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Since 1967 the city has been an integral part of the political, social and cultural life of Israeli society; it is a physical reality (Yerushalayim shel matah) at the same time it seeks its celestial existence (Yerushalayim shel malah), with all the magic and paradoxes this implies.
Our team has put together this selection of texts and original illustrations on the subject of Jerusalem for our readers, whom we hope will find it useful in paying virtual and collective homage to a unique city.
Texts selected by Asherit Waldman
Illustrations by Paula Furer
Yitzhak Rabin Memorial Day
“Whomever the Jewish people choose is the choice of God. If God had not approved, the election would not have succeeded. This horrible act, directed against the kingdom of Israel, is also an assault on the kingdom of God. It is an assault on the entire people of Israel, not only because of the act itself, but because one man cannot say: I will decide for everyone, I have the right to assault the anointed of God, chosen by the people, a man who dedicated his entire life to the Jewish people. How many merits he had!“
Rabbi Yehuda Amital
By Matthew LaGrone
“If the rabbi resembles an angel of God, he will yearn for the Torah in his mouth; yet, if he does not, thou shall not let him teach you the Law.”
(Babylonian Talmud, Moed Katan 17 a)
by Yerahmiel Barylka
In a new series of interviews with Israelis in every part of the world, we will try to see how life outside Israel influences the Jewish dynamic and the Israeli dynamic. Our first interviewee is the writer Maya Arad, who has lived in Stanford, California, for about a decade.
Interview by Ronny Shani
The repetition of customs that results from all Jewish rituals, ceremonies, prayers and festivities can foster the integration of people with mental disability, and, in turn, renew the routine of the community receiving them.
by Jose Esses
This essay deals with the images of wine in the biblical and Talmudic texts. Talmudic culture is based on the biblical text, which it regards as the sacred foundation of all its ideology, but at the same time, and perhaps for this reason, it constantly is engaged in interpretation of the biblical text, seeing new, previously unnoticed meanings in it. For example, while inheriting from the biblical text a certain attitude toward wine, Talmudic culture develops it further, turning wine into a metaphorical reflection of its own cultural values. By examining the images of wine in the Talmudic texts, we will see how the culture perceives itself by drawing boundaries and altering them.
by Reuven Kipervasser
The fact that the Jewish people’s intellectuals of antiquity were so decisively opposed to political radicalism did not prevent splashes of cruel radical tendencies from showing up at various stages of Jewish history. But if the world in which we live is becoming better nonetheless, then regular reading of these pronouncements and stories will help us find a certain historical perspective before we venture to put a price on human life, and to hate.
by Reuven Kipervasser
Jewish Veterans of
the Soviet Army in Present-Day Germany
This paper seeks to investigate the tensions between identities, history, and memories in one group of Jewish veterans of the Soviet Army and above all the conflicts these tensions generate in Jewish communities, as well as in the veterans’ confrontation with German society and in some of their ways of remembering the World War Two. This is only a preliminary, qualitative approach based both on interviews and on the observations the authors made in years of daily work in Germany’s Jewish communities.
by Liliana Ruth Feierstein and Liliana Furman
Youth study reveals
challenges ahead for Israeli society
The following article describes the results of an academic study jointly conducted by the German Freidich Ebert foundation and the University of Tel Aviv on Israeli youth and how they perceive the present time and the political situation in the Middle East (prior to the revolutions seen in recent months in the Arab world), as well as their perspectives on issues like the past, the Holocaust, and present-day attitudes towards Germany.
by Toby Axelrod
The most agonizing question of the Holocaust is whether the free world could have done more to save Jews in Europe from the Nazis during World War II. Among the questions in this category, is whether newspapers and radio could have pressured the governments of Great Britain and the United States to take action by rescuing more refugees, and executing military maneuvers to disrupt the transportation of victims to concentration camps. For this to happen would have required (1) the pressure of large newspaper headlines trumpeting Nazi genocide against the Jews and the Romani, (2) constant front page placement of the horrific stories coming out of Poland and Russia and (3) angry newspaper editorials urging government actions. In this essay criticisms of British and American newspaper holocaust coverage are examined and justified. An attempt is made to understand why the press behaved the way it did. In the study questions at the end of this paper, the effectiveness of contemporary communications meaning television and satellite distribution of it are considered. Students are asked whether even with today’s coverage the perpetration of genocide can be effectively countered by public opinion.
By Jack Heller
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