Shofar

Founded in 1925, Shofar is a quarterly Jewish youth newspaper published by B'nai B'rith Youth Organization in Washington, D.C. Its subject matter covers youth and Jewish interests.

Articles from Vol. 21, No. 2, Winter

"And They Created Him in Their Image;" David Hartman's Soloveitchik and the Battle for a Teachers' Legacy
Review EssayLove and Terror in the God Encounter: The Theological Legacy of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, Vol. I, by David Hartman. Woodstock VT: Jewish Lights, 2001. 212 pp. $25.00.Those of us who are students and sometime teachers of modern Jewish...
Archie Rand's the Eighteen and Postmodern (Mis)Recognition
Archie Rand's series of paintings, The Eighteen, presents an interesting test for the supposed inclusiveness of "postmodern" theory. A frankly redemptive investigation of Jewish prayer, it rejoices in the freedoms of postmodern figuration, but because...
Complex Identities: Jewish Consciousness and Modern Art, Edited by Matthew Baigell and Milly Heyd
New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2001. 301 pp., 95 black and white illustrations. $35.00.In writing my doctoral thesis on Man Ray in the early 1960s, I focused my attention on his relationship to Dada and Surrealism via descriptions of his...
Conversations with Elie Wiesel, by Elie Wiesel and Richard D. Heffner
New York: Schocken Books, 2001. 192 pp. $23.00.When I was growing up in the 1950s, the Holocaust and its aftermath were not discussed in my home. My mother purposefully shielded me from knowing about the events of those years. Even in my small synagogue...
Divided Jerusalem: The Struggle for the Holy City, by Bernard Wasserstein
New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001. 412 pp. $29.95.After conquering the Arab-populated eastern half of the city in 1967, and reuniting Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty, and ostensibly setting forth to practice peaceful co-existence with the more...
Education, Socialization, and Development of National Identity: The American Common School and Israel Defense Forces in Transnational Perspective
The experiences of the nineteenth-century American common school and the twentieth century Israel Defense Forces as educational agencies provide a rich ground for the sort of comparative analysis undertaken by the burgeoning field of transnational history....
Essential Judaism: A Complete Guide to Beliefs, Customs, and Rituals, by George Robinson
New York and London: Pocket Books, 2000. 644 pp. Glossary, bibliography and index. $27.95.George Robinson has written a remarkably comprehensive and accessible layman's guide to Judaism that shakes us refreshingly out of a lot of our conventional stereotypes...
Exiled in the Homeland
No idea is more fundamental to the Zionist sense of mission than the ending of exile for the Jewish people. But the in-gathering of Jews in their homeland acquired its meaning as an antidote to exile rather than as an act with its own defined essence....
Gender Issues in Jewish Law: Essays and Responsa, Edited by Walter Jacob and Moshe Zemer
New York: Berghahn Books, 2001. 230 pp. $19.95.This book contains eight essays and eight responsa on various issues associated with Judaism and gender. While several of the essays contain historical overviews of specific topics or types of decision-making,...
Going South: Jewish Women in the Civil Rights Movement, by Debra L. Schultz
New York: New York University Press, 2001. 229 pp. $26.95.Bravo! Debra Schultz's long-awaited book on the civil rights activism of women who are Jewish is an important contribution to the literature on Jews, feminism, race and the civil rights era, class...
"Good News" after Auschwitz? Christian Faith in a Post-Holocaust World, Edited and Introduced by Carol Rittner and John K. Roth
Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 2001. 215 pp. $39.95.Do an institution and a faith that have been infested almost from their beginning and for centuries since with a sense of their superiority over the Synagogue and a hostility towards the faith...
Hitler's Austria: Popular Sentiment in the Nazi Era, 1938-1945, by Evan Burr Bukey
Chapel Hill and London: University of North Carolina Press, 2000. 320 pp. $39.95.While Nazism has always exerted a magnetic attraction over both professional historians and lay people, scholars over the past twenty years have refined older interpretations...
Hollywood & Anti-Semitism: A Cultural History Up to World War II, by Steven Carr
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001. 342 pp. $24.95.The subject matter of this book is one that -- as a film critic, an armchair film historian, and an American of the Jewish faith -- immediately attracted me. I looked forward to delving into...
Interim Judaism: Jewish Thought in a Century of Crisis, by Michael L. Morgan
Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001. 146 pp. $15.95.Interim Judaism: Jewish Thought in a Century of Crisis is an ambitious and provocative, if flawed because overly ambitious and oddly designed, attempt by Michael Morgan, a philosophy professor...
Introduction to Erich Unger's "A Restatement of Judaism"
A brief outline of the intellectual development of the philosopher Erich Unger (born in Berlin in 1887, died in London in 1950) shows the logical progression that led him to the somewhat unusual views expressed in "A Restatement of Judaism."His course...
"Lebendige Schrift;" Repräsentation Und Idolatrie in Moses Menaelssohns Philosophie Und Exegese Des Judentums, by Carola Hilfrich
Munich: Wilhelm Fink Verlag, 2000. 188 pp.This book is methodologically guided by Jacques Derrida's Of Grammatology and Roland Barthes's semiology and participates in both the strengths and weaknesses of those approaches to texts. In language that is...
Menstrual Purity: Rabbinic and Christian Reconstructions of Biblical Gender, by Charlotte Elisheva Fonrobert
Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2000. 326 pp. $55.00.The impact of modern feminism on academic Jewish studies and the widespread recognition of the importance of gender as a category of historical and literary analysis have prompted a growing...
Mid-Life Crisis, Kibbutz Style
Yahel and Lotan, two Reform kibbutzim founded in the late 1970s and early 1980s, constitute the focus of this paper. Although the two shared identical ideological and religious goals from the outset, the succeeding (and significant) differences between...
Moses in Midian, According to Philo
In his De Vita Mosis Philo, by building up the personality of Moses, seeks to answer antisemitic charges, notably that the Jews had produced no great men. He defends Moses against the charge that he had not sufficiently helped the Israelites during their...
Primo Levi and the Politics of Survival, by Frederic D. Homer
Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2001. 277 pp. $39.95.Professor Frederic Homer's interpretation of Primo Levi's views in the book Primo Levi and the Politics of Survival is an important contribution to comprehending both Primo Levi's thinking...
Second Generation Voices: Reflections by Children of Holocaust Survivors and Perpetrators, Edited by Alan L. Berger & Naomi Berger
Syracuse University Press, 2001. 378 pp. $59.95 (c); $24.95 (p).The children of concentration camp survivors have long been prominent in the media and in scholarship, while the stories and thoughts of children of holocaust perpetrators have been more...
Shiksa Goddess or, How I Spent My Forties, by Wendy Wasserstein
New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2001. 235 pp. $23.00.Any number of modern American playwrights are Jewish -- from Lillian Hellman and Arthur Miller to David Mamet and Tony Kushner -- but almost none of them, with the possible exception of Clifford Odets of...
The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts, by Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman
New York: Free Press, 2001. 385 pp. $26.00.Biblical scholars will hardly be surprised at the basic premise of The Bible Unearthed, i.e., that the historical claims of the Hebrew Bible and the results of archaeological investigation of the land of Israel...
The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Jewish Origins of Christianity, by Garsten Peter Thiede
New York, Palgrave, 2000. 256 pp. $27.95.Scholars who study religion know that devoutly faithful followers of a faith can achieve spiritual success and live extremely moral lives by believing the accounts of their scriptures literally. These people are...
The Jewish Derrida, by Gideon Ofrat
translated by Peretz Kidron. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2001. 201 pp. $17.95.A more accurate title for this book would have been The Non-Jewish Derrida. After reading it, whatever the author's intentions, one is fully convinced that Derrida...
The Jews of Lebanon: Between Coexistence and Conflict, by Kirsten E. Schulze
Brighton and Portland: Sussex Academic Press, 2001. 192 pp. + maps and photos. $69.50.Although a considerable body of scholarly and popular work has been published over the last thirty or forty years on the history and culture of the various Jewish communities...
The Nazi Persecution of the Gypsies, by Guenter Lewy
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. 306 pp. $15.95.The history of the Gypsies during the Third Reich was, and remains, a history of persecution, destruction, and horror. It is also a history that, until the 1990s and the scholarship of Michael Zimmermann,...
The October War: A Retrospective, Edited by Richard B. Parker
Gainsville: University Press of Florida, 2001. 396pp. $55.00.The Arab-Israeli war of 1973 is the most traumatic event in Israeli history and one of the most significant causes for pride in Arab modern history. Towards its end the Cold War's last major...
The Presentation of Jesus: Jewish Perspectives on Luke 2:22-24
Luke's narrative of the presentation of Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:22-24) conflates into one occasion the mother's sacrifice after childbirth and the redemption of the firstborn. This paper traces the literature and traditions of these rituals and finds...
The Terror of Our Days: Four American Poets Respond to the Holocaust, by Harriet L. Parmet
Bethlehem: Lehigh University Press; London: Associated University Presses, 2001. 268 pp. $43.00.Because, next to Israel, the United States contains the largest population of survivors from Nazi Germany, it is hardly surprising that so many American writers...
Troubled Souls: Conversos, Crypto-Jews, and Other Confused Jewish Intellectuals from the Fourteenth through the Eighteenth Century, Edited by Charles Meyers and Norman Simms
Hamilton, New Zealand: Outrigger-Publishers, 2001. 194 pp.What I like best about the internet is the way it brings people together. No matter how obscure or eccentric a person's interests may be, by diligently surfing the net he or she is sure to find...