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. 27, No. 4, Summer

Abraham: Trials of Family and Faith
Abraham: Trials of Family and Faith, by Terence E. Fretheim. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2007. 262 pp. $44.95.This book, part of the Studies on Personalities of the Old Testament series edited by James L. Crenshaw, is the fruit of Terence...
Affective Historiography: Schindlers List, Melodrama and Historical Representation
With Hayden White's notion of the "content of the form" of narrative as a starting point, this article argues that the melodramatic form of Steven Spielberg's Schindlers List (1993) constitutes a distinct mode of historical representation that must be...
An Anthology of Jewish-Russian Literature: Two Centuries of Dual Identity in Prose and Poetry
An Anthology of Jewish-Russian Literature: Two Centuries of Dual Identity in Prose and Poetry, edited by Maxim D. Shrayer. Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 2007. 2 vols., 1278 pp. $225.00.As a reader of Russian-Jewish literature, I have to welcome Maxim Shrayer's...
Back to School: Jewish Day School in the Lives of Adult Jews
Back to School: Jewish Day School in the Lives of Adult Jews, by Alex Pomson & Randal F. Schnoor. Wayne State University Press, 2008. 184 pp. $26.95.This important work summarizes, in an engaging, highly readable manner, research that demonstrates...
Between Two Worlds. the Jewish Presence in German and Austrian Film, 1910-1933
Between Two Worlds. The Jewish Presence in German and Austrian Film, 1910-1933, by S. S. Prawer. New York: Berghahn Books, 2005/2007. 228 pp. $25.00.Prawer's impressively comprehensive book aims to show "some of the ways in which Jews participated in...
Book Notes
American Jewish LifeLandmark of the Spirit: The Eldridge Street Synagogue, by Annie Polland. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2009. 164 pp. $35.00. ISBN 978-0-300-12470-5.New York City's Eldridge Street Synagogue was built in 1887 in response to...
Caught by Politics: Hitler Exiles and American Visual Culture
Caught by Politics: Hitler Exiles and American Visual Culture, edited by Sabine Eckmann and Lutz Koepnick. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007. 269 pp. $69.95.The essays contained in this volume share an unusual unity of interpretation for a collection...
Deconstruction Anticipated: Koigen and Buber on a Self-Corrective Religion
The following paper reconsiders Jacques Derrida's vision of a "religion without religion," the pristine, originary moment of the religious. What exercises Derrida are the dogmatic and exclusionary implications of the concept of revealed religion. I refer...
Der Verein Zur Abwehr Des Antisemitismus: Zum Verhältnis Von Protestantismus Und Judentum Im Kaiserreich Und in der Weimarer Republik
Der Verein zur Abwehr des Antisemitismus: Zum Verhältnis von Protestantismus und Judentum im Kaiserreich und in der Weimarer Republik, by Auguste Zeiß-Horbach. Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 2008. 462 pp. euro44.The book under review is a dissertation,...
Emil L. Fackenheim: A Jewish Philosopher's Response to the Holocaust
Emil L. Fackenheim: A Jewish Philosopher's Response to the Holocaust, by David Patterson. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2008. 240 pp. $19.95.In this book David Patterson offers a critical presentation of the post-Holocaust thought of Emil Fackenheim....
Feminism Encounters Traditional Judaism: Resistance and Accommodation
Feminism Encounters Traditional Judaism: Resistance and Accommodation, by Tova Hartman. Hadassah Brandeis Institute Series on Jewish Women. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England/Brandeis University Press, 2008. 162 pp. $19.95."Orthodox feminism"...
For the Love of God and People: A Philosophy of Jewish Law
For the Love of God and People: A Philosophy of Jewish Law, by Elliot N. Dorff. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 2007. 326 pp. $35.00.Elliot N. Dorff is the rector of the American Jewish University (formerly the University of Judaism), a leading...
For the Love of God: The Bible as an Open Book
For the Love of God: The Bible as an Open Book, by Alicia Suskin Ostriker. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2007. 164 pp. $22.95.Through prose that is deeply poetic and critically compelling, in For the Love of God Alicia Suskin Ostriker takes...
Friends on the Way: Jesuits Encounter Contemporary Judaism
Friends on the Way: Jesuits Encounter Contemporary Judaism, edited by Thomas Michel, S.J. New York: Fordham University Press, 2007. 230 pp. $45.00.Over the years, Jesuits have had both irenic and stormy relationships with the Jews. This volume presents...
From Priestly Torah to Pentateuch: A Study in the Composition of the Book of Leviticus
From Priestly Torah to Pentateuch: A Study in the Composition of the Book of Leviticus, by Christophe Nihan. Forschungen zum Alten Testament, Second Series, #25. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2007. 697 pp. $95.00.This remarkable study of the composition of...
Fruchtbarkeit Und Geburt in Den Psalmen
Fruchtbarkeit und Geburt in den Psalmen, by Marianne Grohmann. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2007. 370 pp. euro109.00.This study on fertility and birth in the Psalms was presented as a Habilitationsschrift (a second doctoral dissertation) in Old Testament...
Here and Now: History, Nationalism, and Realism in Modern Hebrew Fiction
Here and Now: History, Nationalism, and Realism in Modern Hebrew Fiction, by Todd Hasak-Lowy. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2008. 161 pp. $22.95.Based on a doctoral dissertation, this book offers both more and less than the title promises. On...
Hitler's Forgotten Ally: Ion Antonescu and His Regime, Romania 1940-1944
Hitler's Forgotten Ally: Ion Antonescu and His Regime, Romania 1940-1944, by Dennis Deletant. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006. 379 pp. $74.95.The politics of memory have remained a prominent feature of Romania's political life since 1989. Perhaps...
Indignation
Indignation, by Philip Roth. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2008. 256 pp. $26.00.Unlike the recent Exit Ghost and Tfoe Dying Animal, which focus on old age and decline, Indignation features Marcus Messner, a college boy in the 1950s. This short...
Judaism & Christianity in the Age of Constantine: History, Messiah, Israel, and the Initial Confrontation
Judaism & Christianity in the Age of Constantine: History, Messiah, Israel, and the Initial Confrontation, by Jacob Neusner. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007. 262 pp. $25.00.When Jacob Neusner's Judaism & Christianity in the Age of...
Letters from Nuremberg: My Father's Narrative of a Quest for Justice
Letters from Nuremberg: My Father's Narrative of a Quest for Justice, by Christopher J. Dodd. New York: Crown Publishers, 2007. 374 pp. $25.00.Senator Christopher J. Dodd's interesting book, Letters from Nuremberg: My Father's Narrative of a Quest for...
Living Together, Living Apart: Rethinking Jewish-Christian Relations in the Middle Ages
Living Together, Living Apart: Rethinking Jewish-Christian Relations in the Middle Ages, by Jonathan Elukin. Princeton University Press, 2007. 193 pp. $24.95.With Living Together, Living Apart, Jonathan Elukin sets out to address one of the most important...
Lords of the Land: The War over Israel's Settlements in the Occupied Territories, 1967-2007
Lords of the Land: The War over Israel's Settlements in the Occupied Territories, 1967-2007, by Idith Zertal and Akiva Eldar. New York: Nation Books, 2007. 531 pp. $29.95.Within days of the end of the fighting in 1967, the IDFs Intelligence Division...
Madame Proust: A Biography
Madame Proust: A Biography, by Evelyne Bloch-Dano, translated by Alice Kaplan. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007. 310 pp. $35.00.Proust has become a larger-than-life icon. His readers, like those of Joyce, can hardly learn enough about him....
Maimonides after 800 Years: Essays on Maimonides and His Influence
Maimonides after 800 Years: Essays on Maimonides and His Influence, edited by Jay M. Harris. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press 2007. 343 pp. $65.00.The year 2004 marked the 800th anniversary of Maimonides' death. One of the many conferences honoring...
Modern Jews Engage the New Testament: Enhancing Jewish Well-Being in a Christian Environment
Modern Jews Engage the New Testament: Enhancing Jewish Well-Being in a Christian Environment, by Michael J. Cook. Woodstock, Vermont: Jewish Lights, 2008. 416 pp. $29.99.The title is meant to suggest that Jews can overcome their centuries-old fear and...
Mordecai Richler: Leaving St. Urbain
Mordecai Richler: Leaving St. Urbain, by Reinhold Kramer. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2008. 498 pp. $39.95.As one of Canada's most influential novelists and public figures, a scholarly biography of Mordecai Richler has been long in coming....
Negotiating Jewish Canadian Identity: Montreal Yiddish Literary Journals in the Interwar Period
In the first decades of the twentieth century, Yiddish journals emerged worldwide in tandem with the periodical press as a vanguard of modern Jewish culture. Canada's Yiddish publishing capital of Montreal produced a dozen interwar journals dedicated...
Of God and Gods: Egypt, Israel, and the Rise of Monotheism
Of God and Gods: Egypt, Israel, and the Rise of Monotheism, by Jan Assmann. George L. Mosse Series in Modern European Cultural and Intellectual History. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2008. 196 pp. $26.95.This volume comes from the hand of one...
Poland and Post-Memory in Second-Generation German Jewish Fiction
This article discusses three contemporary German Jewish novels by second-generation writers that describe the search of their middle-aged protagonists, also children of Holocaust survivors of Polish descent, for their parents' traumatic past. This search...
Punishment and Freedom: The Rabbinic Construction of Criminal Law
Punishment and Freedom: The Rabbinic Construction of Criminal Law, by Devora Steinmetz. Series: Divinations: Rereading Late Ancient Religion. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008. 224 pp. $55.00.Anyone who has studied bSanhedrin-Makkot...
Redemption and the Merchant God: Dostoevsky's Economy of Salvation and Antisemitism
Redemption and the Merchant God: Dostoevsky's Economy of Salvation and Antisemitism, by Susan McReynolds. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2008. 241 pp. $69.95.Redemption and the Merchant God argues that in Dostoevsky's works (both fictional...
Richard and Adolf: Did Richard Wagner Incite Adolf Hitler to Commit the Holocaust?
Richard and Adolf: Did Richard Wagner Incite Adolf Hitler to Commit the Holocaust? by Christopher Nicholson. Jerusalem & New York: Gefen, 2007. 474 pp. $35.00.The title of this book, a joint biography of Richard Wagner and Adolf Hitler, raises a...
Snapshots
Snapshots, by Michal Govrin. New York: Riverhead Books, 2007. 322 pp. $26.95.Louis Kahn's much-cited comment that "architecture is a reaching out for the truth" could very well serve as the epigram for Michal Govrin's novel, Snapshots. Published in Israel...
The Antisemitic Origin of Michelangelo's Horned Moses
Rather than reflecting, as many have claimed, a benign "mis-translation" of Exodus 34 by St. Jerome, the horns on Michelangelo's famous statue of Moses are emblematic of a millennium-long tradition of antisemitism that stretched from antiquity to the...
The Bible: A Biography
The Bible: A Biography, by Karen Armstrong. New York, Atlantic Monthly Press, 2007. 302 pp. $21.95.This volume will sound familiar to those who know of Armstrong's works; in fact, it reads like an abridged version of A History of God, and there are some...
The Cambridge Companion to Primo Levi
The Cambridge Companion to Primo Levi, edited by Robert S. C. Gordon. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007. 205 pp. $29.95.Survivor guilt is well documented, but there is a different, milder form of guilt, Or uncertainty and embarrassment, which...
The History of Terrorism: From Antiquity to Al Qaeda
The History of Terrorism: From Antiquity to Al Qaeda, edited by Gerard Chaliand and Arnaud Blin. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007. 474 pp. $24.95.The History of Terrorism: From Antiquity to Al Qaeda, edited by Gérard Chaliand and Arnaud...
This Crazy Thing a Life
This Crazy Thing a Life, by Richard Freadman. Crawley, Western Australia: University of Western Australia Press, 2007. 301 pp. $31.00.The author, a professor of literature at La Trobe University in Melbourne, has written extensively concerning biography...
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