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. 23, No. 3, Spring

After Such Knowledge: Memory, History and the Aftermath of the Holocaust, by Eva Hoffman
New York. Public Affairs, 2004. 247 pp. $25.00.This is an important book by well-known writer Eva Hoffman that is certain to cause some rethinking about the Holocaust and how it will be remembered. Hoffman, author of Lost in Translation and Shtetl, has...
A Spanish Converso's Quest for Justice: The Life and Dream Fiction of Antonio Enríquez Gómez
Long after Spain's Jews had either fled or converted to Christianity in 1492, many of their descendants who remained as conversos, or New Christians, became important contributors to the country's literary and cultural Golden Age of the 1500s and 1600s.(1)...
A View from the Pew on Gibson's Passion
By the time this special edition of Shofar hits the press Gibson's once front-page-news movie may have the lingering interest most front-page stories retain. The heavy publicity preceding the movies release, and the record ticket sales in the early showing,...
Collective Portraits: The Anthological Imagination of Leo W. Schwarz
In 1935, the twenty-nine year old Jewish literary intellectual Leo W. Schwarz published The Jewish Caravan, a collection of "great stories of twenty-five centuries" ranging from the Bible to modern literature from Europe, America, and Palestine. He followed...
Crucifixion in Rabbinic Context: Juridical or Theological?
1. A Secular, Juridical, versus a Sacred, Theological Reading of the Passion Narratives: What Is the Difference?How people view the death penalty governs their reading of the Passion narratives. The prevailing picture is simple and secular. Execution...
Deboraerzählung Und Deboralied, by Heinz-Dieter Neef
Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 2002. 216 pp. Euro34.00.The book is divided into 10 chapters, and although the chapters are not numbered this division enables the reader to comprehend the methodological steps. The appendix includes a detailed...
Deicide Déjà Vu: Mel Gibson's Film, the Passion -- an Attack on 40 Years of Jewish-Christian Dialogue
It is now four decades after Nostra Aerate and a few years after both A Sacred Obligation: Rethinking Christian Faith in Relation to Judaism and the Jewish People and Dabru Emet: A Jewish Statement on Christians and Christianity. In addition, the Scholar's...
Dramatizing the Passion: From Oberammergau to Gibson
In 1633 the village of Oberammergau, in the Bavarian Alps, fell victim to the plague. It seemed to the village elders that their community would be wiped out by the sudden onslaught of the feared disease. Therefore they gathered beneath the crucifix...
Embattled Neighbors -- Syria, Israel and Lebanon, by Robert G. Rabil
Boulder, Colorado: Lynne Rienner, 2003. 307 pp. $58.50.This book deals with the fabric of relations between Israel, Syria, and Lebanon, three neighboring countries whose destiny has been combined ever since they emerged as independent states and even...
Ethics and Dialogue in the Works of Levinas, Bakhtin, Mandel'shtam, and Celan, by Michael Eskin
New York: Oxford University Press, 2000. 294 pp. $85.00.Michael Eskin's project is an interesting, ambitious, and in my view finally successful one. He would like to read Emmanuel Levinas's notion of the ethical in the context of Mikhail Bakhtin's notion...
German Idealism and the Jews: The Inner Anti-Semitism of Philosophy and German Jewish Responses, by Michael Mack
Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2003. 229 pp. $35.00.Mack's book attempts to do two things: first, cast a spotlight on the antisemitism of German idealist philosophy, illustrating how pseudo-theologies and pseudo-sciences drove discussions...
Gibson's Passion: The Challenges for Catholics
A contemporary film on Christian antisemitism terms this centuries-long disease within the Church as a "shadow" on the cross. Recent Catholic documents have spoken in even stronger language. In 1989 the Pontifical Commission for Justice and Peace at...
History, Archaeology, and Mel Gibson's Passion
Whatever else The Passion of the Christ is about, it is about history. Thus, it is important to examine the film from the perspective of history, and see how, and if, the film incorporates what we have come to know about that era. A great deal of progress...
How Austrians Viewed the Passion of the Christ
Mel Gibson's controversial film The Passion of the Christ hit European movie theatres six weeks after its release in the U.S. By that time, a large segment of the population was already familiar with the content, whether they read film reviews or not....
Inside a Class Action: The Holocaust and the Swiss Banks, by Jane Schapiro
Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2003. 292 pp. $35.00.Jane Schapiro is a freelance writer and poet who lives in the Washington area. During the late 1990s she gained access to one of the legal teams that brought a class action against Swiss banks...
Jewish "Officialdom" and the Passion of the Christ: Who Said What and What Did They Say?
IntroductionAmong the falsely perceived myths not only of this historical American Jewish experience but the contemporary one as well is that of a singular American Jewish community, seemingly united by such common factors as religious faith and belief;...
Justice Matters: Legacies of the Holocaust and World War II, by Mona Sue Weissmark
New York: Oxford University Press. 2003. 191 pp. $28.00Weissmark is a psychologist and Director of the Institute for Social Justice at Roosevelt University in Chicago. Her study deals with the results of group encounters between children of Holocaust...
Ladies and Gentlemen, the Original Music of the Hebrew Alphabet and Weekend in Mustara (Two Novellas), by Curt Leviant
Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2002. 156 pp. $21.95.Desperate scholars are featured in Ladies and Gentlemen, the Original Music of the Hebrew Alphabet and Weekend in Mustara (two novellas), by Curt Leviant. In the first novella, Dr. Gantz, travelling...
Lesbian Rabbis: The First Generation
edited by Rebecca T. Alpert, Sue Levi Elvell, and Shirley Idelson. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2001. 252 pp. $24.00.When seminaries began to ordain women rabbis, they also began to ordain lesbian rabbis. Some of these rabbis had not acknowledged...
Life between Memory and Hope: The Survivors of the Holocaust in Occupied Germany, by Ze'ev Mankowitz
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. 335 pp. $40.00.Perhaps, as the author says, it was because the move from Holocaust to the nation's rebirth seemed ineluctable that the events in between have been neglected by historical scholarship. Whatever...
Mahler Im Gespräch: Die Zehn Sinfonien, by Michael Gielen and Paul Fiebig
Stuttgart & Weimar: Verlag J. B. Metzler, 2002. 233 pp. Euro 24.95.There is a long history of books and essays analyzing the symphonies of Gustav Mahler, beginning in the composer's lifetime. My task in this review is to place the above book in historical...
Martin Buber: Frühe Kulturkritische Und Philosophische Schriften 1891-1924. Werkausgabe, Vol. 1, Edited by Martin Treml
Güterstoher Verlagshaus, 2001. 396 pp. Euro84.00.This is the first and important cornerstone of what is projected to become a monumental edition comprising 21 volumes of the complete writings of Martin Buber in German. It will eventually replace the...
Mel Gibson's Passion: The Film, the Controversy, and Its Implications
IntroductionThe unprecedented biblical-cinematic debate on the merits and demerits of Mel Gibson's controversial Jesus movie, The Passion of the Christ, began long before its release nationwide in 2000-plus theaters on Ash Wednesday, February 25, 2004....
Mel Gibson's the Passion of the Christ: A Protestant Perspective
Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ is a film. This has two meanings for the essay response that I am writing. First, it is merely a film and not any more. Thus, any analysis of the film requires a general sense of popular culture and how such films...
Qumran Grotte 4. XXII: Textes Araméens, Première Partie, 4Q529-549, by ÉMile Puech
DJD XXXI. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2001. 439 pp. + Plates. $125.00.In this DJD volume, one of two in the series dedicated entirely to Aramaic texts from Qumran, Émile Puech provides the editio princeps of 4Q529-549. These manuscripts were originally...
Reading Hebrew Literature: Critical Discussions of Six Modern Texts
edited by Alan Mintz. Hanover, NH: Brandeis University Press, 2003. 258 pp. in English; 38 pp. in Hebrew. $60.00.Reading Hebrew Literature, edited by Alan Mintz, is an exceptionally instructive and useful volume for the teaching of evocative contemporary...
Rebuilding the House of Israel: Architectures of Gender in Jewish Antiquity, by Cynthia M. Baker
Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2002. 260 pp. $60.00.This beautifully written and sharply insightful volume offers a reconsideration of the dynamics of households, domesticity, and communal space in late ancient Judaism. In four interwoven chapters,...
Sins of Omission: The Jewish Community's Reaction to Domestic Violence, by Carol G. Kaufman
Boulder: Westview Press, 2003. 238 pp. $26.00Domestic violence remains a problem of staggering proportions. According to data from the National Violence Against Women Survey, approximately 1.5 million women are raped and/or physically assaulted by a...
Textual Reasonings: Jewish Philosophy and Text Study at the End of the Twentieth Century, Edited by Peter Ochs and Nancy Levene
Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2002. 310 pp. $28.00.Textual Reasonings, an entry in the series Radical Traditions: Theology in a Postcritical Key, edited by Stanley M. Hauerwas and Peter Ochs, shows the unique potential and configuration of American...
The Aporia of AIDS And/as Holocaust
I. The Genealogy of AIDS and/as HolocaustIn the mid-1980s the advocacy group Gay Men's Health Crisis reached an impasse regarding the role it was to perform for people suffering from AIDS. Torn between seeing its mission in the pursuit of the limited...
The Continuing Agony: From the Carmelite Convent to the Crosses at Auschwitz
edited by Alan L. Berger, Harry J. Cargas, and Susan Nowak. Academic Studies in the History of Judaism. Binghamton: Global Publications, SUNY at Binghamton, 2002. 327 pp. $25.00.The aim of this anthology is to further dialogue between Jews and Christians,...
The History of History: German Philosophy, Judaism, and the Spinozist Moment
German Idealism and the Jew: The Inner Anti-Semitism of Philosophy and German Jewish Responses, by Michael Mack. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003. 229 pp. $35.00 (c).The Rhetoric of Cultural Dialogue: Jews and Germans from Moses Mendelssohn...
The Jewish-Christian Schism Revisited, by John Howard Yoder
edited by Michael G. Cartwright and Peter Ochs. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003. 290 pp. $30.00.This book is a collection of essays written and presented in a variety of settings by Yoder, a prominent Mennonite scholar who served for many years on the faculty...
The Jewish Jesus: A Partisan's Imagination
My own approach to finding the historical Jesus in the text of the New Testament may appear to some as extreme. It seems to me that Mark, the earliest gospel version on the life of Jesus compiled shortly after the destruction of the Second Jewish Temple...
The Jews of Kaifeng, China: History, Culture, and Religion, by Xu Xin
Jersey City, N.J.: KTAV Publishing House, 2003/193 pp. $29.50.In the preface to this work, Xu Xin, Professor of the History of Jewish Culture at Nanjing University, asserts quite correctly that a great deal of what "has been written about the Jews of...
The Neighbors Respond: The Controversy over the Jedwabne Massacre in Poland
edited by Anthony Polonsky and Joanna B. Michlic. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2004. 489 pp. $19.95.On June 22, 1941, German forces captured the town of Jedwabne, in the Lomza region in northeastern Poland. Less than three weeks...
The Palestinians: In Search of a Just Peace, by Cheryl A. Rubenberg
Boulder & London: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2003. 485 pp. $24.52.For anyone trying to understand the current state of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, The Palestinians: In Search of a Just Peace provides critical background and context. As the title...
The Passion of the Christ and Congregational Interfaith Relations
By the time you read this we will be in the midst of the next installment of how The Passion will impact Jewish-Christian relations since the DVD was released on August 31, 2004. As of this writing you can find competing discounts for as low as $17.50,...
The Politics of Canonicity: Lines of Resistance in Modern Hebrew Poetry, by Michael Gluzman
Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2003. 250 pp. $49.50.In the culture wars of the 1980s and 1990s, the literary canon served as a central battleground on university campuses; at the polarized extremes of the debate, campus radicals slammed the traditional...
The Specter of Genocide: Mass Murder in Historical Perspective
edited by Robert Gellately and Ben Kierman. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003. 396 pp. $22.00.Robert Gellately, a specialist in Nazi Germany, and Ben Kierman, the preeminent authority on the Cambodian Killing Fields, have compiled a book of...
Von der Gemeinde Zur "Community": Jüdische Einwanderer in Chicago, 1840-1900, by Tobias Brinkmann
Studien zur Historischen Migrations-forschung forschung 10. Osnabrück: Rasch Verlag, 2002. 444 pp. Euro 29.90.Brinkmann's study of the Jewish community in Chicago in the second half of the nineteenth century addresses the context of German and Jewish...
Where Are the Flies? Where Is the Smoke? the Real and Super-Real in Mel Gibson's the Passion
First of all, I have to make confession: I really did not want to see this film. I wasn't reluctant because I thought that the message conveyed about Jews and/or Christians, ancient and/or modern, might prove "problematic" (as we scholars like to say...