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. 24, No. 2, Winter

Akharekha Na-Rutsa (It Is You We Pursue)
Akharekha Na-Rutsa (It Is You We Pursue), by Yuval Sherlo. Tel Aviv, Yediot Aharonot, 2003. 510 pp.Yuval Sherlo's book It Is You We Pursue is more than just a commentary on the Song of Songs, although it is certainly that too. Of the 510 pages in this...
A Provocative Blind Spot: Orientalism and Charlotte Tonna's Judah's Lion
With the publication of Orientalism (1978) Edward W. Said initiated a profound shift in the relations between critical approaches to literary culture and the study of European imperialism. Central to Said's argument and his subsequent analysis is his...
A Woman's Place Is in the House: Royal Women of Judah and Their Involvement in the House of David
A Woman's Place is in the House: Royal Women of Judah and Their Involvement in the House of David, by Elna K. Solvang. Journal for the Study of Old Testament Supplement Series, 349. London and New York: Sheffield Academic Press, 2003. 196 pp. $100.00.This...
Ayelet Ahavim: Iyunim Be-Khokhmat Ha-Ahava (Beloved Doe: Studies in the Wisdom of Love)
Ayelet Ahavim: Iyunim Be-Khokhmat Ha-Ahava (Beloved Doe: Studies in the Wisdom of Love), by Naftali Rotenberg. Sifrei Hemed Series. Tel Aviv, Yediot Aharonot, 2004.Who can resist a scholarly book that trumpets the wisdom of love in Jewish sources? The...
Book Notes
American Jewish LifeCommentary in American Life, edited by Murray Friedman. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2005. 226 pp. $64.50. ISBN 1-59213-106-9.Founded by the American Jewish Committee in 1945 as a journal of "significant thought and opinion,...
Border Lines: The Partition of Judaeo-Christianity
Border Lines: The Partition of Judaeo-Christianity, by Daniel Boyarin. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004. 374 pp. $38.50.In his latest book, Daniel Boyarin proposes that by constructing the categories of religious orthodoxy and heresy...
Contemporary Orthodox Judaism's Response to Modernity
Contemporary Orthodox Judaism's Response to Modernity, by Barry Freundel. Jersey City: KTAV Publishing House, Inc., 2004. 333 pp. $22.95.There is a corollary to the truth that "you can't tell a book by its cover" and that is: "you can't tell a book by...
Der Ring der Mythen: Die Wagner-Kontroverse in Israel
Der Ring der Mythen: Die Wagner-Kontroverse in Israel, by Na'ama Sheffi. Translated from the English by Liliane Granierer. Göttingen: Wallstein Verlag, 2002. 192 pp. $20.00.The life and work of Richard Wagner has been the subject of bitter controversy...
Faith Transformed: Christian Encounters with Jews and Judaism
Faith Transformed: Christian Encounters with Jews and Judaism, edited by John C. Merkle. Collegeville, Minn.: The Liturgical Press, 2003. 216 pp. $23.95.This book is a gem. Twelve Christian scholars give their autobiographical reflections on how their...
Fashioning Jewish Identity in Medieval Western Christendom
Fashioning Jewish Identity in Medieval Western Christendom, by Robert Chasan. Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press, 2004. 379 pp. $75.00.Christianity, once an obscure Jewish sect, rose to be a major world religion. In so doing it retained the story...
From Falashas to Ethiopian Jews: The External Influences for Change C. 1860-1960
From Falashas to Ethiopian Jews: The External Influences for Change c. 1860-1960, by Daniel Summerfield. London and New York: Routledge Curzon, 2003. 226 pp. $65.00.The main purpose of this book is to show the construction and the development of the...
How the Bible Became a Book: Textualization in Ancient Israel
How the Bible Became a Book: Textualization in Ancient Israel, by William Schniedewind. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. 257 pp. $27.00.Much has been written on the question of who wrote the Bible. These discussions usually deal little with...
Introduction: The Cultural and Historical Stabilities and Instabilities of Jewish Orientalism
My objective in soliciting the essays for this special issue of Shofar was to increase the awareness among scholars of a wellspring of neglected affinities between the discursive field that the late Edward Said (1935-2003) identified as "Orientalism"...
Jews in Poland-Lithuania in the Eighteenth Century: A Genealogy of Modernity
Jews in Poland-Lithuania in the Eighteenth Century: A Genealogy of Modernity, by Gershon David Hundert. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004. 286 pp. $50.00.In the 18th century the largest Jewish community in the world lived within the bounds...
Levinas and Biblical Studies
Levinas and Biblical Studies, edited by Tamara Cohn Eskenazi, Gary A. Philips, and David Jobling. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2003. Semeia Studies number 43. 214pp. $29.95.Levinas has been an important philosophical figure in France since...
Love Your Neighbor and Yourself: A Jewish Approach to Modern Personal Ethics
Love Your Neighbor and Yourself: A Jewish Approach to Modern Personal Ethics, by Elliot N. Dorff. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 2003. 366 pp. $34.95.Rabbi Elliot Dorff is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles....
Major Turning Points in Jewish Intellectual History
Major Turning Points in Jewish Intellectual History, by David Aberbach. Basingstoke, England: Palgrave MacMillan, 2003. 220 pp. $69.00.In the thematic introduction to his collection of essays, Aberbach lists four major transformations in Judaism: "[1]...
"Mosaic Arabs": Jews and Gentlemen in Disraeli's Young England Trilogy
Though converted to Christianity at an early age, Benjamin Disraeli, the popular novelist and prime minister under Queen Victoria, was outspokenly philosemitic. Fueled by contemporary ethnology and race theories, Disraeli argued that the Jews were a...
Nach der Verfolgung: Wiedergutmachung Nationalsozialistischen Unrechts in Deutschland?
Nach der Verfolgung: Wiedergutmachung nationalsozialistischen Unrechts in Deutschland? edited by Hans-Günter Hockerts and Christiane Kuller. Göttingen: Wallstein Verlag, 2003. 285 pp. euro20.00.This important anthology offers a brief yet wide-ranging...
Negotiating Diaspora: Jewish Strategies in the Roman Empire
Negotiating Diaspora: Jewish Strategies in the Roman Empire, edited by John M. G. Barclay. Library of Second Temple Studies, 45. London: T & T Clark International, 2004. 161 pp. $49.95.This is a collection of six essays originally presented at a...
Pollution in a Promised Land: An Environmental History of Israel
Pollution in a Promised Land: An Environmental History of Israel, by Alon Tal. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002. 546 pp. $34.95.It is a daunting task to write the environmental history of any country. The environmental field is a large...
Reading Hebrew Melodies
Because it is based upon an uncompromising East/West binary, Edward Said's Orientalism falls a bit short when considering the figure of the Jew. Hebrew Melodies, a collaborative effort by the composer Isaac Nathan and the poet Lord Byron, provides an...
Reading Women's Stories: Female Characters in the Hebrew Bible
Reading Women's Stories: Female Characters in the Hebrew Bible, by John Petersen. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004. 226 pp. $22.00.It was T. S. Eliot who said that any new work brings about a re-ordering and re-aligning of all works that preceded it....
Reimagining the "Artless Jew": A Commentary on Recent Interventions in Jewish Art History
Reimagining the "Artless Jew": A Commentary on Recent Interventions in Jewish Art History The Artless Jew: Medieval and Modern Affirmations and Denials of the Visual, by Kalman P. Bland. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000.The Nation Without...
Secret City: The Hidden Jews of Warsaw 1940-1945
Secret City: The Hidden Jews of Warsaw 1940-1945, by Gunnar S. Paulsson. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003. 298 pp. $35.00.The study of the Holocaust includes many generalizations about the non-Jewish world that have found their way into textbooks....
Support Any Friend: Kennedy's Middle East and the Making of the U.S.-Israel Alliance
Support Any Friend: Kennedy's Middle East and the Making of the U.S.-Israel Alliance, by Warren Bass. A Council on Foreign Relations Book. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2003. 336 pp. $30.00.The United States and Israel have had a fascinating...
The Americanization of Zionism, 1897-1948
The Americanization of Zionism, 1897-1948, by Naomi Cohen. Hanover and London: Brandeis University Press, 2003. 261 pp. $35.00.In The Americanization of Zionism, Naomi Cohen expands on a theme that has previously been explored both by herself and by...
The Beginning of Wisdom: Reading Genesis
The Beginning of Wisdom: Reading Genesis, by Leon R. Kass. New York: Free Press, 2003. 700 pp. $35.00.If evidence were needed for the profundity of the book of Genesis, it may be found in the unceasing flood of volumes which seek to plumb its depths....
The Cambridge Companion to Jewish American Literature
The Cambridge Companion to Jewish American Literature, edited by Michael P. Kramer and Hana Wirth-Nesher. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003. 296 pp. $24.99.As the People of the Book, Jews have always left literary footprints wherever they have...
The Curse of Ham: Race and Slavery in Early Judaism, Christianity and Islam
The Curse of Ham: Race and Slavery in Early Judaism, Christianity and Islam, by David M. Goldenberg. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2003. 448 pp. $35.00.The biblical verse, "Cursed be Canaan; a slave of slaves shall he be to his brothers"...
The Invention of a Nation: Zionist Thought and the Making of Modern Israel
The Invention of a Nation: Zionist Thought and the Making of Modern Israel, by Alain Dieckhoff, translated from the French by Jonathan Derrick. New York: Columbia University Press, 2003. 297 pp. $30.00.Israel is one of the few states to be founded on...
The Plot against America
The Plot Against America, by Philip Roth. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2004. 390 pp. $26.00.Philip Roth has done it again. Ever unpredictable, he has astonished us with his latest novel, a satirical political fantasy set in the 1940s. Although he has written...
The Rebel Queen and Constructions of Jewish Identity in Late Victorian Britain
This essay examines The Rebel Queen, a novel written by Walter Besant and illustrated by Adolph Birkenruth for serialization in The Illustrated London News in 1893. The text and images tell the story of Francesca Elveda, a young woman who does not know...
"Till Spring Comes": Arabic and Hebrew Literary Debates among Iraqi-Jews in Israel (1950-2000)1
In modern times Iraqi Jews, writing in Arabic, were producing literary works that quickly became part of the mainstream of modern Arabic literature. Following the establishment of the state of Israel, many Iraqi-Jewish intellectuals, poets, and writers...
Women, Birth and Death in Jewish Law and Practice
Women, Birth and Death in Jewish Law and Practice, by Rochelle L. Millen. Hanover: University Press of New England/Brandeis University Press, 2004. 246 pp. $27.50.This book examines how women draw on and engage the Jewish tradition at the tender and...
Yitzhak Shami: Ethnicity as an Unresolved Conflict*
Yitzhak Shami (1889-1949) wrote fiction in Eretz-Israel, but from an unusual perspective for the times-the Mizrahi perspective. He chooses for himself a complex speaking position-a speaking site located in the space between two cultural options. One...

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