Article: Weinblum, Religion in the Israeli Parliament

Weinblum, Sharon. “Religion in the Israeli Parliament: A Typology.” Religion, State and Society 42.2-3 (2014): 283-98.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09637494.2014.945727

 

Abstract

Because religion has been a constant source of social divisions and political conflicts, the role of Judaism in Israel is very often studied through the prism of a rigid religious–secular cleavage.Without denying the contentious character of religion in the political and social arenas, I suggest in this study that a closer look at the usages of religion in Israeli politics offers a more nuanced picture of the role of Judaism in Israel. In order to uphold this thesis, I identify the main usages of Judaism in the Israeli Parliament (the Knesset) and scrutinise the extent to which these different mobilisations overlap or crosscut the secular–religious cleavage. This analysis leads to a typology of three usages of religion: religion as a source of authority, religion as a marker of identity and nation, and religion as a source of values. On this basis, I demonstrate that the role of religion in Israel and especially in the Israeli Parliament cannot be reduced to the divide between religious and secular groups. If in its first usage, the religious–secular cleavage indeed predominates, the use of religion as an identity marker does not necessarily lead to a conflict with secular members, while in its final form, religion is mobilised as a resource by members of both groups.

Opinions: Lehman, Establishing an Integrated Community and School in Israel

What is the mission and vision for a Jewish day school that can unite a population with a wide variety of Jewish beliefs, affiliations and practices? Ayelet Lehman provides perspective by describing how this challenge has played out at an intentionally pluralistic school in Israel.

URL: http://www.ravsak.org/news/882/279/Establishing-an-Integrated-Community-and-School-in-Israel-A-Continuing-Challenge/

 

Excerpt

It is important to understand that unlike other schools in Israel, which are established through the education system and the local authority, the Keshet School in Mazkeret Batya was established by a group of parents in order to realize their social-educational goals. Even so, some of the teachers who joined the school were not familiar with the vision of Keshet, its teaching philosophy and educational practices. For this reason, two years after the establishment of the school, various stakeholders undertook a structured process of forming a school vision. The process was led by the school administration, with staff and parents participating.

The implementation of the Keshet School vision was led by staff members together with the parents. The challenge now was to translate the vision into a practical program for all ages. For example, the meeting group (secular) discussed the definition of secular identity that is a mix of Jewish, Israeli and universal components. If so, what is the ratio we expect between those components? To what cultural legacy do we want to expose our children? To what extent will the school focus on Jewish laws and customs? What principles will guide the teaching and learning in this group? During the discussion diverse voices emerged, some focusing on social values, others putting emphasis on experiential learning, some emphasizing critical thinking, learning through asking questions, and examining dilemmas.

Who will teach the complex subjects? It became necessary to find teachers who are familiar with the material, whose worldview is pluralistic, who consider the two identity groups as equals, who are able to accept feelings, attitudes and behaviors different from their own, and who will protect every child’s right to express his or her opinion, even if it contradicts the worldview of another.

New Article: Baumgart-Ochse, Religious and Secular Conceptions of National Identity in Israel

Baumgart-Ochse, Claudia. “Opposed or Intertwined? Religious and Secular Conceptions of National Identity in Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.” Politics, Religion & Ideology (early view)

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/21567689.2014.948531

 

Abstract

The State of Israel seems to be caught in a protracted conflict – not only with the Palestinians, but also between secular and religious variants of national identity. Moreover, both conflicts intersect: While the secular population is held to be the liberal, peaceful part of Israeli society which is ready for a compromise with the Palestinians, the religious nationalists are identified with hawkish policies and the settlement project in the occupied Palestinian territories. This common perception reflects the secularist assumption that religion and politics can be analytically distinguished and should be factually separated for the sake of democracy, pluralism and peace. Yet such an approach neglects the dense interrelations and overlaps between religious and secular nationalism throughout the history of the Jewish state. A different analytical perspective which treats these seemingly opposing conceptions of national identity as closely intertwined reveals how they have concurred in promoting and legitimizing the overriding raison d’état of the Jewish state as well as the occupation and settlement of the Palestinian territories.

New Article: Shoham, Celebrating Israeli Familism around the Seder Table

Shoham, Hizky. “You Can’t Pick Your Family. Celebrating Israeli Familism around the Seder Table.” Journal of Family History 39.3 (2014): 239-60.

 

URL: http://jfh.sagepub.com/content/39/3/239

 

Abstract

Familism is a model of a social organization that assigns the family an important role in individual and collective identity. This article proposes a historical analysis and interpretation of the Seder celebrations of Jewish Israelis, in order to explore what is unique about Israeli familism—that it imagines the entire nation as an extended family. This ritual continues to be widely practiced today by Jews of every sector—secular, traditional, and religious. As a result, it has a significant presence in Israeli popular culture. The focus is on two questions: (1) who celebrates? That is, what forum convenes around the table? (2) How is it celebrated? That is, what ritual is conducted during the festive gathering? The historical and ethnographic analysis shows that over the course of the twentieth century, the extended family became the preferred forum for celebration, and that the conformist reading of the Haggadah and the other parts of the ceremony continue on the whole to follow the Orthodox rules, even in secular families. This mode of celebration is analyzed here as an expression of the political image of the entire Jewish people as one large extended family and as a demonstration of the extensive use of Jewish familism in the construction of Jewish identity in Israel today

New Article: Lerner, Religion and Personal Status Regulations in Israel and India

Lerner, Hanna. “Critical Junctures, Religion, and Personal Status Regulations in Israel and India.” Law & Social Inquiry 39.2 (2014): 387-415.

 

URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/lsi.12068/abstract

 

Abstract

The article aims at advancing our understanding of critical junctures in the evolution of religious/secular regulations, referring to those moments in history when one particular arrangement is adopted among several alternatives, establishing an institutional trajectory that is resistant to change in the following years. It traces the regulation of personal status laws in Israel and India, which, despite attempts by political leaders at time of independence to defer clear choices regarding the role of religious law, became generally entrenched in later decades. Based on the Israeli and Indian cases, and in contrast with common approaches, the article demonstrates how decisions made by influential political actors during the foundational stage of the state appear difficult to reform, regardless of the content of these decisions—whether they introduce a radical change or maintain existing practices—or the level of decision making—whether constitutional or ordinary parliamentary legislation.

New Article: Jobani and Perez, Israel’s Ultra-Orthodox ‘Society of Learners’

Jobani, Yuval and Nahshon Perez. “Toleration and Illiberal Groups in Context: Israel’s Ultra-Orthodox ‘Society of Learners’.” Journal of Political Ideologies 19.1 (2014): 78-98.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13569317.2013.869454

DOI: 10.1080/13569317.2013.869454

 

Abstract

This article aims to demonstrate the virtues of the contextual approach to political theory through an examination of a well-known question: should liberal states tolerate illiberal groups? This question will be analysed via the illustrative case of the Israeli Ultra-Orthodox Jews’ request to win an exemption from mandatory military conscription. We aim to demonstrate how a careful examination of the Ultra-Orthodox culture, and especially some core texts with regard to military service, will reveal significant insights, as the Ultra-Orthodox formative texts demonstrate a long-standing dispute regarding military service. This ‘internal’ dispute would not have been available to the researcher of toleration via a purely analytical approach. Several distinctive advantages follow the usage of the contextual approach, among them a better acquaintance with the group, the ability to structure adequately the tolerating approach and the likelihood that the chosen tolerating approach will win more legitimacy from both the general public and the illiberal group itself.

New Article: Levy, Theocratization of the Israeli Military

Levy, Yagil. “The Theocratization of the Israeli Military.” Armed Forces & Society 40.2 (2014): 269-94.

 

URL: afs.sagepub.com/content/40/2/269.abstract

DOI: 10.1177/0095327X12466071

 

Abstract

This article portrays the theocratization of the Israeli military. At the center of this process stands the national-religious sector, which has significantly upgraded its presence in the ranks since the late 1970s. It is argued that four integrated and cumulative processes gradually generated this shift toward the theocratization of the Israeli military: (1) the crafting of institutional arrangements that enable the service of religious soldiers, thereby (2) creating a critical mass of religious soldiers in many combat units, consequently (3) restricting the military command’s intraorganizational autonomy vis-à-vis the religious sector, and paving the road to (4) restricting the Israel Defense Forces autonomy in deploying forces in politically disputable missions.

ToC: Israel Studies Review 28,2 (2013)

Guest Editors’ Introduction: Rethinking the Family in Israel

pp. vii-xii(6)
Authors: Fogiel-Bijaoui, Sylvie; Rutlinger-Reiner, Reina

Articles: The Transformation of Intimacies

pp. 1-17(17)
Author: Engelberg, Ari

Articles: Families in Transition

pp. 83-101(19)
Author: Rutlinger-Reiner, Reina

Articles: The Boundaries of Family Life

pp. 140-156(17)
Author: Lustenberger, Sibylle

Articles: Legal Discourse, Private Life

pp. 210-227(18)
Author: Fogiel-Bijaoui, Sylvie

Articles: Articles: Legal Discourse, Private Life

pp. 247-263(17)
Author: Mazeh, Yoav

pp. 300-313(14)
Author: Kreiczer-Levy, Shelly

Book Reviews

pp. 314-324(11)

Cite: Shukrun-Nagar, Coverage of the Israeli Haredi Community as a Case in Point

Shukrun-Nagar, Pnina. “The Construction of Paradoxes in News Discourse: The Coverage of the Israeli Haredi Community as a Case in Point.” Discourse Studies 15.4 (2013): 463-80.

 

URL: http://dis.sagepub.com/content/15/4/463.abstract

 

Abstract

This article focuses on the construction of two types of non-logical paradoxes in news discourse: 1) inconsistencies of positions and acts; 2) conflicts between reality and expectations or common sense. I will argue that these paradoxes are constructed by various discursive devices and will demonstrate the key role played by conventional and conversational implicatures in this regard. The discussion will focus on 23 items covering disputes between ultra-Orthodox (Haredim) and secular Jews, broadcast on mainstream Israeli television news in 2009. I will show that the journalists consistently attribute paradoxicality to Haredim, and that this corresponds with the common public bitterness towards them because they enjoy financial support from the government, while sharing little of the economic and security burden. Moreover, I will argue that the paradoxical representations of Haredim rely on the secular ‘we’ group view and serve to base its common sense and norms.

ToC: Israel Affairs 19,3 (2013)

Israel     Affairs, Vol. 19, No. 3, 01 Jul 2013 is now available on Taylor & Francis Online.

This new issue contains the following articles:

Original Articles
‘We     need the messiah so that he may not come’: on David Ben-Gurion’s use of     messianic language
Nir Kedar
Pages: 393-409
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2013.799864

Beyond     a one-man show: the prelude of Revisionist Zionism, 1922–25
Jan Zouplna
Pages: 410-432
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2013.799871

Another     Orient in early Zionist thought: East Asia in the press of the Ben-Yehuda     family
Guy Podoler
Pages: 433-450
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2013.799866

Jerusalem     in Anglo-American policy in the immediate wake of the June 1967 war
Arieh J. Kochavi
Pages: 451-467
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2013.799865

A     farewell to arms? NGO campaigns for embargoes on military exports: the case     of the UK and Israel
Gerald M. Steinberg, Anne Herzberg & Asher Fredman
Pages: 468-487
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2013.799869

The     politics of ‘over-victimization’ – Palestinian proprietary claims in the     service of political goals
Haim Sandberg
Pages: 488-504
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2013.799868

Equality,     orthodoxy and politics: the conflict over national service in Israel
Etta Bick
Pages: 505-525
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2013.799862

The     establishment of a political-educational network in the State of Israel:     Maayan Hahinuch Hatorani
Anat Feldman
Pages: 526-541
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2013.799863

Between     the dream and the reality: vocational education in Israel, 1948–92
Nirit Raichel
Pages: 542-561
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2013.799867

The     influence of mergers on the capital market
Tchai Tavor
Pages: 562-579
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2013.799870

Book Reviews
1973:     the way to war
Raphael Cohen-Almagor
Pages: 580-582
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2013.778094

Land     and desire in early Zionism
David Rodman
Pages: 583-584
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2013.799881

Israel     in Africa, 1956–1976
David Rodman
Pages: 584-585
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2013.799899

Zion’s     dilemmas: how Israel makes national security policy
David Rodman
Pages: 586-587
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2013.799882

Should     Israel exist? A sovereign nation under attack by the international     community
David Rodman
Pages: 588-589
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2013.799885

The     role of US diplomacy in the lead-up to the Six Day War: balancing moral     commitments and national interests
David Rodman
Pages: 589-590
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2013.799886

The     wars of the Maccabees: the Jewish struggle for freedom, 167–37 BC
David Rodman
Pages: 590-592
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2013.799887

In     the aftermath of Operation Pillar of Defence: the Gaza strip, November 2012
David Rodman
Pages: 592-593
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2013.799888

The     future of the Jews: how global forces are impacting the Jewish people,     Israel and its relationship with the United States
David Rodman
Pages: 593-595
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2013.799889

The     lives of ordinary people in ancient Israel: where archaeology and the Bible     intersect
David Rodman
Pages: 595-597
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2013.799890

Israel     vs. Iran: the shadow war
David Rodman
Pages: 597-599
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2013.799883

The     triumph of Israel’s radical right
Evan Renfro
Pages: 599-601
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2013.799884

Cite: Talmon, Negotiating Israeli Jewish Identity on Television

Talmon, Miri. “A Touch Away from Cultural Others: Negotiating Israeli Jewish Identity on Television.” Shofar 31.2 (2013): 55-72.

URL: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/shofar/v031/31.2.talmon.html

Abstract

The Israeli television drama series, A Touch Away, Jerusalem Mix, and Srugim are symbolic sites for the negotiation of Jewish identity in Israel, a multicultural immigrant society. They open a window to the sociocultural religious communities within Israel, hence creating more visibility of these versions of Israeliness on the small screen, and deconstructing stereotypes thereof, allowing for more complex images of "religious Israeli Jews." The dramatic elaboration of intercultural encounters and conflicts in these TV dramas are contextualized by the Tzav Piyus project of reconciliation, which was initiated as a consequence of Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination and the painful sociocultural fissures associated with it, as well as the larger enterprise of the AVI CHAI foundation—the promotion both in Israel and in North America of an awareness and discourse about Jewish identity as a complex and diversified experience. How do resources of the medium—serial drama and audiovisual expressions of television—serve to construct identity as an open-ended process yet a social product bound by communal constraints? This analysis seeks to illuminate how television dramas bring Israeli and American viewers alike to a touch away from marginalized cultural universes within Israel, as well as from the contradictions underlying the yearning to create a unified collective Israeli and Jewish identity in a democratic state.

Cite: Childs, Israeli and Lebanese Military Integration Policies

Childs, Steven J. “Points of the Star, Branches of the Cedar: Israeli and Lebanese Military Integration Policies.” Democracy and Security 8.3 (2012): 247-65.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17419166.2012.710149

 

Abstract

The use of military policy to foster the political integration of ethno-religious minorities has long been assumed to aid in the formation of national identities in heterogeneous societies. Recent scholarship has challenged this notion in emphasizing the role of political contestation. Using a contrast of contexts research design of Israeli and Lebanese military integration policies, this research looks to the relationship of the military in relation to its society before considering the distinction between the identity and ideology of ethnic minorities. In exploring these facets, a renewed focus on the nexus of identity and ideology is warranted.

Cite: Gesser-Edelsburg, Collective Memory of Civil War and its Impact on Israeli Youth

Gesser-Edelsburg, Anat. “The Collective Memory of a Civil War as Reflected in Edutainment and its Impact on Israeli Youth: A Critical Reading of Consensual Myths.” Memory 78.3 (2012): 254-280.

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15244113.2012.700637

Abstract

Following the political assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, in 1998 Israel’s national theater Habimah produced the play “Civil War.” The play addressed the religious/hawkish-secular/dovish rift in Israel through a critical reading of events from Jewish history and raises the potential of civil war and political violence in Israel over Israeli-Palestinian peace. An empirical study of 107 Israeli students from the 11th grade who viewed the play presents the potential of “Civil War” to influence students and lead them to a critical reading of consensual myths of the Jewish historical/cultural texts and current events.

Cite: Shlaim, Rabbi John Rayner, Ethical Zionism and Israel

Shlaim, Avi. “Rabbi John Rayner, Ethical Zionism and Israel.” European Judaism 45.1 (2012): 28-35.

 

URL: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/berghahn/ejud/2012/00000045/00000001/art00005

 

Abstract

Rabbi John Rayner was an eminent proponent of ethical Zionism. His views about Israel are related in this article to his views about Judaism and Jewish ethics. The three pillars of Judaism are: truth, justice and peace. Rabbi Rayner personified these values to a remarkable degree. The common thread that runs through his countless sermons and articles was the emphasis on the gentler and more outward-looking values of Judaism. It is by cultivating and exemplifying these values, he believed, that Jews could best help humanity find signposts to justice and peace, not only in the Middle East but everywhere. Ethical Zionism, as understood by Rabbi Rayner, is based on Jewish values. The State of Israel is the main political progeny of the Zionist movement. It follows that the State of Israel ought to reflect Jewish values in its external relations. In the event of a clash between Israeli behaviour and Jewish ethics, Rabbi Rayner invariably came down on the side of Jewish ethics. He consistently placed principle above pragmatism and morality above expediency. He was an honest and courageous man who always spoke truth to power.

TOC: Israel Studies Review, 27.1 (Summer 2012)

Announcement: TOC: Israel Studies Review, 27.1 (Summer 2012)

 

Israel Studies Review

Volume 27 • Issue 1 • 2012

http://journals.berghahnbooks.com/isr/

EDITORS’ NOTE

FORUM

Introduction: The ‘Religionization’ of Israeli Society (pp. 1-3) Yoram Peri

1. More Jewish than Israeli (and Democratic)? (pp. 4 – 9) Tamar Hermann

2. Yes, Israel Is Becoming More Religious (pp. 10 – 15)

Shlomo Fischer

3. Religious Pressure will Increase in the Future (pp.16 – 20) Asher Cohen and Bernard Susser

4. Seculars Jews: From Proactive Agents to Defensive Players (pp. 21- 26) Nissim Leon

5. A Need for an Epistemological Turn (pp. 27- 30) Yaacov Yadgar

ARTICLES

1. Inverted First and Second-Order Elections: The Israeli Case (pp. 31- 54) David Nachmias, Maoz Rosenthal, Hani Zubida

2. Russian Israelis and Religion: What Has Changed after Twenty Years in Israel? (pp. 55 – 77)

Larissa Remennick and Anna Prashizky

3. Avoidance of Military Service in Israel: Exploring the Role of Discourse (pp. 78 – 97)

Oren Livio

4. Wedding Ceremony, Religion and Tradition: The Shertok Family Debate, 1922 (pp. 98 – 124) Lilach Rosenberg-Friedman

 

REVIEW ESSAYS

1. Gender on the Hebrew Bookshelf (pp. 125 – 141) Hanna Herzog

2. Israel’s Palestinian Minority: From ‘Quietism’ to Ethno-nationalism (pp. 142 – 160) Jonathan Mendilow

 

BOOK REVIEWS

1. Jacob Shamir and Khalil Shikaki, Palestinian and Israeli Public Opinion: The Public Imperative in the Second Intifada Review by Murad Idris (pp. 161 – 163)

2. Eytan Gilboa and Efraim Inbar, eds., US-Israeli Relations in a New Era: Issues and Challenges after 9/11 Review by David Albert (pp. 163 – 166)

3. Uri Cohen and Nissim Leon, The Herut Movement’s Central Committee and the Mizrahim, 1965-1977: From Patronizing Paternship to Competitive Partnership Review by Yitzhak Dahan (pp. 167 – 170)

4. Sharon Aronson-Lehavi, ed., Wanderers and Other Israeli Plays Review by Nancy E. Berg (pp. 170 – 173)

5. Shalom Goldman, Zeal for Zion: Christians, Jews, and the Idea of the Promised Land Review by Barbara U. Meyer (pp. 173 – 175)

 

INDEX OF PREVIOUS ISSUES

Israel Studies Review Index, Fall 1985 to Winter 2011 (pp. 176 – 208)

Reviews: Mautner, Law and the Culture of Israel

Menachem Mautner, Law and the Culture of Israel. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.

 

 

 

Reviews

Hofri-Winogradow, Adam. “Review.” Edinburgh Law Review 16 (2012): 125-126.