Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies

Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies
Volume 22, Number 1, Fall 2003


Contents

Articles

    Rubin-Dorsky, Jeffrey.
  • Woody Allen After the Fall: Literary Gold from Amoral Alchemy
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    Subject Headings:
    • Allen, Woody, dir. Husbands and wives [film]
    • Allen, Woody, dir. Bullets over Broadway (Motion picture)
    • Allen, Woody, dir. Deconstructing Harry (Motion picture)
    Abstract:
      This essay argues that Woody Allen's break with Mia Farrow engendered a search for a new artistic direction and a new persona, signaled by the unsettling film Husbands and Wives (1992) and followed by two extraordinary views of the moral dilemmas and personal sacrifices of a life in art, Bullets over Broadway (1994) and Deconstructing Harry (1997). These three films, the best of Allen's work in the nineties, demonstrate a deeply reflective, and self-reflective, mood and mode as the director meditates on the modernist issues of the autonomy of the artist and the salvation of art. What may be hardest for his audience to accept about these films is that they embrace a vision of the artist/writer as a carnivorous creator of beauty and form, completely indifferent to offending the moral sensitivities or violating the personal sensibilities of those whose lives nurture and sustain his talent.
    Rosenberg, Warren.
  • Coming Out of the Ethnic Closet: Jewishness in the Films of Barry Levinson
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    Subject Headings:
    • Levinson, Barry -- Criticism and interpretation.
    • Jews in motion pictures.
    • Jews -- United States -- Identity.
    Abstract:
      A study of director and writer Barry Levinson's Baltimore films, Diner, Tin Men, Avalon, and Liberty Heights, demonstrates how his Jewish identity, repressed in films designed to reach larger audiences, like Good Morning, Vietnam and Rainman, slowly emerges in these more personal vehicles. The cultural moment of the late 1990s allowed Levinson to move from universalizing Jewishness, as in Avalon (1990), where the central family, never identified as Jewish, represents the American immigrant experience in general, to Liberty Heights (1999), where a particularized Jewish experience is depicted. Yet the turn to "Jewishness" in the latter film is fueled by conflicting images of Jewish masculinity that problematically intersect with the African American characters in the film. Levinson sets his film in 1950s Baltimore, raising questions about the kind of cultural work the film was intended to accomplish in 1999.
    Baron, Lawrence.
  • X-Men as J Men: The Jewish Subtext of a Comic Book Movie
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    Subject Headings:
    • Singer, Bryan, dir. X-Men (Motion picture)
    • Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945), in motion pictures.
    Abstract:
      The recent movie X-Men (2000) reflects the assimilationist aims, ethnic anxieties, and liberal idealism of the first-generation Jewish Americans who created the original superheroes featured in Marvel Comic Books. Their rejection of Nazi racism, abhorrence of the Holocaust, and support of the Civil Rights Movement motivated them to make Magneto, the antagonist of the X-Men, a Jewish Holocaust survivor who reasonably fears that a new race of mutants like himself may face persecution and eventual extermination if they do not mount a preemptive strike against paranoid humans intent on suppressing the threat posed by beings with special powers. The X-Men follow a mutant who advocates acculturation and the channeling of their superhuman abilities to defend humankind. Bryan Singer, the Jewish director of the movie, has retained the encounter with the Holocaust and the struggle against bigotry as key themes in his film. He also has associated these themes with other instances of past or present manifestations of mass hysteria and discrimination in American politics. Thus, the movie can be understood on two levels: superficially, it is a special effects, action adventure, science fiction movie that appeals to teenagers; substantively, it is an allegory about the continuing debate over whether the United States should promote ethnic, racial, and religious equality and diversity or whether it should become a more homogenous and less multicultural society.
    Rapaport, Lynn.
  • Holocaust Pornography: Profaning the Sacred in Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS
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    Subject Headings:
    • Edmunds, Don, dir. Ilsa, she-wolf of the SS [film]
    • Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945), in motion pictures.
    • Erotic films -- History and criticism.
    Abstract:
      Sado-masochistic iconography has long exploited Nazi imagery by linking sex with power and violence. By using the 1974 sexploitation film Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS as a case study, I explore what happens to Holocaust memory when the Holocaust is eroticized. Based on a close textual analysis of the film, in-depth interviews with the film's director and stars, and a content analysis of a representative sample of 508 web sites related to the film, I analyze the production and reception of the film in light of the controversies surrounding Holocaust representation in popular culture. I describe how cultural content, historical trauma, and aesthetic form interplay in the film, and question why Holocaust memory is being eroticized, genderered, and profaned.
    Fuchs, Esther, 1953-
  • Gender and Holocaust Docudramas: Gentile Heroines in Rescue Films
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    Subject Headings:
    • Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945), in motion pictures.
    • Women in motion pictures.
    • Collier, James F., dir. Hiding place [film]
    • Erman, John, 1935-, dir. Attic: the hiding of Anne Frank [film]
    • Bogdanovich, Peter, 1939-, dir. Rescuers: stories of courage [film]
    Abstract:
      This article considers the representation of women as rescuers of Jews in Holocaust docudramas from the 1970s to the late 1990s. Though based on historical fact, the cinematic productions in question tend to create good/bad polarities, adhere to the convention of individual character and middle-class feminine propriety as moral coherence, and offer optimistic resolutions which confirm the religious notion that good deeds are appropriately rewarded. The central argument is that the documentary subtext of these productions is structured by a narrative of heroism representing the Holocaust as a disturbance of a fundamentally "good" European social order. This simplistic resolution is underpinned by the androcentric endorsement of female celibacy and monogamous heterosexuality as basic ingredients in what constitutes female morality. Jewish victims in the meantime are stereotyped as helpless, in some cases effeminate embodiments of dependency, religious incoherence, and moral confusion. The result of this sort of representation is an affirmation of Christian faith and European nationalism (Dutch, French) vindicated as it were by the victory of good over evil and by the appropriate rewarding of the "correct" moral choice.
    Zanger, Anat.
  • Hole in the Moon or Zionism and the Binding (Ha-Ak'eda) Myth in Israeli Cinema
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    Subject Headings:
    • Isaac (Biblical patriarch) -- Sacrifice -- In motion pictures.
    • Millo, Josef, dir. He walked through the fields [film]
    • Bouzaglo, Haim, dir. Cherry season [film]
    • Zohar, Uri, dir. Hole in the moon [film]
    • Zohar, Uri, dir. Three days and a child [film]
    • Motion pictures -- Israel.
    Abstract:
      The biblical story of the binding of Isaac (Ha-ak'eda) has been identified as one of the central codes through which Israeli society communicates with itself about itself. The fact that significant transformations of the myth occurred in Israeli culture at large during the 1960s directed my attention towards the same period in cinema. Two films by Uri Zohar, Hole in the Moon (1964) and Three Days and a Child (1967), will be discussed and compared with He Walked through the Fields, made by Yosef Millo that same year, and a later film, The Cherry Season, madeby Haim Buzaglo in 1991. Interestingly, the "personal cinema" in Israel of the 1960s, a sub-system operating within the larger cultural and social system, was not only influenced by the central code but prefigured its future course.
    Gertz, Nurith.
  • Gender and Space in the New Israeli Cinema
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    Subject Headings:
    • Motion pictures -- Israel.
    • Identity (Psychology) in motion pictures.
    • Heffner, Avram, dir. Laura Adler's last love [film]
    Abstract:
      The new Israeli cinema dismantles the equation created by the early cinema, that of nationhood and masculinity. At its best, this cinema does not obliterate the homogeneous Zionist identity; rather, it merges this identity into a broader dialogue of identities and voices. From this standpoint, it uses an ambivalent language that includes the self and the "other" and forces the spaces in which they exist to commingle. Instead of simplistically replacing the Hebrew masculine identity with a feminine Jewish one it integrates both identities and examines them inside and out. This cinema treats space similarly. Instead of replacing the Israeli space with an alternative space, it makes different spaces overlap and commingle. This cinema expresses the crisis in Israeli identity and the attempt to overcome it by combining and blending the spaces, nationalities, and genders created within it. The article uses the film The Last Love of Laura Adler as an example for this new cinema.
    Targownik, Liliane.
    Baron, Lawrence.
  • An Interview with Liliane Targownik
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    Subject Headings:
    • Targownik, Liliane -- Interviews.

Book Reviews

    Ramras-Raukh, Gilah.
  • Be My Knife (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Grossman, David. Be my knife.
    • Almog, Vered, tr.
    • Gurantz, Maya, tr.
    • Booksellers and bookselling -- Fiction.
    Solwitz, Sharon, 1945-
  • Days of Awe (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Obejas, Achy, 1956- Days of awe.
    • Cuban Americans -- Fiction.
    Caspi, Mishael, 1932-
  • Leaving This Life Behind (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Levine, Howard. Leaving this life behind.
    • Future life -- Fiction.
    Morris, Daniel, 1962-
  • A Menorah for Athena: Charles Reznikoff and the Jewish Dilemmas of Objectivist Poetry (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Fredman, Stephen, 1948- Menorah for Athena: Charles Reznikoff and the Jewish dilemmas of objectivist poetry.
    • Reznikoff, Charles, 1894-1976 -- Criticism and interpretation.
    Baskin, Judith Reesa, 1950-
  • To Reveal Our Hearts: Jewish Women Writers in Tsarist Russia (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Balin, Carole B. To reveal our hearts: Jewish women writers in Tsarist Russia.
    • Russian literature -- Jewish authors -- History and criticism.
    Wickersham, Erlis.
  • Franz Kafka: A Question of Jewish Identity--Two Perspectives (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Loeb, Sara. Franz Kafka: a question of Jewish identity--two perspectives.
    • Silverston, Sondra, tr.
    • Naor, Chaya, tr.
    • Kafka, Franz, 1883-1924 -- Criticism and interpretation.
    Felsenstein, Frank.
  • Disraeli's Jewishness (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Endelman, Todd M., ed. Disraeli's Jewishness.
    • Kushner, Tony (Antony Robin Jeremy), ed.
    • Disraeli, Benjamin, Earl of Beaconsfield, 1804-1881.
    Lester, Julius.
  • Black, White and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Walker, Rebecca, 1970- Black, white and Jewish: autobiography of a shifting self.
    • Walker, Rebecca, 1970-
    Bell, Dean Phillip, 1967-
  • Publizistik im Dienste antijüdischer Polemik: Spätmittelalterliche und frühneuzeitliche Flugschriften und Flugblätter zu Hostienschändungen (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Mittlmeier, Christine, 1965- Publizistik im Dienste antijüdischer Polemik: spätmittelalterliche und frühneuzeitliche Flugschriften und Flugblätter zu Hostienschändungen.
    • Host desecration accusation -- Germany.
    Arntzen, Sven.
  • Antisemitismus bei Kant und anderen Denkern der Aufklärung (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Gronke, Horst, ed. Antisemitismus bei Kant und anderen Denkern der Aufklärung.
    • Meyer, Thomas, 1943-, ed.
    • Neisser, Barbara, ed.
    • Antisemitism -- Germany.
    Hess, Jonathan M., 1965-
  • Die jüdische Aufklärung: Philosophie, Religion, Geschichte (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Schulte, Christoph, 1958- Jüdische Aufklärung: Philosophie, Religion, Geschichte.
    • Haskalah -- Germany -- Prussia.
    Hanson, Kenneth, 1953-
  • Dor Hameasfim Beshahar Hahaskalah (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Pelli, Moshe. Dor hameasfim beshahar hahaskalah.
    • Measef (Königsberg, Germany : 1783)
    Greenspoon, Leonard J. (Leonard Jay)
  • Hebrew Studies: A Journal Devoted to Hebrew Language and Literature, Volume 42 (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Zevit, Ziony, ed. Hebrew studies: a journal devoted to Hebrew language and literature.
    • Hebrew philology -- Periodicals.
    Greenspahn, Frederick E., 1946-
  • Etz Hayim: Torah and Commentary (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Lieber, David L., ed. Etz Hayim: Torah and commentary.
    • Harlow, Jules, ed.
    • Bible. O.T. Pentateuch -- Commentaries.
    Ettinger, Steven Z.
  • Contrasts in American and Jewish Law (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Pollack, Daniel, ed. Contrasts in American and Jewish law.
    • Law -- United States.
    Baskin, Judith Reesa, 1950-
  • Women and American Judaism: Historical Perspectives (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Nadell, Pamela Susan, ed. Women and American Judaism: historical perspectives.
    • Sarna, Jonathan D., ed.
    • Women in Judaism -- United States -- History.
    Prell, Riv-Ellen, 1947-
  • The Life of Judaism (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Goldberg, Harvey E., ed. Life of Judaism.
    • Judaism -- 20th century.
    Glassbrook, Daryn.
  • Henry Ford and the Jews (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Baldwin, Neil, 1947- Henry Ford and the Jews.
    • Ford, Henry, 1863-1947.
    Feinstein, Stephen.
  • Hitler and the Holocaust (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Wistrich, Robert S., 1945- Hitler and the Holocaust.
    • Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)
    Rubinstein, W. D.
  • Holocaust and Rescue: Impotent or Indifferent? Anglo-Jewry 1938-1945 (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Shatzkes, Pamela, 1949- Holocaust and rescue: impotent or indifferent? Anglo-Jewry 1938-1945.
    • Jews -- Great Britain -- Attitudes.
    Strassberg, Barbara A.
  • Remembering a Vanished World: A Jewish Childhood in Interwar Poland (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Hamerow, Theodore S. Remembering a vanished world: a Jewish childhood in interwar Poland.
    • Hamerow, Theodore S. -- Childhood and youth.
    Bowman, Steven B.
  • Theater of Acculturation: The Roman Ghetto in the Sixteenth Century (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Stow, Kenneth R. Theater of acculturation: the Roman ghetto in the sixteenth century.
    • Jews -- Italy -- Rome -- History -- 16th century.
    Lindenmeyer, Kriste, 1955-
  • The Hebrew National Orphan Home: Memories of Orphanage Life (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Greenberg, Ira A., 1924-, ed. Hebrew National Orphan Home: memories of orphanage life.
    • Safran, Richard G., 1935-, ed.
    • Arcus, Sam George, 1921-, ed.
    • Hebrew National Orphan Home (Yonkers, N.Y.)
    Stein, Sarah Abrevaya.
  • Christians and Jews in the Ottoman Arab World: The Roots of Sectarianism (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Masters, Bruce Alan, 1950- Christians and Jews in the Ottoman Arab world: the roots of sectarianism.
    • Christians -- Arab countries -- History.
    Perko, F. Michael (Francis Michael)
  • The Melting Pot in Israel: The Commission of Inquiry Concerning the Education of Immigrant Children during the Early Years of the State (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Tsameret, Tsevi. Melting pot in Israel: the commission of inquiry concerning the education of immigrant children during the early years of the state.
    • Israel. Vaadat hakirah al hinukh yalde ha-olim, 1950.
    Rubinstein, Joseph.
  • Oasis of Dreams: Teaching and Learning Peace in a Jewish-Palestinian Village in Israel (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Feuerverger, Grace. Oasis of dreams: teaching and learning peace in a Jewish-Palestinian village in Israel.
    • Arab-Israeli conflict -- 1993- -- Peace.
    Cohen, Stuart.
  • Peace and War: The Arab-Israeli Military Balance Enters the 21st Century (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Cordesman, Anthony H. Peace and war: the Arab-Israeli military balance enters the 21st century.
    • Arab countries -- Armed Forces.
    Williams, David S.
  • Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea scrolls (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Schiffman, Lawrence H., ed. Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea scrolls.
    • VanderKam, James C., ed.
    • Dead Sea scrolls -- Encyclopedias.



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