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Jewish Nationalism and Acculturation in 19th- and Early 20th-Century Russia
In this provocative work, Alvin H. Rosenfeld contends that the proliferation of books, films, television programs, museums, and public commemorations related to the Holocaust has, perversely, brought about a diminution of its meaning and a denigration of its memory. Investigating a wide range of events and cultural phenomena, such as Ronald Reagan's 1985 visit to the German cemetery at Bitburg, the distortions of Anne Frank's story, and the ways in which the Holocaust has been depicted by such artists and filmmakers as Judy Chicago and Steven Spielberg, Rosenfeld charts the cultural forces that have minimized the Holocaust in popular perceptions. He contrasts these with sobering representations by Holocaust witnesses such as Jean AmÃ©ry, Primo Levi, Elie Wiesel, and Imre KertÃ©sz. The book concludes with a powerful warning about the possible consequences of "the end of the Holocaust" in public consciousness.
Symbolization and Theurgy in the Later Strata of the Zohar
This book analyzes the use of symbolism and theurgy in two sections of the Zohar, the central text of the kabbalah. These compositions, Tiqqunei ha-Zohar and Ra’aya Meheimna have been particularly loved by kabbalists. Giller demonstrates the significance of their contributions to theosophical kabbalah.
Franz Rosenzweig's The Star of Redemption
Assesses the impact of romanticism on the thought of Jewish philosopher Franz Rosenzweig. Examining romanticism in the thought of Jewish philosopher, Franz Rosenzweig, this book compares his magnum opus, The Star of Redemption, with Leo Baeck’s essay, “Romantic Religion,” and Friedrich Schelling’s Philosophy of Art, texts representing two distinct and, to a large extent, opposed interpretations of romanticism. Rosenzweig’s thought was shaped by two intellectual histories: Germany’s and Judaism’s. Because romanticism had such a definite impact on modern German writing and thought, it becomes a question whether, and to what extent, Rosenzweig, too, was a romantic. Part of the force of the question derives from the tensions sometimes noted between Jewish and romantic worldviews. In this book, author Ernest Rubinstein shows The Star of Redemption to be along the spectrum of ideas that extends between Baeck and Schelling, and thus illustrates a qualified romanticism.
Writing the Life of Ona Simaite
Chinese and Jews in the Modern Transformation of Southeast Asia and Central Europe
Ethnic Chinese in Southeast Asia, like Jews in Central Europe until the Holocaust, have been remarkably successful as an entrepreneurial and professional minority. Whole regimes have sometimes relied on the financial underpinnings of Chinese business to maintain themselves in power, and recently Chinese businesses have led the drive to economic modernization in Southeast Asia. But at the same time, they remain, as the Jews were, the quintessential “outsiders.” In some Southeast Asian countries they are targets of majority nationalist prejudices and suffer from discrimination, even when they are formally integrated into the nation.
Jewish Interpretation of the Book of Esther in the Middle Ages
This comprehensive history, the first to appear in English, gives a vivid portrayal of the Book of Esther’s role in the intellectual and cultural life of Jews in the Middle Ages. Much of the study is based on material that exists only in manuscripts, and it introduces many exegetes hitherto unknown or unstudied.
Zionism and the Return to Mandate Palestine
Offering a new perspective on Zionism, Exiled in the Homeland draws on memoirs, newspaper accounts, and archival material to examine closely the lives of the men and women who immigrated to Palestine in the early twentieth century. Rather than reducing these historic settlements to a single, unified theme, Donna Robinson Divine’s research reveals an extraordinary spectrum of motivations and experiences among these populations. Though British rule and the yearning for a Jewish national home contributed to a foundation of solidarity, Exiled in the Homeland presents the many ways in which the message of emigration settled into the consciousness of the settlers. Considering the benefits and costs of their Zionist commitments, Divine explores a variety of motivations and outcomes, ranging from those newly arrived immigrants who harnessed their ambition for the goal of radical transformation to those who simply dreamed of living a better life. Also capturing the day-to-day experiences in families that faced scarce resources, as well as the British policies that shaped a variety of personal decisions on the part of the newcomers, Exiled in the Homeland provides new keys to understanding this pivotal chapter in Jewish history.
Jewish American Writers and American Literary Culture
How have Jews reshaped their identities as Jews in the face of the radical newness called America? Julian Levinson explores the ways in which exposure to American literary culture -- in particular the visionary tradition identified with Ralph Waldo Emerson and Walt Whitman -- led American Jewish writers to a new understanding of themselves as Jews. Discussing the lives and work of writers such as Emma Lazarus, Mary Antin, Ludwig Lewisohn, Waldo Frank, Anzia Yezierska, I. J. Schwartz, Alfred Kazin, and Irving Howe, Levinson concludes that their interaction with American culture led them to improvise new and meaningful ways of being Jewish. In contrast to the often expressed view that the diaspora experience leads to assimilation, Exiles on Main Street traces an arc of return to Jewish identification and describes a vital and creative Jewish American literary culture.
Women, the Nazis, and the Holocaust
The many powerful accounts of the Holocaust have given rise to women’s voices, and yet few researchers have analyzed these perspectives to learn what the horrifying events meant for women in particular and how they related to them. In Experience and Expression, the authors take on this challenge, providing the first book-length gendered analysis of women and the Holocaust, a topic that is emerging as a new field of inquiry in its own right. Accessible to readers on many levels, the essays portray the experiences of women of various religious and ethnic backgrounds, and draw from the fields of English, religion, nursing, history, law, comparative literature, philosophy, French, and German. The collection explores an array of fascinating topics: rescue and resistance, the treatment of Roma and Sinti women, the fate of female forced laborers, Holocaust politics, nurses at so-called euthanasia centers, women’s experiences of food and hunger in the camps, the uses and abuses of Anne Frank, and the representations of the Holocaust in art, film, and literature in the postwar era. The introduction provides a thorough overview of the current status of research in the field, and each essay seeks to push the theoretical boundaries that shape our understanding of women’s experience and agency during the Holocaust and of the ways in which they have expressed their memories.