This just in
NO EMBARASSMENT OF RICHES
I thought I would come back crawling from a very frenzied summer, filled with the excitement of visiting with friends & colleagues at the annual AJL convention, the pleasure of “cleaning house” by weeding & shifting parts of our collection, and the planning of the next Jewish Book Month events. Instead, I decided to come back to this blog with the “big bang” of describing the latest creative, scholarly & intellectual crop from Israel, as evident in one shipment of books & periodicals that just landed on my desk. Some of it is cool summer reading, some – profound soul searching, and some -scholarly pursuits of the kind that makes you stop and say to yourself: now, why didn’t I think of that!
So kick back and relax. Here is another taste of Israel.
Amos Oz’s: The slopes of the volcano [‘Al midronot har ha-ga’ash] (Keter, 2006)
In these three essays, Oz looks into the changing nature of the relationship between Germany and Israel through his own process of reconciliation with German culture.
Oz speaks of the tension between his childhood determination to avoid anything German in his life and his reclaiming of the “good Germans” through reading post WWII German literature as a young man. He confronts anti-Israel sentiments in modern European societies and traces them to familiar Antisemitic stereotypes, while struggling with moral issues facing the state of Israel.
If you can’t read the Hebrew – look forward to the English translation, which I am sure will follow soon.
Jewish Renewal [Kirvat Elohim], by Zalman Schachter-Shlomi and Ruth Gan Kagan (Yedi’ot Aharonon: Sifre Hemed, 2006)
The book’s subtitle, “Integrating Heart and the World”, invites us to a journey redefining Jewish reality, to an ongoing dialogue with God, and to an examination of the religious experience as a direct & personal one. This is the first book written in Hebrew by Rabbis Schachter-Shlomi and Gan Kagan.
Questioning Dignity: On Human Dignity as Supreme Moral Value in Modern Society [She’elah shel kavod], edited by Joseph E. David. (Magnes & The Israeli Institute for Democracy, 2006)
A collection of articles contributed by Israeli & international authors that raise “the issue of the religious and cultural sources – together with philosophical, ethical and legal aspects – of the concept of ‘human dignity’”, in light of “the necessity for the intellectual grappling with [the concept] in Israel at the beginning of the 21st century.” (from the English summary).
Suppression of the Erotic: Censorship and Self-Censorship in Hebrew Literature 1930-1980 [Dikui ha-Erotika], by Nitsa Ben-Ari (Tel Aviv University Press, 2006)
An original look at the Sabra identity from the perspectives of sexuality and representations of the erotic in Hebrew literature, exploring the canonical and non-canonical texts, and the mechanisms of censorship and self-censorship in them, as shapers of the desired New Hebrew. The book looks at issues of language, pornography and legislation as represented in the writings of established authors as well as marginal ones.
And from the universe of periodic literature:
Ha-Kivun Mizrah (13:2007) focuses on a critical debate of soccer and its role in defining national, ethnic, gender and class identity in Israeli society.
Bikoret u-Farshanut (39: 2007) is a special issue of studies on Hebrew poetry in Spain and its influences.
Mikedem umi-Yam (9:2006) features Jewish “mother communities”: Fez & Meknes (in Morocco).
Dor le-Dor (XXVIII: 2007) is a monograph written by Leah Shagrir on Teacher Education Curricula in Relation to Changes in Israeli Society.
Helicon (75:2007) brings us a new batch of new Israeli poetry in Arabic & Hebrew.
Israel Journal of Psychiatry (Vol. 43:4, 2006) has a special section on mental health and intellectual disability,
Eretz Aheret (37:2007) deals with the love of Israel after Post-Zionism.
So hurry up & finish reading Harry Potter, and come back to us…