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. 4, Summer

Agnon's Kaddish: Mourning for God
In memory of my teachers and friends Frank Talmage and Abe PessisABSTRACT. In 1947 S. Y. Agnon responded to the daily bloodshed incurred in defense of the soon-to-be-declared State of Israel with a composition entitled Introduction (Petiha) to the Kaddish:...
Bittersweet Legacy: Creative Responses to the Holocaust, Edited by Cynthia Moskowitz Brody
Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2001. 296 pp. $50.50."Our mothers snipped along the ribs/ of the truth, with room, with room to let out/ in a year or so, since children grow." This particular stanza of "Sparing the Children" by Barbara Unger...
Crypto-Judaism and the Spanish Inquisition, by Michael Alpert
Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire and New York: Palgrave, 2001. 246 pp. $69.95.There is increasing scholarly and popular interest in the phenomenon of Crypto-Judaism among the descendants of Spanish Jews. Not the least of the reasons for this has been...
David's Secret Demons: Messiah, Murderer, Traitor, King, by Baruch Halpern
Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2001. 492 pp. $30.00.In David's Secret Demons: Messiah, Murderer, Traitor, King, Baruch Halpern introduces King David, transforming the shepherd of Sunday School, sermons, and cinema. Halpern paints a plausible picture of...
Ethics in the Shadow of the Holocaust
edited by Judith H. Banki and John T. Pawlikowski. Chicago: Sheed and Ward, 2001. 364 pp. $24.95.Ethics in the Shadow of the Holocaust is really two books as records of two conferences held at the Bernardin Center in Chicago with the aim of developing...
Farewell to Prague, by Miriam Darvas
San Francisco: MacAdam/Cage Publishing, 2001. 200 pp. $22.00.Farewell to Prague launches immediately into the violence of 1933 Germany. By page three the six-year-old Darvas has witnessed the brutal murder of her classmates and neighbors. Shortly she...
God in Nature or the Lord of the Universe?: The Encounter of Judaism and Science from Hellenistic Times to the Present
ABSTRACT. Like all vital religious systems, Judaism has had to come to terms with the latest discoveries and advances in science and technology. Three times in the last 2500 years from the birth of a true scientific approach to the universe in the Greek...
Hellenism in the Land of Israel
edited by John J. Collins and Gregory E. Sterling. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2001. 343 pp. $45.00.This book is volume 13 in the series Christianity and Judaism in Antiquity. It is a compilation of twelve essays under the rubric...
Il Grido Della Stirpe and Mussolini's 1938 Racial Legislation
ABSTRACT. Many Italian Americans turned a deaf ear to Fascism after the enactment of Italy's 1938 antisemitic measures. Others, however, did not. The latter included Domenico Trombetta, the editor and publisher of the New York City-based Italian-language...
In Search of Refuge: Jews and U.S. Consuls in Nazi Germany, 1933-1941, by Bat-Ami Zucker
London: Vallentine Mitchell, 2001. 229 pp. $49.50.Among the many issues that continue to swirl around the interpretation of the Shoah is the question concerning what the Allied Nations, particularly the United States, could and should have done differently...
Interpretive Images in the Song of Songs: From Wedding Chariots to Bridal Chambers, by Steven C. Horine
Studies in the Humanities 55. New York: Peter Lang, 2001. 235 pp. $59.65.This interesting study on the Song of Songs seeks to clarify its complex imagery and rhetorical framework with a view to aiding an understanding of the text within its original...
Jewish Politics in Eastern Europe: The Bund at 100
edited by Jack Jacobs, foreword by Feliks Tych. New York: New York University Press in association with the Jewish Historical Institute (Warsaw), 2001. 284 pp. $45.00.Founded in Czarist Vilna (Vilnius) in 1897, the Jewish Labor Bund became a mass movement...
Lomir Ale Singn: Die Musik der Juden Osteuropas, by François Lilienfeld
Zürich: Chronos, 2002. 178 pp., compact disc. Euro29.90.In present-day Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, the discourse around the field of Yiddish music and Yiddish music research has become one of ethnicity and race. At a time when the role of Jews...
Masters of Death: The SS Einsatzgruppen and the Invention of the Holocaust, by Richard Rhodes
New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2002. 348 pp. $27.50.Alfred A. Knopf, the publisher of Richard Rhodes, Masters of Death: The SS Einsatzgruppen and the Invention of the Holocaust, boldly asserts that the author "gives full weight, for the first time, to the...
Mirror of His Beauty: Feminine Images of God from the Bible to the Early Kabbalah, by Peter Schäfer
Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002. 306 pp. $29.95.Peter Schäfer's latest book significantly engages the Christian veneration of the Virgin Mary in an effort to account for the sudden appearance of feminine imagery for the divine in the early...
Pardes Revisited Once Again: A Reassessment of the Rabbinic Legend concerning the Four Who Entered Pardes
Dedicated to the memory of Dr. Morton M. Axler (Song of Songs 1:4)ABSTRACT. This paper reexamines the rabbinic narrative concerning the four who attempted to enter Pardes. Earlier scholarship tends to view the narrative as a warning against the study...
Reflections on Emil L. Fackenheim Z"l (1916-2003): The Man and His Holocaust Philosophy
IntroductionProfessor Emil Ludwig Fackenheim, the eminent German-born Jewish philosopher of the Shoah, died in Jerusalem on 22 Elul 5763 (19 September 2003). Though his roots are with the great German-Jewish thinkers such as Moses Mendelssohn, Hermann...
Revelation and the God of Israel, by Norbert Samuelson
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. 258 pp. $60.00.As one might expect when reading the title of this book, it is about revelation, the sort of revelation that emerges, and can be made intellectually respectable according to Samuelson, in the...
Roots of Rabbinic Judaism: An Intellectual History, from Ezekiel to Daniel, by Gabriele Boccaccini
Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2002. 230 pp. $24.00.With the present volume Gabriele Boccaccini presents a fascinating and creative narrative of the evolution of Judaism during what is commonly called the Second Temple Period. Indeed, this book is seductive...
Simulated Dreams: Israeli Youth and Virtual Zionism, by Haim Hazan
New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2001. 116 pp. $39.50.This volume, written by Haim Hazan, an anthropologist from Tel Aviv University, attempts to explore the links between dreams and identity among youths in contemporary Israel. Based on a number...
Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East, by Michael B. Oren
Oxford University Press, 2002. 446 pp. $30.00.The June 1967 war lasted for only one hundred and thirty-two hours, yet it became a critical juncture in the contemporary Middle East. The military operations on the battlefields can be seen as a dramatic...
Studies in Ancient Midrash
edited by James L. Kugel. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Center for Jewish Studies, Harvard University Press, 2001. 169 pp. $31.00.This collection of essays is the product of a one-day conference on ancient biblical interpretation held at Harvard...
The Butcher's Tale: Murder and Anti-Semitism in a German Town, by Helmut Walser Smith
New York and London: W. W. Norton, 2002. 270 pp. $25.95.In March 1900, a grisly murder came to light in Konitz, a town of about ten thousand inhabitants in the province of West Prussia. A torso, then other body parts of a high-school student were discovered...
The Educational Pedagogy of the Four Sons
ABSTRACT. The Passover Haggadah speaks about the four sons -- the wise, simple, etc. Using a method of biblical exegesis suggested by Rabbi Joseph Baer Soloveitchik, it is shown that these four sons implicitly define a two-dimensional learning model...
The Evolution of Converso Literature: The Writings of the Converted Jews of Medieval Spain, by Gregory B. Kaplan
Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2002. 161 pp. $55.00.The title of this book is very promising, especially the overt implication that Spain's New Christians (conversos) produced literature that was, perhaps, not exactly like that of their Old...
The Invention and Decline of Israeliness; State, Society, and the Military, by Baruch Kimmerling
Berkeley, New York and London: University of California Press, 2001. 268pp. $45.00.Kimmerling's latest analysis of Israeli society is timely and important. Although as this review was being written Israelis had yet to go to the polls, the most important...
The Jewish Response during the Holocaust: The Educational Debate in Israel in the 1950s
ABSTRACT. Since the end of World War II, the response of the Jewish population in Europe to the Nazi policy of extermination has constituted a significant element in Jewish, and particularly Israeli, consciousness of the Holocaust. In the 1950s this...
The Moscow State Yiddish Theater: Jewish Culture on the Soviet Stage, by Jeffrey Veidlinger
Indiana University Press, 2000. 356 pp. $39.95.The Moscow State Yiddish Theater was the most brilliant and visible expression of Yiddish culture under the Soviets. Solomon Mikhoels, its most famous actor and long-time director, attained international...
The Philosophy of the Talmud, by Hyam Maccoby
New York: Routledge, 2002. 240 pp. $85.00.After the demise of the modern paradigms of rationality, can we still speak of the rationality of our religion? If so, where is its rationality to be found? Many philosophers of religion today offer either of...
The Postmodern Bible Reader
edited by David Jobling, Tina Pippin, and Ronald Schleifer. Oxford: Blackwell, 2001. 381 pp. $29.95.The editors, members of the Bible and Culture Collective, have produced this volume as a supplement to the earlier volume by the Bible and Culture Collective,...
The Religious Meaning of Art Spiegelman's Maus
ABSTRACT. Via his father's testimony, Art Spiegelman in Maus seems to demonstrate that there is divine intervention in human affairs. Vladek's predictive dream about Parshas Truma (Exod. 25-27), as well as the prediction of the Polish priest at Auschwitz...
Through the Name of God: A New Road to the Origin of Judaism and Christianity, by Joel T. Klein
Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2001. 273 pp. $72.95.Joel Klein is an ordained rabbi, a practicing psychotherapist, a survivor of the Holocaust, and a professor of psychology at a Catholic college. As he explains, the mystery of the divine name, the unpronounced...
To See Feelingly: Moral (In)sight in Arthur Miller's Homely Girl, A Life and Broken Glass
ABSTRACT. In two recent works of Holocaust literature that harken back to his earliest fiction, Arthur Miller explores ways of reading the text of the Jewish body -- already always marked and stigmatized as Other -- that resist further objectification...