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. 28, No. 3, Spring

Aesthetics of Renewal: Martin Buber's Early Representation of Hasidism as Kulturkritik
Aesthetics of Renewal: Martin Buber's Early Representation of Hasidism as Kulturkritik, by Martina Urban. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2008. 238 pp. $32.00.Ever since Gershom Scholem's blunt and devastating criticism of the 1960s,...
A History of Palestine: From the Ottoman Conquest to the Founding of the State of Israel
A History of Palestine: From the Ottoman Conquest to the Founding of the State of Israel, by Gudrun Kramer. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008. 357 pp. $38.50.Is this just another book concerned with the Jewish-Arab struggle over Palestine?...
American Naturalism and the Jews: Garland, Norris, Dreiser, Wharton, and Cather
American Naturalism and the Jews: Garland, Norris, Dreiser, Wharton, and Cather, by Donald Pizer. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2008. 112 pp. $30.00.Donald Pizer s lively and succinct American Naturalism and the Jews: Garland, Norris,...
Antisemitic Elements in the Critique of Capitalism in German Culture, 1850-1933
Antisemitic Elements in the Critique of Capitalism in German Culture, 1850-1933, by Matthew Lange. German Life and Civilization Vol. 46. Bern: Peter Lang, 2007. 348 pp. $83.95.In the second half of the nineteenthth century, from the point of view of...
Avon Gilyon (Document of Sin, B. Shabb. 116a) or Euaggelon (Good News)?
The Gospels present an early layer of material showing us a thoroughly Jewish Jesus while they also show us a later layer indicating that the Jews are doomed and have lost their chance for redemption by denying the resurrection of Christ. Matthew 28:15...
Before Whom Do We Stand?
This essay places before the reader four historic texts that raise significant questions for Jews and Christians who choose to enter into post-Holocaust examination of their respective identities and their relationships to their grounding traditions....
Biblical Interpretation in Judaism and Christianity
Biblical Interpretation in Judaism and Christianity, edited by Isaac Kalimi and Peter J. Haas. New York and London: T&T Clark, 2006. 265 pp. $156.00.One of the more exciting developments in recent decades in the field of biblical studies has been...
Black Swastika, Red Swastika
Black Swastika, Red Swastika, by Alexander Askanas. Xlibris Corporation, 2009. 199 pp. $29.99 (c); $19.99 (p). Orders@Xlibris.com.Black Swastika, Red Swastika is a striking contribution to the literature of witness and historical accounts of the two...
Book Notes
American Jewish LifeBecoming American Jews: Temple Israel of Boston, by Meghan Dwyer-Ryan, Susan L. Porter, and Lisa Fagin Davis. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England/Brandeis University Press, 2009. 280 pp. $24.95. ISBN 978-1-58465-790-3.From...
"Can We Talk?" the Jewish Jesus in a Dialogue between Jews and Christians
"That Jesus was a Jew during the troubled Roman oppression in Palestine is a fact. That his "messiahship" remains a fundamental stumbling block between Jews and Christians and has been so for 2,000 years is fact. Can Jews somehow import him into Jewish...
Conceiving a Nation: The Development of Political Discourse in the Hebrew Bible
Conceiving a Nation: The Development of Political Discourse in the Hebrew Bible, by Mira Morgenstern. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2009. 230 pp. $65.00.As the title and subtitle of the present book indicate, this is a study...
Conceptions of God, Freedom, and Ethics in African American and Jewish Theology
Conceptions of God, Freedom, and Ethics in African American and Jewish Theology, by Kurt Buhring. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008. 262 pp. $79.95 (c); $40.00 (p).Conceptions of God, Freedom, and Ethics in African American and Jewish Theology is a...
French and Jewish: Culture and the Politics of Identity in Early Twentieth Century France
French and Jewish: Culture and the Politics of Identity in Early Twentieth Century France, by Nadia Malinovich. Portland: Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2008. 280 pp. $49.50.Nadia Malinovich takes on some big questions that have interested French...
Geography of Hope: Exile, the Enlightenment, Disassimilation
Geography of Hope: Exile, The Enlightenment, Disassimilation, by Pierre Birnbaum, ttans. Charlotte Mandell. Stanford: Stanfotd University Press, 2008. 479 pp. $65.00.Pierre Birnbaums Geography of Hope is as much a work of intellectual history as a histotical...
Heidegger's Jewish Followers: Essays on Arendt, Strauss, Jonas, and Levinas
Heidegger's Jewish Followers: Essays on Arendt, Strauss, Jonas, and Levinas, edited by Samuel Fleischacker. Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 2008. 302 pp. $22.95.Heidegger's Jewish Followers comprises ten essays, plus an Introduction by the editot,...
Hidden Children of the Holocaust: Belgian Nuns and Their Daring Rescue of Young Jews from the Nazis
Hidden Children of the Holocaust: Belgian Nuns and Their Daring Rescue of Young Jews from the Nazis, by Suzanne Vromen. Oxford: Oxford University Press: 2008. 178 pp. $24.95.If scholars, historians, and survivors could live another hundred years, their...
Jesus, God of the Hebrew Bible
This article undertakes to isolate those stories about Jesus that Paul described as "stumbling blocks to the Jews" of his day from other Jesus stories that circulated in the early churches. It then attempts to discern which implicit claims in such stories...
Jesus in the Context of Judaism: Quest, Con-Quest, or Conquest?
Editor's IntroductionThough many articles, reviews, and books are not of one opinion on the life and time of Jesus, there is a general understanding in the dogma of the Church and in the Quests of the Academy that the incarnate Christ of Christian belief...
Jewish Philosophy as a Guide to Life: Rosenzweig, Buber, Levinas, Wittgenstein
Jewish Philosophy as a Guide to Life: Rosenzweig, Buber, Levinas, Wittgenstein, by Hilary Putnam. Bloomington: University of Indiana Press, 2008. 121 pp. $19.90.The analytic philosopher Hilary Putnam, Cogan University Professor, Emeritus, at Harvard...
Jewish Responses to Byzantine Polemics from the Ninth through the Eleventh Centuries
Some aspects of the Jewish response to Byzantine rule among the communities of southern Italy during the eighth through the eleventh centuries can be found in the midrash aggadat bereshit, Sepher Yosippon, and Megillat Ahimaaz. The paper will look for...
Judas: A Biography
Judas: A Biography, by Susan Gubar. New York and London: W. W. Norton and Company, 2009. 453 pp., 8 color plates and 39 b&w illustrations. $27.95.Throughout Christian history, Judas poses a theological conundtum; although he bettays Jesus, without...
Life and Death in the Third Reich
Life and Death in the Third Reich, by Peter Fritzsche. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2008. 368 pp. $27.95.In this extremely nuanced and rich account of the Third Reich, Peter Fritzsche explores why individuals were pulled...
Performing Americanness: Race, Class, and Gender in Modern African-American and Jewish-American Literature
Performing Americanness: Race, Class, and Gender in Modern African-American and Jewish-American Literature, by Catherine Rottenberg. Hanover: Dartmouth College Press, 2008. 180 pp. $50.00.Performing Americanness is the kind of unprecedented, richly comparative...
Reading the Jewish Woman on the Elizabethan Stage
Reading the Jewish Woman on the Elizabethan Stage, by Michelle Ephraim, Women and Gender in the Early Modern World Series. Burlington, VT and Hampshire, UK: Ashgate, 2008. 180 pp. $99.95.Michelle Ephraim combines the figure of Queen Elizabeth as bearer...
The Amazing Mr. Jesus
This essay intends to explore what a consideration of the miracle stories recorded in the Christian Gospels might contribute to an attempt to consider the Jewish context for Jesus. The miracles are often not the focus of efforts to think about a Jewish...
The First Tithe: Memoirs and Edifying Discourses of the Hebrew War for Freedom
The First Tithe: Memoirs and Edifying Discourses of the Hebrew War for Freedom, by Israel Eldad, ttanslated by Zev Golan. Tel Aviv: The Jabotinsky Institute in Istael, 2008. 420 pp. 60 shekels.Translator of Nietszche, Ph.D. in Philosophy, gt aduate of...
The Holocaust: Roots, History and the Aftermath
The Holocaust: Roots, History and the Aftermath, by David M. Crowe. Boulder, CO: Westview Press: 2008. 524 pp., index and maps. $49.00.There has been over the last ten years a plethora of textbooks and comprehensive histories of the Shoah. The cynic...
The Much Too Promised Land: America's Elusive Search for Arab-Israeli Peace
The Much Too Promised Land: America's Elusive Search for Arab-Israeli Peace, by Aaron David Miller. New York: Bantam, 2008. 398 pp. $26.00.For those of us teaching courses on U.S. policy in the Middle East, and on the Arab-Israeli conflict, The Much...
The Organ and Its Music in German-Jewish Culture
The Organ and Its Music in German-Jewish Culture, by Tina Frühauf. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. 284 pp. $74.00Tina Frühauf has given us a book that is as much about Jewish identity as it is about music. She presents the organ as a marker...
This Abled Body: Rethinking Disabilities in Biblical Studies
This Abled Body: Rethinking Disabilities in Biblical Studies, edited by Hector Avalos, Sara J. Melcher, and Jeremy Schipper, Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2007. 244 pp. $29.95.This anthology is just one of many new volumes on Scripture and...
Typical Jewish Misunderstandings of Christianity
While there are a number of recent works by Jewish thinkers aimed at debunking the negative and misleading myths about Christianity that have prevailed in Jewish scholarship since the 19th century, these misunderstandings are still all too prevalent....
Unclaimed Experience: Trauma and Identity in Third Generaton Writing about the Holocaust
"From the psychoanalytic point of view," write Bergman andjucovy, "the Jewish people can be seen not only as a socioreligious group, but also as a group united by common trauma."1 The Jewish tradition has a highly evolved historical consciousness which...
Visualizing the Holocaust: Documents, Aesthetics, Memory
Visualizing the Holocaust: Documents, Aesthetics, Memory, edited by David Bathrick, Brad Prager, and Michael D. Richardson. Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2008. 336 pp. $75.00.Visualizing the Holocaust is the first volume in the series Screen Cultures:...
We Remember with Reverence and Love: American Jews and the Myth of Silence after the Holocaust, 1945-1962
We Remember with Reverence and Love: American Jews and the Myth of Silence after the Holocaust, 1945-1962, by Hasia Diner. New York: New York University Press, 2009. 527 pp. $29.95.In We Remember With Reverence and Love: American Jews and the Myth of...
What Was at Stake in the Parting of the Ways between Judaism and Christianity?
Sacrificial religion, especially the sacrifice of the first born, is crucial for understanding the continuities and discontinuities between Judaism and Christianity. Human sacrifice was prevalent in the ancient Middle East, even among the Hebrews as...
Where Jewish Scholars on Jesus Go Awry: Last Supper, Sanhedrin, Blasphemy, Barabbas
Is there a propensity by Jewish scholars to misconstrue as actual history Gospel "facts" that are purely fictional? Jewish studies on the historical Jesus need to give due regard to the operation of "gospel dynamics": those skillful techniques by which...
Whose Torah? A Concise Guide to Progressive Judaism
Whose Torah? A Concise Guide to Progressive Judaism, by Rebecca T, Alpert. New York, NY: The New Press, 2008. 164 pp. $23.95.Rebecca Alpert is among the fitst women to be ordained as a rabbi and is a leader and advocate fot progressive social issues....
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