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Maven in Blue Jeans

Maven in Blue Jeans: A Festschrift in Honor of Zev Garber

edited by Steven Leonard Jacobs
Copyright Date: 2009
Published by: Purdue University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt6wq2j5
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    Maven in Blue Jeans
    Book Description:

    This collection of academic essays written by friends and colleagues of Professor Zev Garber, is a long-overdue tribute to an outstanding scholar, teacher, and mentor. Each contribution was written especially for this volume; none have been previously published. The various sections into which these essays are divided reflect the areas in which Professor Garber has devoted his own prodigious teaching and writing energies: the Holocaust, Jewish-Christian relations, philosophy and theology, history, biblical interpretation.

    eISBN: 978-1-61249-013-7
    Subjects: Religion
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Table of Contents

Export Selected Citations
  1. Front Matter (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents (pp. v-viii)
  3. A Scholar’s Creation (pp. ix-xii)
    Susan Garber
  4. A Brief Introduction (pp. 1-4)
    Steven Leonard Jacobs

    It was, perhaps, most propitious that I called Zev Garber on the occasion of his sixty-fifth birthday with a proposition: Would he honor those of us who respect him and his scholarship, and to and for whom he has been both a mentor and a friend to so many of us, by allowing me to edit aFestschriftin his honor? Taken somewhat aback by my proposal, he humbly and honestly demurred, but promised to share this request with his wife, Susan, and get back to me within the week. Which of course he did with a positive reply, and...

  5. Part 1 Exegesis and Eisegesis:: Hebrew Bible, New Testament, and Rabbinic Literature
    • The Domestication of a Radical Jew: Paul of Tarsus (pp. 7-16)
      S. Scott Bartchy

      The eminent Harvard sociologist Orlando Patterson observes in his 1991 prize-winning book titledFreedom in the Making of Western Culture: “Paul [of Tarsus] is the greatest figure in the history of Western religious and social thought, not only because he was the first to pose” the most profound questions about freedom, “but because the answers he gave have determined all subsequent reflections on them.”¹ This strong claim is open to discussion, of course. But even if regarded as only partially correct, such an evaluation has created serious perplexity among many historians and culture analysts, who in their research have repeatedly...

    • A “Seminal” Study of the Jesus Drasha in the Gospel of Matthew (pp. 17-27)
      Herbert W. Basser

      My association with the esteemed professor in blue jeans goes back to the early 1980s when he was the dynamic editor and manager of various scholarly writings connected with the National Association of Professors of Hebrew (NAPH) and I was a relative newcomer to academia. Zev, just “Zev” with no pretentious titles, encouraged me to publish and speak in his forums, to meet the accomplished scholars of that era, to write reviews for his journals. When I was unable to attend a conference at the last moment owing to a personal tragedy, Zev Garber, quite unknown to me at the...

    • The Messy Realities of Life: A Rereading of Numbers 19 and 20 (pp. 28-34)
      Joseph A. Edelheit

      The “happenstance” of textual contiguity has always been a source of fascination to me. Does the writer intend for the reader to understand that the willful placement of words, sentences, paragraphs, and even chapters are themselves valuable insights to the meaning of the text as a whole? For example, does rereading Numbers 19 and 20 provide a “remez”—a hint—of a deeper meaning of these enigmatic chapters? In Numbers 19 we read of theparah adumah, the Red Heifer, a paradoxical ritual that need only be described as achok, a biblical commandment that has no rationale except being...

    • A Cosmopolitan “Student of the Sages”: Jacob of Kefar Nevoraia in Rabbinic Literature (pp. 35-43)
      Steven Fine

      My first academic lecture was given at a regional conference of the National Association of Professors of Hebrew in Long Beach, California. My topic was “On the Use of Rabbinic Literature in Interpreting the Synoptic Gospels: TheAmidahin Luke 18?” I remember fondly my excitement at my first paper, and my even greater enthusiasm at entering into what was for me foreign and somewhat subversive territory, New Testament studies. The chair of this session was our own Zev Garber, by then an old friend of mine. I will never forget Zev’s gentleness and professionalism as I proceeded to overread...

    • Floating Letters (pp. 44-48)
      Mayer I. Gruber

      The story is told in the Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Abodah Zarah 18a, that when Rabbi Hanina son of Teradyon was set afire by the Romans along with the Torah scroll held to his chest, his students asked him, “What do you see?” He responded, “Leaves of parchment are burning while letters are floating.”¹

      The commentary of Tosafot ad loc concerning the question “What do you see?” implies that the phenomenon of “floating letters” was interpreted by the Tosafists as what we would call a “miracle,” that is, “an event that appears unexplainable by the laws of nature and so is...

    • Dialogue as Praxis: A Midrashic Reading of Numbers 19–20 and Hebrews 9 (pp. 49-55)
      James F. Moore

      My relationship with Zev Garber now spans more than twenty years. He has helped me to develop a special approach to dialogue that not only shapes all of my work but also has led to the forming of a group that has now engaged in a dialogue on sacred texts for nearly fifteen years.¹ It is this aspect of my relationship with Zev that I illustrate in this essay and offer as a contribution to thisFestschriftdedicated to him. I do so by engaging in a dialogue with another colleague whom I have now known for twenty-five years and...

    • Testing the Results of Richard Kalmin: A Null Hypothesis Examined in the Setting of Mishnah and Bavli Tractate Moed Qatan (pp. 56-66)
      Jacob Neusner

      Dr. Richard Kalmin, professor of Talmud at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, has undertaken a variety of studies, yielding these results, based on his accompanying studies:¹

      1. “Formal aspects of Amoraic discourse provide evidence of generational contrast indicative of the diversity of talmudic source material … statements by later Amoraim are formally distinguishable from statements by earlier Amoraim.”²

      2. We may adduce “differences between the introductory formulae introducing statements by early, later, and middle-generation Amoraim. These differences … support my claim regarding the presence of diverse sources in the Bavli, distinguishable along chronological lines.”³

      3. “Middle generation Babylonian Amoraim [are] transitional…. [T]hese...

    • Creation and Mortalization: A Religio-Literary Perspective (pp. 67-87)
      Sara R. Mandell

      It is an honor and privilege to write for aFestschriftpaying tribute to Zev Garber. He is an exceptional scholar; but, more importantly, he is a kind and considerate man, who shows a depth of feeling for those with whom he interacts.

      Although we generally approach Gen. 1:1–3:24, the firstmajorpericope in the Hebrew Scriptures,¹ as a religious text, the narrative as many have noted contains a number of intertwined and powerful literarytopoithat are frequently found in epic.² This is not surprising since this pericope, although not an epic unto itself, is the introduction to...

    • Jeremiah, the Shoah, and the Restoration of Israel (pp. 88-102)
      Marvin Sweeney

      The Book of Jeremiah is unique among the prophetic books insofar as it presents the oracles and activities of the only one of the prophets to live through the Babylonian siege and destruction of Jerusalem. Other prophets may have lived through such catastrophe, for example, Ezekiel received the news of Jerusalem’s fall while living in Babylonian exile, and Isaiah lived at the time of Samaria’s fall to the Assyrian empire, but Jeremiah is the only prophetic book to give its readers a glimpse of life in the doomed city and the struggles in which its inhabitants engaged as they faced...

  6. Part 2 Jewish-Christian-Muslim and Other Dialogues
    • Jewish-Christian Relations: A Dialogue with Zev Garber (pp. 105-117)
      Eugene Fisher

      I have been in active dialogue, both personally and in print, with Professor Zev Garber for over fifteen very satisfying and enriching (certainly for me) years. In the process I have been constructively challenged by and learned much from him. I hope that he has, at least on some occasions, picked up a useful insight or two from me. I consider Garber to be one of the most thoughtful scholars on either “side” of the contemporary and historic Jewish-Christian dialogue. So if the following summary of some of our exchanges, along with some related follow-up points, reveals that he has...

    • Who Owns the Truth? The Question of the “Other” in Postdenominational Judaism and Christianity (and Islam) in the Next Fifty Years (pp. 118-124)
      Steven Leonard Jacobs

      For almost three decades (1974–2000), I labored full-time “in the vineyards of the Lord,” serving primarily rabbinically in Jewish congregations in Birmingham, Mobile, and Huntsville, Alabama, and Dallas, Texas, including academic postings in those communities as well. Since 2001, I have been a full-time member of the University of Alabama faculty and part-time rabbi of a small congregation in Tuscaloosa. In all of these viable centers of modern American liberal Jewish life, I repeatedly reminded those whom I had been privileged to serve that, in my studies in those congregations, I kept not one butthreecrystal balls—to...

    • The Backwards Man and the Jewish Giant: Mirrors of Traumatic Memory in the Late Photographs of Diane Arbus (pp. 125-134)
      Daniel Morris

      One of Diane Arbus’s lesser-known but most-revealing photographs is called “The Backwards Man in his hotel room, N.Y.C. 1961.” Part of a series Arbus did on “Eccentrics” for a photo essay published inHarper’s Bazaar,it depicts a contortionist from Hubert’s Museum named Joe Allen.¹ Appearing to be about sixty years old, Allen stands in profile, facing a bright naked lightbulb that hangs from the ceiling of a cramped room. The apartment features a bed and chairs that, as in Van Gogh’s painting of his room at Arles, block the only doorway to the room. A ubiquitous clothes hanger—presumably...

    • Developments in Catholic-Jewish Relations: 1990 and Beyond (pp. 135-144)
      John T. Pawlikowski

      The last fifteen years or so have witnessed significant new developments but also the emergence of new challenges in the Catholic-Jewish relationship. In this essay, I will highlight some of the main new developments and discuss the emerging challenges, focusing in particular on four areas: (1) the Holocaust, (2) the theology of the Church’s relationship with Judaism in the light of new biblical research, (3) Jewish understandings of the land of Israel, and (4) joint social responsibility. In considering all these issues I shall attempt to be as candid as possible about positive developments as well as continuing tensions. An...

  7. Part 3 Judaism as Historiosophy and Thought
    • Philo and the Dangers of Philosophizing (pp. 147-159)
      Louis H. Feldman

      Sometimes there is insight to be found in a joke.In ioco veritas. There is a story of a yeshivabochur, a student in a yeshiva, who has reached that age when he should be thinking of getting married. And so arrangements are made for him to go out with a young lady. Since he knows nothing about such matters, he inquires as to what he is to talk about with her. Well, he is told, there are three topics—family, food, and philosophy. He meets the young lady and he is tongue-tied. But then he remembers: family. “Do you...

    • Exegetical Theology and Divine Suffering in Jewish Thought (pp. 160-171)
      Michael Fishbane

      It is an honor to participate in this volume in celebration of Zev Garber. His lifework has been devoted to the phenomenon of Jewish suffering and its study, including the pedagogies of its cultural transmission. In this regard, he has also focused on the exegetical uses and transformations of this subject, for good and ill, in both the scholarly and the popular culture. For these reasons, I would like to contribute an essay that shall attempt to set forth some of the Jewish expressions of our subject—in a way that seeks to illuminate some of the inner structures and...

    • Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel’s Paths to God (pp. 172-181)
      Harold Kasimow

      In his best-known work,God in Search of Man, a book that has been called “the single most sophisticated, profound and comprehensive statement within modern Judaic theology,” Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907–72), one of the most significant Jewish thinkers of the twentieth century, expresses his deep concern over the decline of religion today.¹ This concern extends beyond the survival of Judaism to the survival of humanity itself. In a 1967 article he says:

      The cardinal problem is not the survival of religion, but the survival of man. What is required is a continuous effort to overcome hardness of heart, callousness,...

    • The Reception of Early German Haskalah in Nineteenth-Century Haskalah (pp. 182-190)
      Moshe Pelli

      One of the most intriguing topics in the study of Haskalah literature, which has not been addressed in the critical literature so far, is the “reception” of early German Haskalah in the nineteenth century.

      We know that at the end of the nineteenth century, the Berlin Haskalah was severely criticized by various Maskilim and post-Haskalah writers. However, what is less known is the historical and literary process that led to this critical position. That is to say, the transition in attitude toward early Haskalah as the centers of the Haskalah moved to the Austro-Hungarian empire and Galicia as well as...

  8. Part 4 Reflections from the Field and the Classroom
    • Traveling in Ga(r)berdine (pp. 193-197)
      G. Jan Colijn

      It is early March 1991. The Dutch would shrug “March wags its tail” about the South Jersey weather we are experiencing: snow, high winds—the kind of foul weather that makes you want to curl up with a book, but there will be no curling this night, not even the funny kind with a broom. In a few days, the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey will be hosting the Annual Scholars Conference on the Holocaust and the Churches, and scholars strictly observing the Sabbath are beginning to arrive before the weekend. They will be housed at the Marriott Seaview,...

    • Jewish Studies without Jews: The Growth of an Academic Field in Austria and Germany (pp. 198-207)
      Klaus Hödl

      In the last few decades, Germany and Austria have experienced a staggering expansion of the field of Jewish studies.¹ They have been set up either as separate institutes within a faculty or as programs that consist of courses related to Jewish history and culture offered by various departments. The development of Jewish studies is closely connected to political and cultural processes in society at large and cannot be described properly without taking them into account. The link between them became especially conspicuous in the former East Germany, where the crumbling of the Berlin Wall in 1989 led, among other institutions...

    • The Story of Shofar: An Editor’s Personal Account (pp. 208-223)
      Joseph Haberer

      In this, the twenty-fifth year of its publication, a retrospective account of the founding and growth ofShofaris altogether fitting. Also appropriate, as we honor Zev Garber, is to note how closely connected he has been to the journal.

      This is apersonalaccount, depending to a considerable extent on memory, flawed and partial as it may be.¹ I will describe the challenges, hurdles, frustrations, and satisfactions that have gone into the creation of what is now, perhaps, a premier journal of Jewish studies. I will frame the narrative in the context of the institutions in which this journal...

    • “But It Isn’t on the Test!”: Holocaust Education in the Age of “No Child Left Behind” (pp. 224-237)
      Louanne Clayton Jacobs

      I currently teach in the School of Education at a state university that is considered one of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). By the time students have enrolled in one of the education courses I teach, they have typically completed most if not all of their required coursework in history, English, mathematics, and science. By the time students enter my classroom they have learned most ofwhatthey will teach and have begun preprofessional courses designed to help them learnhowto teach it.

      Two semesters ago, I taught a course in the materials and methods of teaching...

    • Spelling and Kabbalah: A Review Essay of Myla Goldberg’s Bee Season (pp. 238-242)
      Nancy Shiffrin

      I wish to express my appreciation to Zev Garber for helping wandering Jews connect to Jewish academic life.

      As the novelBee Seasonbegins, the protagonist, nine-year-old Eliza Naumann, is the Other, the Outsider, in a family of intense unearthly intellectuals. A disappointment to her Cantor father Saul, distanced from her obsessive/compulsive lawyer mother, Miriam, ignored by her Bar Mitzvah–student brother, and not selected as Aaron was for the Talented and Gifted program at her high school, Eliza seems resigned to a secondary position in her family, appropriate to her birth order and gender.

      Then Eliza wins her high...

  9. Part 5 Shoah Theology and Other Shoah Matters, Including Antisemitism
    • What Do Americans Read When They Read about the Holocaust? (pp. 245-254)
      Lawrence Baron

      In January of 2006, Oprah Winfrey announced that Elie Wiesel’sNightwould be a selection for her book club because she considered it “required reading for all humanity.” Soon thereafter, Wiesel appeared on Oprah’s syndicated television show and accompanied her on a tour of Auschwitz. AlthoughNighthas been a perennial bestseller in the past thirty years, it shot up to number one on theNew York Times’ sales rankings for nonfiction paperbacks by February of 2006. Oprah’s Boutique currently markets a DVD of the episode on the Auschwitz trip andNighttee shirts bearing the transliterated Hebrew passage from...

    • The Evolution and Devolution of a World Apart: The Nazi Concentration Camps and the Holocaust (pp. 255-275)
      Paul R. Bartrop

      Looming over every positive achievement of the twentieth century is the Nazi Holocaust against the Jewish people, a genocidal explosion that saw a sudden and irrevocable break with all of the secular humanistic traditions that had been developing in Europe over the previous thousand years. The relationship between mass death and the industrial state that became manifested in the Holocaust was both intimate and interdependent, and, as a result of it having taken place, we have forever a yardstick by which all other cases of genocide must be measured. Its message is so powerful that no definition of Western civilization...

    • Soft-core Holocaust Denial: Trivialization and Sanitization in the Early Twenty-first Century (pp. 276-282)
      Michael Berenbaum

      I am pleased to join this volume in honor of Zev Garber’s work, which has earned him the respect of colleagues, and pleased more to honor Zev Garber the scholar, the teacher, and the man for the rather unique way in which he embodies his scholarship in his being. To have reached a milestone age of life is a tribute not only to longevity, but productivity, and creativity, and, most significantly in Zev’s case, decency.

      Few scholars have done more to sensitize us of the meaning of language related to the Shoah than Zev Garber. Thus, in his honor, I...

    • The Scroll of the Shoah: The Case for the Writings of Yitzhak Katzenelson as the Basis of a Future Jewish Post-Shoah Jewish Theology (pp. 283-293)
      Samuel M. Edelman

      This essay is written with Zev Garber in the forefront of my mind. He has always been a whirlwind of energy and activity. For the amount of teaching he does, his level of scholarly productivity is mind-boggling. Not only that, but Zev has been the mentor of many younger scholars. He inspires, he encourages, and he finds ways to get their work published. In short, Zev is an inspiration for scholarly achievement and passion. In the area of interfaith dialogue, Zev has been a pioneer with the Scholars Conference on the Holocaust and the Churches Post-Shoah Midrash Reading Group. In...

    • “Thou Shalt Teach It to Thy Children”: What American Jewish Children’s Literature Teaches about the Holocaust (pp. 294-304)
      Peter Haas

      Although a good deal has been written about Holocaust education at the college and university level, little attention has been paid to what is being taught in Jewish institutions for younger students, that is, in day schools, supplementary schools, synagogues, and the like. Even less is known about what Jewish children who have no formal Jewish education after Bar/Bat Mitzvah age know about the Holocaust. Our interest in this project was sparked by a desire to know what “Millennials”—children coming of age in the last decade or so—know or think they know about the Holocaust. It is our...

    • Once More to the Jabbok: The Place of Midrashic Dialogue in Post-Shoah Hermeneutics (pp. 305-311)
      Henry F. Knight

      Do midrash.¹ Work dialogically.² Attend to the missing faces.³ These three simple sentences guide my work as a post-Holocaust theologian, educator, and religious professional. Indeed, if by midrash I mean not simply the formal interpretive work of rabbinic tradition but the hermeneutic practice of reading sacred texts and other important documents with an interruptive logic that kindles what the rabbis call the “white fire” of the texts, then these three admonitions describe my understanding of public responsibility in a post-Shoah world.

      Of course, these imperatives are not exhaustive. A summons to attend to missing faces articulates a sense of responsibility...

    • Portraits of Two Jewries: Experiencing the Shoah through Fiction (pp. 312-321)
      Richard Libowitz

      Historians, sociologists, and theologians filter the Holocaust through their very specific scholarly prisms, but our primary task remains a telling of the story, permitting students as well as the general public to understand in the most visceral manner—beyond footnotes, charts, and numbers—that a monstrous event occurred. Important as the academicians’ efforts are for maintaining historical accuracy and intellectual acuity, it is not enough to rely solely upon learned compilations of data; thus, we turn to the storytellers. Elie Wiesel and Aharon Appelfeld have long been among the most prolific novelists of the Holocaust. Each crafts fiction based upon...

    • No Vindication to Venomous Verdict: The Poem “Mr. Auschwitz” by Ronny Someck (pp. 322-335)
      Yair Mazor

      The most powerful components that protrude in this poem by Ronny Someck are the following two: stupendously scorching, scalding emotions and admirably aesthetic intricacy. That tempestuous “quarry” of emotions may be plausibly considered as the reservoir of the “raw materials” that feed the aesthetic mechanism and enable it to propel and operate its complex “engine.” Thus the poem’s erupting emotions act in capacity of a bedrock, on which the aesthetic mechanism is set.

      Nevertheless, in order to appreciate to the fullest the stormy might of the poem’s emotions, one must go “backwards” and commence the reading process while concentrating on...

    • Holocaust or Shoah: The Greek Category versus Jewish Thought (pp. 336-345)
      David Patterson

      During my attendance at the 2001 Scholars’ Conference on the Holocaust and the Churches a survivor told me that she had come to a horrifying realization about the relation between Holocaust scholars and Holocaust survivors. Speaking in a whisper, as though afraid of her own words, she said to me, “I know now what they want us to do: they want us to die.” My initial reaction was shock. For reasons I did not immediately grasp, her words brought to mind one of the conference sessions on Holocaust education. At one point the discussion in that session revolved around the...

    • What Have We Learned from the Holocaust? (pp. 346-350)
      John K. Roth

      What have we learned from the Holocaust? Reflecting on some events from 2007, my response to that question goes in two directions: (1)maybe somethingbut (2)not enough. To explain what I mean by those two points, and to identify their content, it is important to consider the governing question in some further detail.

      There could be many questions with the form “What have we learned from … ?” The “blank” could be filled in by references to fields of inquiry, such as science or economics, or to events, such as some recent election or the Iraq War. The...

    • On Oil and Antisemitism (pp. 351-361)
      Richard L. Rubenstein

      An attitudinal sea change has occurred in Europe. The nations of the European Union (EU), formerly the European Community (EC), have turned aggressively against Israel, and the post-Holocaust taboo on antisemitic speech and incitement, observed by the mainstream media and responsible political, religious, and intellectual leaders for decades, has been broken. When and why did this happen? How are we to understand the plethora of vulgarly antisemitic cartoons and caricatures, as well as statements by European leaders of a kind not uttered publicly since the fall of the Third Reich?

      A major reason for the shift was Europe’s surrender to...

    • Disraeli’s Boomerang Efforts to Combat Antisemitism: The Interplay of Ideas of Race, Religion, and Conspiracy (pp. 362-387)
      Frederick M. Schweitzer

      Throughout his life Benjamin Disraeli (1804–81) was scorned as a Jew: “the Jew scamp,” “that damned bumptious Jew boy,” “the wandering Jew, with the brand of Cane [sic] upon him,” and was subjected to bigoted attacks such as Sidney Herbert’s provoking a roar of laughter in the House of Commons by questioning Disraeli in solemn mockery, how anyone could adopt “a faith the profession of which must begin with a surgical operation!”¹ Disraeli often lamented, “Ah, it is not my Government they [the people of England] dislike: I tell you it is me they dislike,” that he had been...

    • Writing (pp. 388-395)
      William (Zev) Wallis
    • The Landscape of Memory (pp. 396-406)
      Ann Weiss

      This article is dedicated to Professor Zev Garber, a teacher of extraordinary gifts, whose thought-provoking dialectics bring to mind our great Talmudic sages—Mazel Tovto you, Zev, for all you have achieved, for all the minds you have opened, and most of all, for themenschlichkeityou have added to the world—and tomyworld.

      “We rememberin situ, when the setting of our memory and the setting of our remembering are one and the same.”¹ And in this remembering, aspects of ourselves return to a place where memory began, and to a time when we lived these...

  10. Part 6 Zionism and Hebrew Studies
    • Hebrew Literature, Academic Politics, and Feminist Criticism: A Confessional Essay (pp. 409-417)
      Esther Fuchs

      To what extent can we draw on our personal and professional narratives as a valid source of knowledge in order to substantiate a critique of our respective academic fields? How can we possibly crosscut from a subjective to a critical discourse, from emotion to fact and back? The following attempt to account for the unusual relationship between “my self” and “my work,” and between “my work” and “my field” will be partial both epistemologically and chronologically. The possessive pronoun in “my life” suggests ownership and control; yet, it is precisely the relinquishment of this control that I would like to...

    • The Folktales of Rabbi Yosef Hayyim (pp. 418-430)
      Lev Hakak

      Rabbi Yosef Hayyim (1834–1909) was born in Baghdad, Iraq, into a family of notable rabbis. He was also known as Ben Ish Hai, which is the title of his major work on Jewish law published in Jerusalem in 1898. Yosef Hayyim was considered the most prominent rabbi of the Babylonian Jews in the latest generations. At the age of thirteen he was admitted to the famous Midrash Bet Zilkha, where the great Rabbi Abdallah Somekh taught him. A few years later, he retreated to his attic to study alone. At age twenty-one he was already well known for his...

    • The Sha’ar Ha-Shamayim Synagogue (Keniset Ismā’īlīyah) in Cairo, Egypt (pp. 431-440)
      Rivka Kern-Ulmer

      A building is a cultural signifier that carries meaning to all that enter or view the building. A synagogue is a building that carries meaning for those who congregate in it as a community. In those cases in which the Jewish community dissipates, the synagogue mainly serves as a building block in the construction of a collective memory and as a teaching tool.¹ The collective and individual memories are not only inscribed on the conscience of a group but also on the stones and walls of edifices which memorialize them. This essay discusses the Sha’ar Ha-Shamayim Synagogue in Cairo, Egypt,...

    • On Three Early Incidences of Hebrew Script in Western Art (pp. 441-454)
      Harris Lenowitz

      Though some have theorized that the Hebrew script in the trilingual titulus of the fourteenth-centuryCrucifixionby Giotto is the first appearance of Hebrew in Western art, the script in fact began to appear in that circumstance at least two centuries earlier, at the beginning of the twelfth century. Major changes in the Church’s relationship with the Jews occurred between these earliest appearances. For purposes of understanding the significance of the earlier date, the most important change was the renewal (following Jerome [347–420]) of Hebrew study among Christians. At about the same time, with Peter of Cluny (1092–1156)...

    • The Literary Quest for National Revival: From Hazaz’s “The Sermon” (1942) to Yehoshua’s Mr. Mani (1990) (pp. 455-464)
      Gilead Morahg

      From the earliest settlement period, mainstream Zionist writers have expressed concern that the psychological and ideological deformations that shaped Jewish life in the Diaspora will continue to define Israeli identity and pervert the relationship of the people of Israel to the Land of Israel. This concern, which has its canonical literary expression in Haim Hazaz’s story, “The Sermon” (1942), is still very much in evidence in A. B. Yehoshua’s masterful novel,Mr. Mani(1990). The fact that two works separated by half a century of enormous change in Israeli life share this particular concern is intriguing enough to invite critical...

    • The Two-Bodied People, Their Cosmos, and the Origin of the Soul (pp. 465-476)
      Ziony Zevit

      In 2001 I defined Israelite religions as “the varied, symbolic expressions of, and appropriate responses to the deities and powers that groups or communities deliberately affirmed as being of unrestricted value to them within their worldview.”¹ In this definition, I expressed my assumption that religion, like culture in general, is formed, formulated, and expressed through organized groups of people. Both are expressed semiotically and mediated through external realities such as spoken and written language, arts, and ritual. Though some elements of both culture and religion are private and subjective, most are public and objective. In the Ancient Near East, as...

  11. A Garber Bibliography (pp. 477-502)
  12. Contributors (pp. 503-514)
  13. Back Matter (pp. 515-515)