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. 22, No. 2, Winter

"Ausserdem Waren Sie Ja Auch Menschen": Goethes Begegnung Mit Juden Und Judentum
edited by Annette Weber. Berlin/Wien: Philo Verlag, 2000. 170 pp. Euro 14.50.Of the many "Goethe and..." conferences, which celebrated Goethe's 250th birthday in 1999, two stood out. They dealt with a classical chiasm: Goethe and the Jews, the Jews and...
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Being Israeli, the Dynamics of Multiple Citizenship, by Gershon Shafir and Yoav Peled
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. 397 pp. $65.00.Two of the best political-sociologists writing on Israel have joined together (not for the first time) to offer a comprehensive analysis of Israeli society along its twisted history, and to...
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"Bystanders" to the Holocaust: A Re-Evaluation; "A Problem from Hell": America and the Age of Genocide, by Samantha Power
edited by David Cesarani and Paul A. Levine. London and Portland: Frank Cass, 2002. 286 pp. $24.50.New York: Basic Books, 2002. 632 pp. $30.00.These two books have one big thing in common: being a bystander is nothing new in this 20th-century age of...
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Christian Attitudes towards the State of Israel, by Paul Charles Merkley
Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2001. 257 pp. $29.95For decades North American Jews have known intuitively that the Christian Churches have been pro-Palestinian. They have only to read the daily newspaper or listen to the news...
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Church Faith and Religious Belief: A Reading of Dominus Iesus
Dominus Iesus has sparked a wave of criticism for its exclusivistic message that salvation is available only through the Church. Although many Catholic theologians downplay the meaning or importance of the document and stress its inclusivistic language,...
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Creating A Judaism without Religion: A Postmodern Jewish Possibility, by S. Daniel Breslauer
Lanham: University Press of America, 2001. 274 pp. $48.00.Daniel Breslauer continues his project of articulating a postmodern Judaism, but his latest book is focused neither on one thinker (as was his 1994 book on Mordecai Kaplan), nor strictly on Jewish...
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Cultures in Conflict: The Arab-Israeli Conflict, by Calvin Goldscheider
The Greenwood Press Cultures in Conflict Series. Westport and London: Greenwood Press, 2002. 198 pp. $45.00.Since the onset of the peace process in the early 1990s, the academic market has witnessed the emergence of a plethora of general books on the...
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Dominus Iesus: Why This? Why Now?
Even for one not trained in the academic discipline of political science, it is impossible to escape the conclusion that Dominus Iesus is a political document by those within the Roman Catholic Church, specifically its conservatizing element the Congregation...
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Edge of the Diaspora: Two Centuries of Jewish Settlement in Australia, by Suzanne D. Rutland
Revised Edition. New York: Holmes and Meier, 2001. 485 pp. $24.95.How does one look at the history of the Jewish experience in small settlements far removed from the "traditional" mainstreams of Jewish life in Europe, the Middle East, or the eastern...
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Elvis in Jerusalem: Post-Zionism and the Americanization of Israel, by Tom Segev
Translated from the Hebrew by Haim Watzman. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2002. 168 pp. $23.00.Elvis in Jerusalem, the American title of Ha'aretz columnist Tom Segev's 2001 book Hatzionim Hahadashim, is a cruel come-on. This Israeli "new historian"...
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Faith from the Ashes: An Interview with Sibylle Sarah Niemoeller Von Sell
PrefaceThe first time I encountered Sibylle Niemoeller was at the 22(nd) Annual Scholars Conference on the Holocaust and the German Church Struggle (now named the Annual Scholars Conference on the Holocaust and the Churches), which met at the University...
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Giving Voice to Isaac: The Sacrificial Victim in Kafka's Trial
One of the most enigmatic characters in modern literature is Joseph K., in Franz Kafka's The Trial. In this essay I undertake to penetrate the enigma of Joseph K. with the help of René Girard's anthropological analysis of the victim mechanism in human...
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Green Crescent over Nazareth: The Displacement of Christians by Muslims in the Holy Land, by Raphael Israeli
London and Portland: Frank Cass, 2002. 180 pp. $24.50.Certainly some of the slipperiest slopes facing scholars of the Middle East are the roles played by ethnicity and religion in the region's modern history and politics. Raphael Israeli (The Hebrew...
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Holocaust Theology: A Reader
edited by Dan Cohn-Sherbok. New York: New York University Press, 2002. 414 pp. $24.50.For the believer, observed the Hofetz-Hayyim, there are no questions. For the skeptic, he continued, there are no answers. No theological conundrum more clearly illustrates...
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Leo Strauss on Jerusalem and Athens: A Girardian Analysis
For Strauss, Jerusalem and Athens are the two roots of Western civilization, with Jerusalem representing biblical revelation and Athens representing philosophy. Their relationship is one of "fundamental opposition," an opposition that constitutes the...
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Modern Hebrew Literature Made into Films, by Lev Hakak
Lanham: University Press of America, 2001. $52.00.The considerably praiseworthy nature and scholarly meritorious character of this book stems from a phenomenon that will be hereby briefly addressed.The principal unique character of this book derives...
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Peacemaking in a Divided Society: Israel after Rabin
edited by Sasson Sofer. London and Portland: Frank Cass, 2001. 260 pp. $24.50.This edited collection by Sasson Sorer, Chairman of the Department of International Relations at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, is "an interdisciplinary effort to study...
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Pius XII and the Holocaust: Understanding the Controversy, by José M. Sanchez
Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America Press, 2002. 197 pp. $39.95.For the past several years an ongoing controversy has swirled throughout the academic world regarding the papacy of Pius XII. This controversy has found its way into the popular...
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Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust
edited by Carol Rittner and John K. Roth. London and York: Lerk: Leicester University Press, 2002. 291 pp. $66.95 (c); $24.95 (p).The current desire of the Roman Catholic Church to canonize as saint Pope Plus XII has produced in its wake a flurry of...
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Post-Holocaust Politics: Britain, the United States and Jewish Refugees, by Arieh J. Kochavi
Chapel Hill and London: The University of North Carolina Press, 2001. 377 pp. $45.00.The apathy of British and American governments to the plight of European Jewry during the Second World War has been fully documented. Sadly, a similar indifference to...
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Protestant Impressions of Catholic Statements
Some fascinating insights from DerridaI have been asked to join this group of scholars at this Jewish studies conference as the lone Christian theologian in order to give a Protestant's perspectives on the recent statements from the Catholic church,...
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Rashbam's Commentary on Leviticus and Numbers: An Annotated Translation
edited and translated by M. L. Lockshin. Providence: Brown University Press, 2001. 309 pp. $39.95.This is the third book in a series of Rashbam's (Rabbi Shemuel Ben Me'ir, 1080-1160) commentary to the Pentateuch. The first two are Pashbam's commentary...
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Reclaiming Heimat: Trauma and Mourning in Memoirs by Jewish Austrian Reémigrés by Jacqueline Vansant
Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2001. 197 pp. $34.95.Jacqueline Vansant has written a sensitive and nuanced account of how seven Austrians wrote about their experiences of exile from and return to their homeland (Heimat). She characterizes the...
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Sacred Communities: Jewish and Christian Identities in Fifteenth-Century Germany, by Dean Phillip Bell
Boston and Leiden: Brill Academic Publisher, 2001. 301 pp. $79.20.This book sets out "to recontextualize the world of Jewish and Christian relations [in fifteenth-century Germany] by focusing on...Jewish and Christian interaction as well as Jewish and...
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Saintly Mimesis, Contagion, and Empathy in the Thought of René Girard, Edith Stein, and Simone Weil
"Empathy" and "contagion" are semantically related in their common reference to the suffering of infectious disease, spiritual and physical. How exactly do they differ as interpersonal phenomena? René Girard establishes a link between mimetic behavior...
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Supersessionism Rears Its Ugly Head in the Church's Dominus Iesus: A Contextual Analysis
Ambiguity and ambivalence have marked the Catholic Churches' relationship with the Jewish people and Judaism since Saul of Tarsus converted and became Paul. Condemnation and protection have been the twin pillars of Vatican policy towards the Jews since...
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The Art of Unmasking Cryptic Secrets: Reading in Amos Oz's the Same Sea
The Same Sea, by Amos Oz, his last work prior to his recently published autobiography entitled A Story about Love and Darkness, is the most unusual work since his first volume of stories, Where the Jackals Howl.While Oz's four decades of literary creation...
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The Catholic Church and the Jews; Introduction to This Special Section of Shofar
At a Western States Jewish Studies Association Conference in Tempe, Arizona a small group of Jewish and Christian scholars came together to discuss the implications of the release of the Vatican's Statement, Dominus Iesus (DI), in the year 2000. These...
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The Complete Works of Isaac Babel, by Isaac Babel
edited by Nathalie Babel, trans. with notes by Peter Constantine. New York: W. W. Norton, 2001. 1072 pp. $39.95.Pablo Neruda famously once said of Julio Cortazar, "He who doesn't read Cortazar is surely doomed." If it hadn't been said already, the same...
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The Holocaust and World War II Almanac (3 Volumes)
edited by Peggy Saari and Aaron Maurice Saari; coordinatin editors, Ksthleen J. Edgar and Ellice Engdahl. Farmington Hills, MI: The Gale Group, 2001. 1447 pp. $323.50.Knowledge about World War II and the Shoah is necessary for world survival, yet the...
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The Inveterate Dreamer: Essays and Conversations on Jewish Culture, by Ilan Stavans
Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2001. 306 pp. &24.95.In The Inveterate Dreamer, Ilan Stavans poses perhaps the question of modern Jewish culture: what unites secular Jews from around the world, if anything? Does Jewish identity, and more specifically,...
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The Jews and the Expansion of Europe to the West, 1450-1800
edited by Paolo Bernardini and Norman Fiering. European Expansion and Global Interaction, Vol. 2. New York: Berghahn Books, 2001. 567 pp. $49.95.This insightful, well-balanced and finely produced volume is based on papers presented at an international...
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The Jews of Britain 1656 to 2000, by Todd M. Endelman
Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002. 347 pp. $22.50.This is a superb history of the Jews of Britain from the time of their readmission to the kingdom in the seventeenth century to the present. Through their history the Jews have only been...
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The Life and Thought of St. Edith Stein, by Freda Mary Oben
New York: Alba House, 2001. 164 pp. $12.95.In May 1997, ten years after her beatification, the last hurdle for the canonization of Edith Stein cleared when Pope John Paul II, on the recommendation of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, recognized...
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The Occupation of Justice: The Supreme Court of Israel and the Occupied Territories, by David Kretzmer
Albany: State University of New York Press, 2002. 262 pp. $21.95.This is an important book. Professor David Kretzmer provides a wealth of information about Israeli policies in the territories it has occupied since the 1967 war. More important, perhaps,...
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The Triangle Fire, by Leon Stein
Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2001 (earlier edition, 1962). 224 pp. $15.95."We didn't have a chance...the people...saw the fire grow....all of a sudden the fire was all around...." Someone "ran to the Washington Place door and tried to open it,...
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What Does Dominus Iesus Say about Judaism? Actually, Nothing
Many scholars commenting on Dominus Iesus have assumed that Judaism, from the perspective of the Catholic Church, is seen simply as one among the many "non-Christian religions," which Dominus Iesus deems to be "gravely deficient." But Judaism, as a response...
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Women Pioneers of Jewish Learning: Ruth Liebrecht and Her Companions at the "Hochschule Für Wissenschaft Des Judenthums" in Berlin 1930-1934, by Esther Seidel
Berlin: Jüdische Verlagsanstalt, 2002. 175 pp. $19.00.Because I knew so little about the women who had studied at the Hochschule in Berlin, I was eager to read Esther Seidel's new book. Women Pioneers of Jewish Learning does not really live up to its...
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Zion's Mimetic Angel: George Eliot's Daniel Deronda
Although George Eliot wrote Daniel Deronda with a great enthusiasm for Zionism and sympathy for the Jewish people, its hero Daniel rings hollow in the opinion of most critics. He is especially weak insofar as he is a Jew and a Zionist. Magically morally...
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