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. 26, No. 4, Summer

"A Land That Devours Its Inhabitants": Midrashic Reading, Emmanuel Levinas, and Prophetic Exegesis
This essay initially cites the ways Levinas has been read to date-in philosophy, feminism, and Jewish Studies-noting the absence of midrashic reading, and especially one identified as akin to literary reading. It next defines midrash as the Rabbis and...
Almost Englishmen: Baghdadi Jews in British Burma
Almost Englishmen: Baghdadi Jews in British Burma, by Ruth Fredman Cernea. Lanham MD: Lexington Boob, 2007. 173 pp. $24.95.The widely scattered Baghdadi Jews of the Far East in the 19th century constitute an interesting case of a vigorous Jewish society....
Another, Other Abraham: Derrida's Figuring of Levinas's Judaism
Through a comparison of Derrida's late essay "Abraham, l'autre" with Gift of Death and Adieu to Emmanuel Levinas this essay illustrates how Derrida in "Abraham, l'autre" extends his efforts to derive a political thinking from Levinas's ethics. At the...
Anti-Utopianism Revisited
It is often said that Levinas offers no positive political principles or ideals, stressing rather that an ethics of singularity can only enter the political sphere in the form of critique. There is much to be said for this position-which tends to make...
Barney Ross/Harry Haft: Survivor of Auschwitz, Challenger of Rocky Marciano
Barney Ross, by Douglas Century. New York: Schocken Books, 2006. 216 pp. $19.95.Harry Haft: Survivor of Auschwitz, Challenger of Rocky Marciano, by Alan Scott Haft, with forewords by John Radzilowski and Mike Silver. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press,...
Book Notes
American Jewish LifeThe Colors of Jews: Racial Politics and Radical Diasporism, by Melanie Kaye/ Kanrrowitz. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2007. 296 pp. $65.00 (c); $24.95 (p). ISBN 978-0-253-34902-6 (c); 978-0-253-21927-5 (p).Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz...
California Dreaming: Ideology, Society and Technology in the Citrus Industry of Palestine, 1890-1939
California Dreaming: Ideology, Society and Technology in the Citrus Industry of Palestine, 1890-1939, by Nachum Karlinsky. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2005. 270pp. $45.00.In his book California Dreaming, Nachum Karlinsky offers a solid,...
Catastrophe Remembered: Palestine, Israel and the Internal Refugees: Essays in Memory of Edward W. Said
Catastrophe Remembered: Palestine, Israel and the Internal Refugees: Essays in Memory of Edward W. Said, edited by Nur Masalha. London & New York: Zed Books, 2005. 300pp. $18.95.Catastrophe Remembered is an anthology that forthrightly presents the...
Cross on the Star of David: The Christian World in Israel's Foreign Policy 1948-1967
Cross on the Star of David: The Christian World in Israel's Foreign Policy 1948-1967, by Uri Bialer. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2005. 240 pp. $39.95.In recent years religion has played an increasingly important role in Middle Eastern foreign...
Emmanuel Levinas and Jewish Thought: Translating Hebrew into Greek: Editors' Introduction
Akila translated the Torah [into Greek] in the presence of R. Eliezer and R.Joshua, and they applauded him, saying/'Through Grecian grace you are making its beauty known among men."(Seier Ha'Aggadah, p. 451:455)This special issue ofShofar arose out of...
Ethics and Halakhah in Levinas
Levinas's conception of ethics has the structure of a phenomenology of Jewish law (halakhah) that privileges the heteronomous command over the rational deliberations of the subject. In this respect Levinas resembles neo-Orthodox Jewish thinkers. However,...
"Extreme Attention to the Real": Levinas and Religious Hermeneutics
One important area of Levinas's Jewish thought consists in his Talmudic readings. Over the course of many years, he developed an approach to the reading of Talmud that relies, implicitly and explicitly, on various hermeneutical principles. A fundamental...
In Lieu of Memory: Contemporary Jewish Writing in France
In Lieu of Memory: Contemporary Jewish Writing in France, by Thomas Nolden. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2006. 254 pp. $29.95.In light of the splintering of perspectives and populations that characterize contemporary Jewish writing in France,...
Intimations of Difference: Dvora Baron in the Modern Hebrew Renaissance
Intimations of Difference: Dvora Baron in the Modern Hebrew Renaissance, by Sheila E. Jelen. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2007. 240 pp. $24.95.Dvora Baron may not have been the first Hebrew woman prose fiction writer, as critics often present...
Jews and Gentiles in Early America: 1654-1800
Jews and Gentiles in Early America: 1654-1800, by William Pencak. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2005. 321 pp. $29.95.Jews and Gentiles in Early America fills an important gap in the scholarship on American Jewish history and the history of...
Jews, Judaism, and the Reformation in Sixteenth-Century Germany
Jews, Judaism, and the Reformation in Sixteenth-Century Germany, edited by Dean Phillip Bell and Stephen G. Burnett. Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2006. Studies in Central European Histories volume 37. 572 pp. $196.00.This volume is a guide to a relatively...
Jüdisches München: Vom Mittelalter Bis Zur Gegenwart
Jüdisches München: Vom Mittelalter bis zur Gegenwart, edited by Richard Bauer and Michael Brenner. Munich: C. H. Beck, 2006. 287 pp. euro19.90.In 1866, in the presence of Chancellor Bismarck and various Berlin notables, the massive Oranienburger Straße...
Julius Rosenwald: The Man Who Built Sears, Roebuck and Advanced the Cause of Black Education in the American South
Julius Rosenwald: The Man Who Built Sears, Roebuck and Advanced the Cause of Black Education in the American South, by Peter M. Ascoli. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006. 453 pp. $35.00.Peter M. Ascoli's wonderful new book about the life and...
Language and Eschatology in the Work of Emmanuel Levinas1
This paper discusses the relationship between language and eschatology in the work of Emmanuel Levinas. It will take into consideration the various concepts of eschatology in his work by regarding his philosophical writings as well as his Talmudic interpretations....
Marc Chagall
Marc Chagall, by Jonathan Wilson. New York: Nextbook/Schocken, 2007. 238 pp. $19.95.This text is no ,hagiographie study. To the contrary, it seeks to be revisionist if not provocative but is entirely derivative, as the author admits (p. 223), from the...
Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid
Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, by Jimmy Carter. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2006. 264 pp. $27.00.There are enough reviews in print to qualify this book as a "classic," i.e., one that everyone quotes and no one reads.Having done my professional duty...
Renaissance England's Chief Rabbi: John Selden
Renaissance England's Chief Rabbi: John Selden, by Jason P. Rosenblact. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. 314 pp. $99.00.The impact of Greek and Latin scholarship upon English Renaissance culture continues to be examined intensely, but apart from...
Rosenzweig and Heidegger: Between Judaism and German Philosophy
Rosenzweig and Heidegger: Between Judaism and German Philosophy, by Peter Eli Gordon. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003. 328 pp. $25.95.Peter Eli Gordon, in his provocative and brilliant book, Rosenzweig and Heidegger: Between Judaism and...
Shimon Peres: The Biography
Shimon Peres: The Biography, by Michael Bar-Zohar. New York: Random House, 2007. 554 pp. $29.95.Throughout Shimon Peres's long political career, from his nomination in December 1953 as director general of Israel's defense ministry at the age of 30, through...
The Era of the Witness
The Era of the Witness, by Annette Wieviorka, trans, from French by Jared Stark. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2006. 168pp. $19.95.When Shoshana Felman and Dori Laub published Testimony: Crises of Witnessing in Literature, Psychoanalysis and History...
"The Eternal Irony of the Community": Prophecy, Patriotism, and the Dixie Chicks
This essay returns to the Dixie Chicks "incident" in order to reexamine the backlash against them. Their critics claim that patriotism and their contract with country music are at stake; I argue that the backlash is old-fashioned misogyny. My examination...
The Honeymoon Is Over: Jonah's Argument with God
The Honeymoon Is Over: Jonah's Argument With God, by T. A. Perry. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2006. 250 pp. $19.95.Much modern exegesis of the Book of Jonah has been influenced by a Christian reading of the book that dates back at least 1500 years to Jerome....
The Mellah of Marrakesh, Jewish and Muslim Space in Morocco's Red City
The Mellah of Marrakesh, Jewish and Muslim Space in Morocco's Red City, by Emily Gottreich. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2007. 201 pp. $24.95.This admirably researched and written volume is a landmark in the growing historiography and ethnography...
The Messiah Myth: The near Eastern Roots of Jesus and David
The Messiah Myth: The Near Eastern Roots of Jesus and David, by Thomas L. Thompson. New York: Basic Books, 2005/London: Jonathan Cape, 2006. 414 pp. $35.00.Thomas L. Thompsons Messiah Myth: The Near Eastern Roots of Jesus and David, is an openly revisionist...
The Paradox of Anti-Semitism
The Paradox of Anti-Semitism, by Dan Cohn-Sherbok. London: Continuum, 2006. 242 pp. $26.95.Is antisemitism good for Jewishness? Dan Cohn-Sherbok thinks it is. The paradox of antisemitism, he writes, is that"hatred can be a positive force in Jewish history."...
The Price of Whiteness: Jews, Race, and American Identity
The Price of Whiteness: Jews, Race, and American Identity, by Eric L. Goldstein. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006. 307 pp. $29.95.In his interesting and important book, The Price of Whiteness: Jews, Race, and American Identity, Eric Goldstein...
The Triumph of Military Zionism: Nationalism and the Origins of the Israeli Right
The Triumph of Military Zionism: Nationalism and the Origins of the Israeli Right, by Colin Schindler. London & New York: I. B. Tauris, 2007. 282 pp. $74.95.Colin Schindler's book, The Triumph of Military Zionism, offers a fascinating, and important,...
This Has Happened: An Italian Family in Auschwitz
This Has Happened: An Italian Family in Auschwitz, by Piera Sonnino, translated by Ann Goldstein. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006. 218 pp. $21.95.Ann Goldsteins translation of Questo è state (This Has Happened) by Piera Sonnino arrives on the American...
Turning the Kaleidoscope: Perspectives on European Jewry
Turning the Kaleidoscope: Perspectives on European Jewry, edited by Sandra Lustig and Ian Leveson. New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2006. 239 pp. $80.00.It is a commonly held assumption among Jews in Israel and in the United States that European...
You Should See Yourself: Jewish Identity in Postmodern American Culture
You Should See Yourself: Jewish Identity in Postmodern American Culture, edited by Vincent Brook. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2006. 337 pp. $24.95.In 1993 Samuel C. Heilman, the chair of Jewish Studies at Queen's College of the City University...