Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies

Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies
Volume 21, Number 4, Summer 2003


Contents

Articles

    Edelman, Martin.
  • The Status of the Israeli Constitution at the Present Time
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    Subject Headings:
    • Constitutional law -- Israel.
    • Israel. Bet ha-mishpat ha-elyon.
    Abstract:
      Until recently, there was general agreement that Israel was one of the few nations in the contemporary world without a formal written, integrated constitution. The eleven Basic Laws enacted by the parliament were not seen as superior, fundamental laws restricting the authority of the sovereign Knesset. At most, they were seen as self-restricting Knesset enactments. Then in 1995, the Israeli Supreme Court held that it would henceforth consider the Basic Laws as Israel's constitution, and that the justices would exercise a judicial review power akin to that of the United States Supreme Court. Israel appears to be the only country with a written constitution promulgated by its judiciary. But not all Israelis have accepted the judicially promulgated constitution.

      This article assesses the uniqueness of the Israeli situation. It first discusses the functions of written constitutions and why such documents have become part of what it means to be an independent nation in the contemporary world. It then discusses the special role of written constitutions in democracies and the various ways democracies have adopted constitutions. Against that background, the discussion turns to recent actions by the Supreme Court in the context of current Israeli politics to explain why the legitimacy of the constitution is still problematic.

    Lazarowitz, Arlene, 1945-
  • Senator Jacob K. Javits and Soviet Jewish Emigration
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    Subject Headings:
    • Javits, Jacob K. (Jacob Koppel), 1904-1986.
    • Jews -- Soviet Union -- Migrations.
    • United States -- Foreign economic relations -- Soviet Union.
    • Soviet Union -- Foreign economic relations -- United States.
    Abstract:
      Senator Jacob K. Javits rendered a critical service in writing the compromise wording and leading the negotiations over the Jackson-Vanik Amendment of 1974, which linked most- favored-nation trade status and subsidized low-interest government credits between the United States and the Soviet Union with a higher and more sustained level of Soviet Jewish emigration. As a Jewish Republican, Javits had to reconcile his relationship with the Nixon Administration, which regarded the linkage of trade agreements with human rights abuses as destructive of detente, with his support for Soviet Jews. Javits brought his ability to balance competing interests to make more moderate and flexible the amendment language. The influence of a Jewish Senator was critical because the established Jewish organizations were initially opposed to tying Soviet trade to emigration. His connections within the United States government and with the American Jewish leadership proved indispensable in aiding Soviet Jewish emigration.
    Brinkley, Tony.
    Kostova, Raina.
  • "The Road to Stalin": Mandelstam's Ode to Stalin and "The Lines on the Unknown Soldier"
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    Subject Headings:
    • Mandelshtam, Osip, 1891-1938. Ode to Stalin.
    • Mandelshtam, Osip, 1891-1938. Sikhi o neizvestnom soldate.
    Abstract:
      "'The Road to Stalin'" introduces new transations of two late poems by Osip Mandelstam: the Ode to Stalin and the "Lines on the Unknown Soldier." The poems were written in 1937 toward the end of Mandelstam's exile in Voronezh. Both were intended for publication. In recent years, "The Unknown Soldier" has been acknowledtged as one of Mandelstam's major works. The Ode, for the most part, has been treated as an embarrassment. If publication had occurred at the time, however, the two poems would have been read in each other's terms—as complementary works by a poet whose dissent, arrest, and exile were celebrated. In publishing these translations together, our primary intention is also a very simple one, to offer a way in which the two poems can be read as companions.

Pedagogy Section

    Arnold, John.
    Stargardt, Ute.
  • The Wroclaw Project
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    Subject Headings:
    • Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) -- Study and teaching (Higher)
    • Alma College -- Curricula.
    • Jewish cemeteries -- Conservation and restoration -- Poland -- Wroclaw.
    Abstract:
      This article describes a service learning course located in the city of Wroclaw (formerly Breslau) in southwestern Poland entitled "The Holocaust: Causes and Legacies," in which the cleanup/restoration of the city's "new" Jewish graveyard (opened in 1902) plays a vitally important part. The authors' description of the course is followed by a section dedicated to issues of organizing successful service learning courses located outside the United States. Details relating to their own experience in planning and managing this particular project are specific enough to serve as a model for educators interested in setting up service learning ventures of their own in Poland or joining Alma College in this particular endeavor. Others are of a sufficiently general nature to serve instructors in devising successful study abroad experiences for their students at any number of overseas sites.
    Mandell, Sara, 1938-
  • Teaching the Hebrew Bible in a Small Religious Studies Department: Problems and Resolutions
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    Subject Headings:
    • Bible. O.T. -- Study and teaching (Higher)
    Abstract:
      Students educated in public institutions, particularly those with small Religious Studies Departments, frequently have little knowledge of the academic study of the Hebrew Bible. Problems for faculty include insufficient time to do research (in the case of lecturers of large general survey sections), insufficient knowledge (in the case of graduate students), and faith-based knowledge (in the case of visiting local clergy). Students frequently display attitude problems when faced with other approaches to scripture than that taught by their religion, or when they realize that they cannot earn an easy A just by knowing Bible stories; occasionally such students become evangelical or disruptive. Even those students who attend class because they are interested in Western culture have no knowledge of the Ancient Near Eastern world from which a great portion of the Hebrew Scripture emanates, and they do not have the requisite languages.
    Bar-Lev, Zev.
  • Hebrew Key-Letters
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    Subject Headings:
    • Hebrew language -- Roots.
    • Hebrew language -- Consonants.
    Abstract:
      This article uses mostly ignored facts about Hebrew to propose a major addition to the theory of the Hebrew root (and root-morphemes generally), and a radical solution to the lexical problem in linguistics: the fact that native speakers of a language acquire and subsequently access tens of thousands of words (and that knowledge of a significant part of these words is required of foreign learners).

      Initial single-consonant submorphemes are proposed as a new (quasi-) systematic structure within lexicon, most clearly seen in Hebrew. More specifically, it is proposed that 16 Hebrew initial consonants provide a semantic clue to the meaning of the root, in the form of a small set of basic meanings (one "original" one branching out to several basic ones). These clues help to learn and access a large vocabulary, whether for the native or non-native speaker.

Review Essay

    Patterson, David (David A.)
  • Holocaust Studies without the Holocaust: Review Essay
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    Subject Headings:
    • Fridman, Lea Wernick, 1949- Words and witness: narrative and aesthetic strategies in the representation of the Holocaust.
    • LaCapra, Dominick, 1939- Writing history, writing trauma.
    • Lang, Berel. Holocaust representation: art within the limits of history and ethics.
    • Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945), in literature.
    • Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) -- Historiography.

Book Reviews

    Wallis, William.
  • The Letters of Jonathan Netanyahu (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Netanyahu, Yonatan, 1946-1976. Letters of Jonathan Netanyahu.
    • Netanyahu, Yonatan, 1946-1976 -- Correspondence.
    Ben Rafael, Eliezer.
  • The History of Kibbutz Education: Practice into Theory (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Dror, Yuval. History of Kibbutz education: practice into theory.
    • Collective education -- Israel -- History.
    Divine, Donna Robinson, 1941-
  • Through the Lens of Israel: Explorations in State and Society (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Migdal, Joel S. Through the lens of Israel: explorations in state and society.
    • Israel -- Politics and government.
    Van Seters, John.
  • The Politics of Ancient Israel (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Gottwald, Norman K. (Norman Karol), 1926- Politics of ancient Israel.
    • Jews -- Politics and government -- To 70 A.D.
    Mandell, Sara, 1938-
  • The Religions of Ancient Israel: A Synthesis of Parallactic Approaches (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Zevit, Ziony. Religions of ancient Israel: a synthesis of parallactic approaches.
    • Palestine -- Antiquities.
    Greenspahn, Frederick E., 1946-
  • Deception in Genesis: An Investigation into the Morality of a Unique Biblical Phenomenon (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Williams, Michael James, 1956- Deception in Genesis: an investigation into the morality of a unique biblical phenomenon.
    • Deception in the Bible.
    Carasik, Michael.
  • Character and Ideology in the Book of Esther (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Fox, Michael V., 1940- Character and ideology in the book of Esther.
    • Bible. O.T. Esther -- Commentaries.
    Jinkins, Michael, 1953-
  • Rejection by God: The History and Significance of the Rejection Motif in the Hebrew Bible (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Melanchton, Monica J., 1962- Rejection by God: the history and significance of the rejection motif in the Hebrew Bible.
    • God -- Biblical teaching.
    Meir, Asher.
  • By the Sweat of Your Brow: Reflections on Work and the Workplace in Classic Jewish Thought (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Schnall, David J. By the sweat of your brow: reflections on work and the workplace in classic Jewish thought.
    • Work -- Religious aspects -- Judaism.
    Moore, James.
  • Ignaz Maybaum: A Reader (reviewe)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Maybaum, Ignaz, 1897- Ignaz Maybaum: a reader.
    • De Lange, N. R. M. (Nicholas Robert Michael), 1944-, ed.
    • Judaism -- Essence, genius, nature.
    Winston, Jacquelyn E.
  • Learning from History: A Black Christian's Perspective on the Holocaust (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Locke, Hubert G. Learning from history: a Black Christian's perspective on the Holocaust.
    • Holocaust (Christian theology)
    Friedman, Saul S., 1937-
  • Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Gross, Jan Tomasz. Neighbors: the destruction of the Jewish community in Jedwabne, Poland.
    • Jews -- Poland -- Jedwabne -- History.
    Fischel, Jack.
  • One Step Ahead: A Jewish Fugitive in Hitler's Europe (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Feldman, Alfred, 1923- One step ahead: a Jewish fugitive in Hitler's Europe.
    • Feldman, Alfred, 1923-
    Colijn, G. Jan.
  • The History of the Jews in the Netherlands (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Blom, J. C. H., 1943-, ed. History of the Jews in the Netherlands.
    • Fuks-Mansfeld, R. G., ed.
    • Schöffer, Ivo, ed.
    • Pomerans, Arnold, tr.
    • Pomerans, Erica, tr.
    • Jews -- Netherlands -- History.
    Shneer, David, 1972-
  • Jewish Marriage and Divorce in Imperial Russia (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Freeze, ChaeRan Y. Jewish marriage and divorce in imperial Russia.
    • Marriage customs and rights, Jewish -- Russia -- History -- 19th century.
    Krondorfer, Björn.
  • Unlikely History: The Changing German-Jewish Symbiosis, 1945-2000 (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Zipes, Jack David, ed. Unlikely history: the changing German-Jewish symbiosis, 1945-2000.
    • Morris, Leslie, 1958-, ed.
    • Jews -- Germany -- History -- 1945- -- Congresses.
    Dauber, Jeremy.
  • Yiddish Fiction and the Crisis of Modernity, 1905-1914 (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Krutikov, Mikhail. Yiddish fiction and the crisis of modernity, 1905-1914.
    • Yiddish fiction -- 20th century -- History and criticism.
    Hoffman, Todd.
  • Ideology and Jewish Identity in Israeli and American Literature (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Budick, E. Miller, ed. Ideology and Jewish identity in Israeli and American literature.
    • Israeli fiction -- History and criticism.
    Gitay, Yehoshua.
  • Contemporary Jewish Writing in South Africa: An Anthology (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Braude, Claudia Bathsheba, 1967-, ed. Contemporary Jewish writing in South Africa: an anthology.
    • South African literature (English) -- Jewish authors.
    Beckwith, Stacy N.
  • The Bus Driver Who Wanted to be God (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Kerrett, Etgar. Bus driver who wanted to be God.
    • Kerrett, Etgar -- Translations into English.
    Nefsky, Marilyn F., 1948-
  • The Search for Roots: A Personal Anthology (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Levi, Primo. Search for roots: a personal anthology.
    • Forbes, Peter, 1947-, tr.
    • Anthologies.
    Simon, Edward.
  • Jewish Genetic Disorders: A Layman's Guide (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Abel, Ernest L., 1943- Jewish genetic disorders: a layman's guide.
    • Genetic disorders -- Popular works.



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