New Article: Gribetz, Judaism, Christianity, and the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Translation of Zionism

Gribetz, Jonathan Marc. “When The Zionist Idea Came to Beirut: Judaism, Christianity, and the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Translation of Zionism.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 48.2 (2016): 243-66.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0020743816000015

 

Abstract

In 1970, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Research Center in Beirut published an Arabic translation of The Zionist Idea, an anthology of classic Zionist texts compiled originally by Arthur Hertzberg in 1959. This article compares how the two versions present the biographies and motivations of key Zionist ideologues. It suggests that, in contrast to Hertzberg, the PLO researchers tended to present Zionism, especially at its roots, as a Jewish religious movement. Attempting to discern what might lie behind this conception of Zionism, the article considers the significance of the religious backgrounds of the leadership of the PLO Research Center and of those involved in the translation project. It argues that the researchers’ concern about the status of Christians as a religious minority among Palestinians and other Arabs and certain deeply rooted Christian ideas about the nature of Judaism may help account for the particular view of Zionism that the Research Center developed in its—and in the PLO’s—foundational years.

 

 

 

New Article: Salmon, Akiva Yosef Schlesinger—A Forerunner of Zionism or of Ultra-Orthodoxy

Salmon, Yosef. “Akiva Yosef Schlesinger—A Forerunner of Zionism or a Forerunner of Ultra-Orthodoxy.” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 15.2 (2016): 171-87.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14725886.2015.1111549

 

Abstract

Rabbi Akiva Yosef Schlesinger (Pressburg 1838—Jerusalem 1922) is considered by some scholars to be a forerunner of ultra-Orthodoxy, but by others as a forerunner of Zionism. This article unravels this enigmatic personality, demonstrating that he was indeed a forerunner of ultra-Orthodoxy who was motivated by a complete rejection of modernity and promoted religious positions that were more radical than those of the Hatam Sofer. Those who associate Schlesinger with Zionism are misled by the fact that he encountered fierce opposition from his Hungarian colleagues and from the “Yishuv hayashan” in Jerusalem, advocated the use of the Hebrew language and promoted a “settlement” programme in Palestine. The article suggests that Schlesinger’s programme was in reality designed to create a sacred utopian society, and was motivated by his desire to isolate the traditional Jewish community from modernity, rather than by a nationalist ideology. Furthermore, the opposition of the Jerusalem rabbis to Schlesinger’s ideas was based largely on his unusual religious positions and his suggestion that the youth should be engaged in work. In analysing Schlesinger’s legacy, the article also clarifies the distinctions between ultra-Orthodoxy and Zionism, as well as some common elements that they share.

 

 

 

ToC: Journal of Israeli History 34.2 (2015)

Journal of Israeli History, 34.2 (2015)

No Trinity: The tripartite relations between Agudat Yisrael, the Mizrahi movement, and the Zionist Organization
Daniel Mahla
pages 117-140

Judaism and communism: Hanukkah, Passover, and the Jewish Communists in Mandate Palestine and Israel, 1919–1965
Amir Locker-Biletzki
pages 141-158

Olei Hagardom: Between official and popular memory
Amir Goldstein
pages 159-180

Practices of photography on kibbutz: The case of Eliezer Sklarz
Edna Barromi Perlman
pages 181-203

The Shishakli assault on the Syrian Druze and the Israeli response, January–February 1954
Randall S. Geller
pages 205-220

Book Reviews

Editorial Board

New Article: Inbari, Messianic Religious Zionism and the Reintroduction of Sacrifice

Inbari, Motti. “Messianic Religious Zionism and the Reintroduction of Sacrifice: The Case of the Temple Institute.” In Rethinking the Messianic Idea in Judaism (ed. Michael L. Morgan and Steven Weitzman; Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2014): 256-73.

 

9780253014740_med

URL: https://www.academia.edu/16376952/Messianic_Religious_Zionism_and_the_Reintroduction_of_Sacrifice_The_Case_of_the_Temple_Institute

 

Extract

The obscuring of the question of the Temple Mount by early Zionist messianists, both Religious and secular, invited challenges to the Zionist establishment. Scholem wanted the Zionist messianic myth to develop without a yearning for a Third Temple as part of the end of days. Yet Scholem’s conscious denial of the historical desire could not quash the desire. The growing trend of Jewish prayers on the Temple Mount and the vigorous activities of the Temple Institute, discussed above, suggest that the vision of the Third Temple has emerged as a widely accepted component of contemporary Israeli Jewish messianism.

 

 

New Article: Locker-Biletzki, Hanukkah, Passover, and the Jewish Communists

Locker-Biletzki, Amir. “Judaism and Communism: Hanukkah, Passover, and the Jewish Communists in Mandate Palestine and Israel, 1919–1965.” Journal of Israeli History (early view; online first).

 

URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13531042.2015.1068971

 

Abstract
This article explores the mythological, ritualistic, and symbolic aspects of the ways in which the festivals of Hanukkah and Passover were celebrated by the Jewish Communists in Mandate Palestine and the State of Israel. It illustrates how elements of Zionist-socialist culture were adopted by Jewish Communists and integrated in their cultural activities. In a gradual process starting in the1920s and culminating in the mid-1960s, the Jewish Communists created a combination of Marxist ideology and Zionist-socialist cultural practices. However, when a group of young Sabra activists reinforced the Zionist-socialist elements, the balance was undermined, contributing to the rift within Israeli communism.

 

 

New Article: Goldstein, Reflections on the Failure of The Lovers of Zion

Goldstein, Yossi. “Reflections on the Failure of The Lovers of Zion.” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 14.2 (2015): 229-45.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14725886.2015.1009729

 

Abstract

In this article, we focus on the rift between the two sociocultural groups that constituted Hibbat Zion—the maskilim and the ultra-Orthodox—and on its overall activity. It seems clear that the Jews in Russia were not ready for a movement aimed at establishing a Jewish national entity in Palestine. After 1885, many of them felt that despite anti-Semitism, their living conditions were improving and only a few among them sought to emigrate to the USA. Only a small minority saw their destination as Eretz Israel, yet it was this relatively inconsequential minority that fuelled the activity of Hibbat Zion, even though only very few of them actually believed in the possibility of settling in Palestine. Hibbat Zion and the Odessa Committee both failed to achieve the goals they set for themselves. Yet, we must acknowledge that the very existence of these Jewish national movements and the evolution of patterns of activity and the leadership they engendered paved the way for the development of a national home for the Jews in Palestine. Their members and their leadership established structures that provided a foundation for those who succeeded them: Herzl’s Zionist Organization and the state of Israel.

 

New Article: Drucker, The Alliance Israélite Universelle and Moroccan Jews

Drucker, Peter. “‘Disengaging from the Muslim Spirit’: The Alliance Israélite Universelle and Moroccan Jews.” Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies 11.1 (2015): 3-23.

 

URL: https://muse.jhu.edu/journals/journal_of_middle_east_womens_studies/v011/11.1.drucker.html

 

Abstract

The project of the French Alliance Israélite Universelle (AIU) in Morocco in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries—to win social and political equality for Jews through European enlightenment—was intertwined with the French imperial project. Moroccan Jewish women were assigned, as mothers and wives, a special role in the AIU’s efforts: to help Jewish boys and men pursue commercial or professional careers in French-dominated society The AIU schools set out to win Moroccan Jews away from despised Muslim gender and sexual norms by Europeanizing Jews’ marriage patterns and family forms, combating prostitution, eliminating women’s traditional head coverings, and reining in what the AIU saw as men’s promiscuity and homosexual tendencies. Ultimately, the AIU helped further estrange Moroccan Jews from Muslims but failed to secure Moroccan Jews’ smooth integration into French secular culture. Moroccan Jews in Israel today, faced with persistent discrimination, largely cling to religiously based, conservative gender norms.

New Article: Sturm & Frantzman, Religious Geopolitics of Palestinian Christianity

Sturm, Tristan and Seth Frantzman. “Religious Geopolitics of Palestinian Christianity: Palestinian Christian Zionists, Palestinian Liberation Theologists, and American Missions to Palestine.” Middle Eastern Studies 51.3 (2015): 433-51.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00263206.2014.971768

 

Abstract

The introduction of Protestantism into the Middle East by American missionaries in the nineteenth century met with limited success while the responses and internalizations of local converts proved incredibly diverse. The two resultant theological descendants are Palestinian Christian Zionists and Palestinian Liberation Theologists. The article provides a short history of these two movements and highlights influential voices through interviews and media analysis. This article argues that hybrid religious identifications with nation and place has transcended, in some cases, political struggle for territory.

New Article: Greenberg, R. Areleh Roth’s Pristine Faith

Greenberg, Gershon. “R. Areleh Roth’s Pristine Faith: Through Holocaust to Redemption.” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 14.1 (2015): 72-88.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14725886.2015.1007601

 

Abstract

Areleh Roth responded to the Holocaust by labouring to have Jews actualize pristine faith. As the slaughter in Europe mended the sinful universe prior to the advent of the Messiah, the living were enjoined to bring to bear the faith which was experienced by Abraham and which the people of Israel inherited over the ages. This meant struggling against the forces of Amalek who clouded the perception of God’s presence amid the tragedy. Under divine aegis, Amalek brought suffering to induce repentance, he tested the people in order to activate free will, and clouded the perception of God’s presence amid catastrophe. The struggle centred on annulling one’s personality entirely, enabling God to enter the heart so completely as to totally replace the ego. This was the experience of pristine faith, and with it one related to God, through Abraham, and gained the strength to endure the tragedy. Even more, one’s soul could join the ascent of those sparks which were dispersed upon the cosmic catastrophe (described by Isaac Luria) and thereby contribute to, and participate in, the rise of Israel to the spiritual redemption of the Sabbath before Adam’s sin. Roth’s response to the catastrophe was not of theological exposition (for example, why the pious suffered) but of practical means to survive and thrive on the level of spirit.

 

New Article: Freud-Kandel, The Holocaust in the Theology of Louis Jacobs

Freud-Kandel, Miri. “Many Questions, Few Answers: The Holocaust in the Theology of Louis Jacobs.” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 14.1 (2015): 40-57.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14725886.2015.1005879

 

Abstract

Louis Jacobs identified the Holocaust—and the creation of Israel—as the two most significant events influencing contemporary Jewish consciousness. Yet his engagement with the theological implications of the Holocaust is notably limited. Since many of his writings are focused on issues facing those he termed “the Jew in the pew,” this absence of detailed consideration of the theological questions posed by the Holocaust seems particularly perplexing. This paper will consider if there is an explanation for this lacuna.

Event: Ilana Pardes discusses her new book at Stanford, Sep 30, 2014

Agnon’s Moonstruck Lovers: The Song of Songs in Israeli Culture

Agnons-Moonstruck-Lovers
Lecture and conversation with Ilana Pardes,
Professor of Comparative Literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Tuesday, September 30, 4:00pm  
Building 260, Room 252 

Stanford University


In adopting the Song of Songs, Zionist interpreters sought to return to the erotic, pastoral landscapes of biblical times. Their quest for a new, uplifting, secular literalism, however, could not efface the haunting impact of allegorical configurations of love. 
 
“This new study confirms Ilana Pardes as one of the most deeply interesting scholars in the field of comparative literature.”
-Robert Alter, University of California, Berkeley
Presented by the Taube Center for Jewish Studies in collaboration with Hebrew@Stanford and the Department of Comparative Literature.

 

New Book: Pardes, Agnon’s Moonstruck Lovers

Pardes, Ilana. Agnon’s Moonstruck Lovers. The Song of Songs in Israeli Culture, Samuel and Althea Stroum Lectures in Jewish Studies. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2014.

 

Agnons-Moonstruck-Lovers

 

Agnon’s Moonstruck Lovers explores the response of Israel’s Nobel laureate S. Y. Agnon to the privileged position of the Song of Songs in Israeli culture. Standing at a unique crossroads between religion and secularism, Agnon probes the paradoxes and ambiguities of the Zionist hermeneutic project. In adopting the Song, Zionist interpreters sought to return to the erotic, pastoral landscapes of biblical times. Their quest for a new, uplifting, secular literalism, however, could not efface the haunting impact of allegorical configurations of love. With superb irony, Agnon’s tales recast Israeli biblicism as a peculiar chapter within the ever-surprising history of biblical exegesis.

Ilana Pardes is professor of comparative literature at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments

1. Introduction: Upon the Handles of the Lock

2. The Song of Songs as Cultural Text: From the European Enlightenment to Israeli Biblicism

3. Rechnitz’s Botany of Love: The Song of Seaweed

4. The Biblical Ethnographies of “Edo and Enam” and the Quest for the Ultimate Song

Epilogue
Forevermore

Appendix
Notes
Bibliography
Index

 

New Article: Barouch, Gershom Scholem’s Early Critique of Zionism and Its Language

Barouch, Lina. “The Erasure and Endurance of Lament: Gershom Scholem’s Early Critique of Zionism and Its Language.” Jewish Studies Quarterly 21.1 (2014): 13-26.

 

URL: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/mohr/jsq/2014/00000021/00000001/art00003

Excerpt

Gershom Scholem’s 1917 essay “On Lament and Lamentation” portrays the Hebrew lament as the “language of the border,” which suffers an infinite cycle of exile and return. Scholem employs a paradoxical discourse in order to develop these cyclical borderline dynamics on the discursive and performative levels of the text. The idea of lament recurs in Scholems polemic writings between 1917 and 1931, a period marked by his emigration from Berlin to Jerusalem in 1923 and by his constant struggling with questions of Jewish exile and Zionist return. In other words, Scholem transfers his theoretical ideas on lament to the empirical realm of German-Jewish and Zionist history. More specifically, he deems the absence of lament in the language of his contemporaries as symptomatic of a Jewish generation whose wish to “enter history” has dangerously superseded the question of its metaphysical standing. Couched in a combination of modernist Krausian and Jewish apocalyptic vocabulary, Scholems writings caution of a “Wailing Wall of the new Zion” in the form of journalistic prattle and of the revengeful return of sacred Hebrew.

See Table of Contents for further discussion of Scholem’s “On Lament and Lamentation,” including full text.

 

New Article: Chen, Visiting the Temple Mount—Taboo or Mitzvah

Chen, Sarina. “Visiting the Temple Mount—Taboo or Mitzvah.” Modern Judaism 34.1 (2014): 27-41.

URL: http://mj.oxfordjournals.org/content/34/1/27.extract.html

Excerpt

On June 2, 2008, the twenty-eighth of the Hebrew month of Iyar, 5768—Jerusalem Day—the fortieth anniversary of the unification of Jerusalem, forty nationalist Orthodox rabbis, some of them from the settlements of Judea and Samaria, visited the Temple Mount. This declarative act was preceded by a number of calls opposing the ban on visiting the mount that had been issued after the Six-Day War by the Chief Rabbinate. Such calls have been issued in clearly political contexts: in 1996 at the height of the struggle against the Oslo Accords; in 2001 in protest against the Waqf’s exclusion from the mount of non-Muslims at the beginning of the second intifada; and in 2004 after the Temple Mount was reopened to non-Muslims.

The rabbis’ visit to the Temple Mount was a high point in the debate within nationalist ultra-Orthodox society between opponents and supporters of such a visit. The visit to the Temple Mount also revealed a nascent change toward the authority of the Chief Rabbinate and its rulings.

ToC: Israel Studies 19.1 (2014)

  1. Special Section—Arabs as Israeli Citizens
    1. Defense Minister Pinhas Lavon and the Arab Draft That Never Was (pp. 1-23)
      Randall S. Geller
      DOI: 10.2979/israelstudies.19.1.1

      Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/israelstudies.19.1.1

    2. The Contemporary Historiographical Debate in Israel on Government Policies on Arabs in Israel During the Military Administration Period (1948–1966) (pp. 24-47)
      Arik Rudnitzky
      DOI: 10.2979/israelstudies.19.1.24

      Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/israelstudies.19.1.24

    3. The Politization of History and the Negev Bedouin Land Claims: A Review Essay on Indigenous (In)justice (pp. 48-74)
      Seth J. Frantzman
      DOI: 10.2979/israelstudies.19.1.48

      Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/israelstudies.19.1.48

    4. Increased Constructive Engagement Among Israeli Arabs: The Impact of Government Economic Initiatives (pp. 75-97)
      Robert Cherry
      DOI: 10.2979/israelstudies.19.1.75

      Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/israelstudies.19.1.75

    5. Democracy, Clan Politics and Weak Governance: The Case of the Arab Municipalities in Israel (pp. 98-125)
      Yakub Halabi
      DOI: 10.2979/israelstudies.19.1.98

      Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/israelstudies.19.1.98

    6. The Quest for Identity in Sayed Kashua’s Let It Be Morning (pp. 126-144)
      Michael Keren
      DOI: 10.2979/israelstudies.19.1.126

      Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/israelstudies.19.1.126

  2. Articles
    1. From Peace in the South to War in the North: Menachem Begin as Prime Minister, 1977–1983 (pp. 145-165)
      Yechiam Weitz
      DOI: 10.2979/israelstudies.19.1.145

      Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/israelstudies.19.1.145

    2. Societal Values: Impact on Israel Security—The Kibbutz Movement as a Mobilized Elite (pp. 166-188)
      Zeev Drory
      DOI: 10.2979/israelstudies.19.1.166

      Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/israelstudies.19.1.166

    3. Postsecular Jewish Theology: Reading Gordon And Buber (pp. 189-213)
      Hagar Lahav
      DOI: 10.2979/israelstudies.19.1.189

      Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/israelstudies.19.1.189

  3. Notes on Contributors (pp. 214-215)
    DOI: 10.2979/israelstudies.19.1.214

    Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/israelstudies.19.1.214

  4. Guidelines for Contributors (pp. 216-218)
    DOI: 10.2979/israelstudies.19.1.216

    Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/israelstudies.19.1.216