Rhetoric and Nation
The Formation of Hebrew National Culture, 1880-1990
Publication Year: 2014
Published by: Syracuse University Press
Title Page, Series Page, Copyright, Dedication, About the Author
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This book originated in a series of debates I had with my friends at the University of California and the Graduate Theological Seminar in Berkeley during my stay there in 1998. For their continued hospitality and intellectual stimulation, I am thankful to Amir Banbaji, Ayelet...
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In 1894, Hayyim Nahman Bialik (1873–1934), who would soon be crowned poet laureate of Jewish nationalism, published his Hebrew poem “Birkat ‘Am” (Blessing of the People). The poem, popularly known by its opening Hebrew words as “Teḥezakna” (Be Strong), was...
1. Politics and Letters
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In june 1891, a series of five installments under the title of “Emet me-Eretz-Yisrael” (Truth from the Land of Israel), signed by “Aḥad Ha-Am” appeared in the St. Petersburg Hebrew paper ha-Melitz. The series summarized the author’s impressions of his journey to the Ottoman...
2. Language and Pedagogy
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in 1896, Theodor Herzl, founder and leader of the Zionist movement, published in German his nationalist manifesto Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State). In this manifesto, he touches briefly on the question of the language of the future Jewish state...
3. Literary Criticism as Nationalist Cartography
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On September 30, 1887, a first installment of Eliezr Ben-Yehuda’s (abridged) translation of Jules Verne’s 1873 novel, Le tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours appeared in his Jerusalem weekly ha-Tzevi under the title Sviv ha-Aretz bi-Shmonim Yom (Around the World in Eighty>...
4. The Rhetoric of Historical Anxiety
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As part of Scholem’s narrative of his 1923 immigration to Mandatory Palestine, these sentences transcribe the map of Jewish nationalist migration onto the field of history: the move from Central Europe to the Eastern shore of the Mediterranean traces not so much a spatial...
5. History and Myth
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In 1917, the central board of ha-Shomer youth movement in Vienna— one of the precursors of ha-Shomer ha-Tza‘ir—published a handbook for the movement’s youth guides. The handbook set its pedagogic mission against the figure of the exiled Jew...
6. History and Mourning
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“I am opposed to Jewish history,” states Yudke, the protagonist of the 1942 short story “ha-Drasha” (The Sermon) by Hayyim Hazaz (1898–1973).1 Struggling to explain himself, he continues: “We really don’t have history at all . . . we never made our...
7. National Aesthetics in Crisis
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The fifth Zionist congress in Basel in 1901 saw the first exhibitions of work by Jewish artists in a national context in central Europe.1 On this occasion, the philosopher Martin Buber (1878– 1965) addressed the Congress on the importance of art for the...
8. The Tussle with the Zionist Dream
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In “the petit-bourgeois malady,” Amos Oz writes: “I think that the real schism between the Labor Movement and the Revisionists was—over the relation to reality. The Labor Movement, in all its shades and trends, always had a deep respect for facts. That was...
9. A Sentimental Journey
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The role played by Friedrich Schiller’s aesthetics in the formation of the European modern nation state has often been noted.1 In this chapter I shall argue that it has also been central to the Hebrew discourse of the nation, formed under the imprint of European cultural criticism.2...
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In the course of this book, I sought to examine the language of the Hebrew discourse of the nation, highlighting the uncertainty and anxiety that haunt it. I sought to expose the ways in which this uncertainty informs the positions, narratives, and identities produced...
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About the Author, Back Cover
Page Count: 448
Publication Year: 2014
Series Title: Judaic Traditions in Literature, Music, and the Arts
Series Editor Byline: Harold Bloom, Ken Frieden