Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies

Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies
Volume 23, Number 2, Winter 2005
Special Issue: Shoah and Israeli Writing
Guest Editor: Zev Garber

CONTENTS

Editor's Introduction

    Garber, Zev, 1941-
  • Shoah in Israeli Writing, with an Emphasis on Hebrew Poetry: Editor's Introduction
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    Subject Headings:
    • Hebrew poetry -- History and criticism.
    • Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945), in literature.

Articles

    Overland, Paul B.
  • Shoah in the World of the Sages
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    Subject Headings:
    • Wisdom literature -- Criticism, interpretation, etc.
    Abstract:
      In the drama of sapiential persuasion shoah played a brief but powerful role. As sages determined to direct youths toward a life of skill and success, it was the prospect of shoah that threatened as alternative, the fools' final end. This article applies poetic analysis to three occurrences in biblical wisdom literature. When first introduced in Proverbs, shoah raises the sapiential warning to a fierce crescendo (Prov 1:27). In the second occurrence, shoat-resha'im turns from threat to rich reassurance as it measures the safety enjoyed by the wise—they will escape unscathed from the wicked's demise (Prov 3:25). Widening the semantic range, Job used shoah to describe the dilemma of suffering undeserved (Job 30:14). Through this study it becomes evident that shoah occupied a position of superlative yet not simplistic disaster.
    Wolf-Monzon, Tamar.
    Livnat, Zohar.
  • The Poetic Codes of Rechovot ha-nahar ("Streets of the River")
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    Subject Headings:
    • Greenberg, Uri Zvi, 1896- Rehovot ha-nahar.
    Abstract:
      Rechovot ha-nahar, Uri Zvi Greenberg's great book of lamentation over the destruction and loss of European Jewry, follows an ancient tradition of lamentation over the destruction and persecution of the Jewish people which has developed in Hebrew poetry since the era of the piyyut and medieval poetry. In this book Greenberg uses a new poetic language, including concepts and expressions such as kosef ('yearning'), nigun ('melody') and nofim ('landscapes'), which appear for the first time in this book but will reappear in other contexts in later texts. In this sense, Rehovot ha-nahar is a constitutive text, which introduces a new poetic and linguistic code.

      The design of kosef as a central poetic code in the book is based on 140 occurrences and many variations of the term. Mapping of the appearances in the light of their various contexts and tracing their combination with or separation from fixed semantic clusters permits a different reading of the poems, leading to a complex world of meanings and spiritual modes, in a constant state of flux. The semantic shifts of the term kosef reflect the multiple aspects of human existence after the destruction of European Jewry.

    Zierler, Wendy.
  • Four Sons of the Holocaust: Leah Goldberg's "Keneged arba'ah banim"
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    Subject Headings:
    • Goldberg, Leah, 1911-1970. Keneged arba'ah banim.
    • Aggada in literature.
    Abstract:
      Leah Goldberg was not known for writing war poems or poems in response to the Shoah. On the contrary: with the outbreak of World War II, Goldberg provoked a major literary controversy with her declaration in an essay published in Hashomer Hatsa 'ir that she had no intention of writing war poems. This paper examines Leah Goldberg's 1950 poem cycle "Keneged arba' ah banim" (1950), one of the few cycles she wrote in response to the catastrophe of World War II. Using the motif of the Four Sons of the Haggadah, Goldberg's cycle simultareously reinvigorates and undermines liturgical language, offering a provocative reconsideration of what it means to be wise, wicked, simple, or unquestioning in the post-Holocaust era.
    Raizen, Esther, 1951-
  • Connecting with the Great Jewish Time: Abba Kovner's Something about Whales
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    Subject Headings:
    • Kovner, Abba, 1918- Mashehu 'al livyetanim.
    Abstract:
      Something about Whales, a children's book written by Abba Kovner, is an allegory dealing with calamity, survival, bereavement, and remembrance. The paper positions the book in the scholarly discussion of Kovner's work, highlighting the manner in which the molding of the protagonist and the shaping of the locale anchor the work in Kovner's poetics, and tracing its thematic roots to Kovner's world view and his concept of Jewish continuity. The paper also discusses Something about Whales in the context of Holocaust representation in children's literature, with reference to strategic decisions and composition choices involved in producing such literature for very young readers.
    Bernstein, Marc Steven.
  • The Child as Collective Subconscious: The Shoah in David Grossman's 'Ayen Erekh: 'Ahavah' and Yehudit Katzir's "Schlaffstunde"
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    Subject Headings:
    • Grossman, David. 'Ayen 'erekh--ahavah.
    • Katzir, Judith. Schlaffstunde.
    • Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945), in literature.
    Abstract:
      The past three decades have witnessed a proliferation of treatments of the Shoah by Israeli writers born after the event who explore the impact the Holocaust has had on their society. In two such works, "Momik," the opening section of David Grossman's novel, See Under: "Love" (1986), and a short story by Yehudit Katzir, "Schlaffstunde" that appeared in her collection Closing the Sea (1989), the authors choose to do so through the prism of child fantasies about the Land of Over There. In each work, but to varying degrees based on distance from the event, the child protagonists seek to come to terms with the terrors that so visibly weigh on the minds and hearts of the primary adult figures in their lives. Beyond any autobiographical relevance for authors growing up in the 60s and 70s, these depictions may also serve as a figure for contemporaneous Israeli society, when discussion of the Holocaust was largely suppressed and its legacy perceived as a contradiction of the heroic myth so inextricably bound up with the rise of the State. In these works, use of the child voice may thus be connected with the search for alternative modes counter to the monolithic claims of the Zionist epic narrative that have served to silence the small, individual voice.
    Mazor, Yair, 1950-
  • A Train Trip to Satan's Territory: The Poem "My Son, My Son, My Head, My Head," by Yehuda Amichai
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    Subject Headings:
    • Amichai, Yehuda. My son, my son, my head, my head.
    Abstract:
      Yehuda Amichai was born in Germany in 1924. Once the rise of the Nazi monster could neither be denied or ignored, he and his family escaped from there and arrived in Israel. Accordingly, one might expect that at least a significant cluster of poems by Amichai would address the Holocaust. This assumption, however, is at odds with the aesthetic reality of Yehuda Amichai's "poetic republic." Indeed, one can trace very few "Holocaust poems" among his many thousands, composed during the course of over five decades. Did he deliberately suppress the Holocaust's atrocities in order to challenge the verbal nature of his literary medium, and to translate its verbality into roaring muteness? One will never be able to tell. Nevertheless, these considerations are entirely irrelevant when one addresses aesthetically the poetry of Yehuda Amichai (or any other artist's work). The psychological or autobiographical intentions that are invested in the literary text have no place in the investigative realms of the literary scholar. He or she focuses on the literary text per se and addresses its aesthetic texture only, while dismissing any information that is not invested in the text itself.
    Hakak, Lev.
  • The Holocaust in the Hebrew Poetry of Sephardim and Near Eastern Jews
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    Subject Headings:
    • Hebrew poetry -- History and criticism.
    • Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945), in literature.
    Abstract:
      Many studies of the Holocaust focus exclusively on European Jewry. It is essential to mention what happened at the time of the Holocaust to Sephardim and Near Eastern Jews. The fate of Near Eastern Jews would have been similar to the fate of their brothers in Europe had the Germans been successful on the North African front. One of the means by which Sephardim and Near Eastern Jews reacted to the tragedy of their brothers in Europe was through folk poetry and poetry. Near Eastern Jews expressed deep feelings of brotherhood with the Jewish victims of the Holocaust both at the time and after. Poets from Tunisia, Iraq, Yemen, and other countries wrote poetic responses to it at the time. In Israel, Sephardim and Near Eastern Jews published poetry about the Holocaust. On June 1-2, 1941, there was a pogrom against the Jews in Iraq as a result of Nazi incitement and propaganda and nationalistic-religious instigation. Jews were injured and murdered, Jewish women were raped, Jewish property was looted, and Jewish houses were burnt down. Jewish poets of Iraqi origin wrote poetic responses to this pogrom in Hebrew in Iraq and in Israel. In the poems of Sephardim and Near Eastern Jews about the Holocaust, the poets identify completely with the victims ("Us"—not "them"); the "crime" of the Jews was that they existed. A religious crisis was inevitable for some people, who asked where God was. The yearning and fight for a Jewish state was inevitable.

Book Reviews

    Bernstein, Marc Steven.
  • Translating Israel: Contemporary Hebrew Literature and Its Reception in America (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Mintz, Alan L. Translating Israel: contemporary Hebrew literature and its reception in America.
    • Israeli fiction -- Appreciation -- United States.
    Willens, Susan.
  • Bee Season, and: The Autograph Man (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Goldberg, Myla. Bee season.
    • Smith, Zadie. Autograph man.
    • Jewish families -- Fiction.
    • Autographs -- Collectors and collecting -- Fiction.
    Schneider, Steven P.
  • Jewish American Poetry: Poems, Commentary, and Reflections (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Barron, Jonathan N., ed. Jewish American poetry: poems, commentary, and reflections.
    • Selinger, Eric Murphy, ed.
    • American poetry -- Jewish authors.
    Ebarb, Joel.
  • Shakespeare on the American Yiddish Stage (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Berkowitz, Joel, 1965- Shakespeare on the American Yiddish stage.
    • Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616 -- Stage history -- United States.
    Baskin, Judith Reesa, 1950-
  • Beautiful Death: Jewish Poetry and Martyrdom in Medieval France (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Einbinder, Susan L., 1954- Beautiful death: Jewish poetry and martyrdom in medieval France.
    • Hebrew literature, Medieval -- France, Northern -- History and criticism.
    Pulcini, Theodore, 1954-
  • Power in the Portrayal: Representations of Jews and Muslims in Eleventh- and Twelfth-Century Islamic Spain (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Brann, Ross, 1949- Power in the portrayal: representations of Jews and Muslims in eleventh- and twelfth-century Islamic Spain.
    • Andalusia (Spain) -- Ethnic relations.
    Williams, Vernon J.
  • The Image of the Black in Jewish Culture: A History of the Other (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Melamed, Abraham, 1944- Image of the black in Jewish culture: a history of the other.
    • Jewish literature -- History and criticism.
    Mork, Gordon R.
  • Oberammergau: The Troubling Story of the World's Most Famous Passion Play (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Shapiro, James S., 1955- Oberammergau: the troubling story of the world's most famous passion play.
    • Oberammergauer Passionsspiel.
    Webster, Ronald D. E. (Ronald Denys Edwin), 1935-
  • Germany's War and the Holocaust: Disputed Histories (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Bartov, Omer. Germany's war and the Holocaust: disputed histories.
    • Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)
    Berlin, Gail Ivy.
  • Experience and Expression: Women, the Nazis, and the Holocaust (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Baer, Elizabeth Roberts, ed. Experience and expression: women, the Nazis, and the Holocaust.
    • Goldenberg, Myrna, ed.
    • Jewish women in the Holocaust.
    Pawlikowski, John.
  • A Moral Reckoning: the Role of the Catholic Church in the Holocaust and its Unfulfilled Duty of Repair (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Goldhagen, Daniel Jonah. Moral reckoning: the role of the Catholic Church in the Holocaust and its unfulfilled duty of repair.
    • Pius XII, Pope, 1876-1958 -- Relations with Jews.
    Fisher, Eugene J.
  • Double Takes: Thinking and Rethinking Issues of Modern Judaism in Ancient Contexts (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Garber, Zev, 1941- Double takes: thinking and rethinking issues of modern Judaism in ancient contexts.
    • Zuckerman, Bruce.
    • Judaism.
    Joukowsky, Martha.
  • Palace and Temple: A Study of Architectural and Verbal Icons (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • McCormick, Clifford Mark. Palace and temple: a study of architectural and verbal icons.
    • Palace of Sennacherib (Nineveh)
    Davies, Philip R.
  • Imperialism and Jewish Society 200 B.C.E. to 640 C.E. (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Schwartz, Seth. Imperialism and Jewish society 200 B.C.E. to 640 C.E.
    • Jews -- History -- 168 B.C.-135 A.D.
    Alexander, Loveday.
  • Torah in the Mouth: Writing and Oral Tradition in Palestinian Judaism, 200 BCE-400 CE (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Jaffee, Martin S. Torah in the mouth: writing and oral tradition in Palestinian Judaism, 200 BCE-400 CE.
    • Judaism -- History -- Post-exilic period, 586 B.C.-210 A.D.
    George, Mark K.
  • Three Faces of Saul: An Intertextual Approach to Biblical Tragedy (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Nicholson, Sarah. Three faces of Saul: an intertextual approach to biblical tragedy.
    • Saul, King of Israel.
    Tanenzapf, Sol.
  • The Philosopher-King in Medieval and Renaissance Jewish Thought (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Melamed, Abraham, 1944- Philosopher-king in medieval and Renaissance Jewish thought.
    • Philosopher-kings.
    Roemer, Nils.
  • Eigenheit und Einheit: Modernisierungsdiskurse des deutschen Judentums der Emanzipationszeit (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Gotzmann, Andreas. Eigenheit und Einheit: Modernisierungsdiskurse des deutschen Judentums der Emanzipationszeit.
    • Jewish learning and scholarship -- Germany -- History -- 19th century.
    Skolnik, Jonathan.
  • Jüdische Sprachen in deutscher Umwelt: Hebräisch und Jiddisch von der Aufklärung bis ins 20. Jahrhundert (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Brenner, Michael, ed. Jüdische Sprachen in deutscher Umwelt: Hebräisch und Jiddisch von der Aufklärung bis ins 20. Jahrhundert.
    • Jews -- Germany -- Languages.
    Stampfer, Shaul.
  • Saul Lieberman (1898-1983): Talmudic Scholar and Classicist (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Lubetski, Meir, ed. Saul Lieberman (1898-1983): Talmudic scholar and classicist.
    • Lieberman, Saul, 1898-
    Barnouw, Dagmar.
  • Geschichtsbegriff und Historisches Denken bei Hannah Arendt (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Vowinckel, Annette. Geschichtsbegriff und Historisches Denken bei Hannah Arendt.
    • Arendt, Hannah -- Contributions in the philosophy of history.
    Hoberman, John M. (John Milton), 1944-
  • Legacy of Rage: Jewish Masculinity, Violence, and Culture (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Rosenberg, Warren. Legacy of rage: Jewish masculinity, violence, and culture.
    • American fiction -- Jewish authors -- History and criticism.
    Berkowitz, Michael.
  • Shylock's Children: Economics and Jewish Identity in Modern Europe (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Penslar, Derek Jonathan. Shylock's children: economics and Jewish identity in modern Europe.
    • Jews -- Europe -- Economic conditions.
    Spinner-Halev, Jeff.
  • Lubavitchers as Citizens: A Paradox of Liberal Democracy (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Feldman, Jan L. (Jan Lynn), 1955- Lubavitchers as citizens: a paradox of liberal democracy.
    • Hasidim -- North America -- Political activity.
    Prell, Riv-Ellen, 1947-
  • Torn at the Roots: The Crisis of Jewish Liberalism in Postwar America (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Staub, Michael E. Torn at the roots: the crisis of Jewish liberalism in postwar America.
    • Jews -- United States -- Politics and government -- 20th century.
    Waller, Harold M.
  • John F. Kennedy and the Politics of Arms Sales to Israel (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Ben-Zvi, Abraham. John F. Kennedy and the politics of arms sales to Israel.
    • United States -- Foreign relations -- Israel.

Book Notes

Books Received




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