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. 4, Summer

After the Evil: Christianity and Judaism in the Shadow of the Holocaust, by Richard Harries
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003. 239 pp. $22.00.Richard Harries provides those engaged in Jewish-Christian dialogue with a valuable example of the complex ambiguities of that dialogue in After the Evil: Christianity and Judaism in the Shadow of...
Ancient Israel and Ancient Greece: Religion, Politics, and Culture, by John Pairman Brown
Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2003. 228 pp. $22.00.Assembled unchanged, save for the deletion of foreign fonts, from essays contained in Brown's three-volume work, Israel and Hellas, Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 231,...
Antisemitismus in der Deutschen Geschichte, by Armin Pfahl-Traughber
Opladen: Leske & Budrich, 2002. 168 pp. Euro12.90.The starting point for this slim but useful volume is the intense debate over the nature of German antisemitism that the publication of Daniel Jonah Goldhagen's Hitler's Willing Executioners generated...
Auschwitz, Poland, and the Politics of Commemoration, 1945-1979, by Jonathan Huener
Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2003. 326 pp. $44.95.As I was finishing reading this fine book, I was in the process of negotiating the inscription for the entry to the new memorial that opened on June 2, 2004 at Belzec. The negotiations were conducted...
Bagels, Bongos, and Yiddishe Mambos, or the Other History of Jews in America
"Bagels, Bongos, and Yiddishe Mambos" focuses on Jewish-Latin recordings of the 40s-60s. Arguing that standard models of understanding Jews and race are inadequate in thinking about the mid-century Jewish-Latin interchange, this essay suggests that Jews...
Benjamin Disraeli: The Fabricated Jew in Myth and Memory, by Bernard Glassman
Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America, 2002. 240 pp. $45.00.Bernard Glassman's contribution to the Studies in Judaism series for the University Press of America offers an interesting account of the "fabrication" of Disraeli's persona both by...
Beside Still Waters: Jews, Christians, and the Way of the Buddha
edited by John Keenan, Linda Klepinger Keenan, and Harold Kasimow. Somerville, MA: Wisdom Publications, 2003. 288 pp. $14.95.Beside Still Waters wears its tremendous significance lightly. This readable volume provides a unique combination of reflection...
Committed to Memory: Cultural Mediations of the Holocaust, by Oren Baruch Stier
Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2003. 277 pp. $34.95.Oren Baruch Stier's Committed to Memory is an innovative and consistently perceptive examination of the "processes of memorial mediation" (p. 1) that guide and inform our encounter with...
Fabulous Small Jews, by Joseph Epstein
New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2003. 340 pp. $24.00.Fabulous Small Jews is Joseph Epstein's second collection of short stories, following The Goldin Boys, which was named a Notable Book of the Year by The New York Times in 1992. Epstein is more...
Finding Morality in the Diaspora? Moral Ambiguity and Transformed Morality in the Books of Esther, by Charles D. Harvey
New York: waiter de Gruyter, 2003. 274 pp. $89.00.This book is a revised and updated version of the author's Ph.D. dissertation (University of Edinburgh, 2000), portions of which have appeared elsewhere (e.g., The Southern Baptist Journal of Theology...
Franz Kafkas Sprachen: ".In Einem Stockwerk Des Inneren Babylonischen Turmes.," by Marek Nekula
Tübingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag, 2003. 397 pp. Euro98.00.While trying to find relief from his tuberculosis at a sanatorium in Meran in April 1920, Kafka was invited to share a dinner table with two high-ranking members of the Austrian army. In the course...
Gentile Impurities and Jewish Identities, by Christine E. Hayes
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. 300 pp. $45.00.This well written and thought-provoking book is all about making distinctions explicit where our sources do not. As Hayes notes, to begin with, it is usually thought that ancient Jews considered Gentiles...
Hasidism on the Margin: Reconciliation, Antinomianism, and Messianism in Izbica/Radzin Hasidism, by Shaul Magid
Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2003. 400 pp. $45.00.The Izbica/Radzin hasidic dynasty, founded by R, Mordecai Joseph of Izbica (1800-1854), was one of the most creative and controversial hasidic groups in nineteenth-century Poland. Mordecai...
Immigrants in Turmoil: Mass Immigration to Israel and Its Repercussions in the 1950s and after, by Dvora Hacohen
Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2003. 325 pp. $49.95.This book is a slightly revised English translation of an earlier book which appeared in Hebrew in 1994. It is one of the only historically oriented analyses of the mass immigration to Israel...
Implied Law in the Abraham Narrative: A Literary and Theological Analysis, by James K. Bruckner
Journal for the Study of the Old Testament: Supplement Series, 335. New York and London: Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001. 260 pp. $90.00.In this published version of his 1998 Luther Seminary dissertation (Dr. Terence Fretheim, adviser), James...
In Search of Marc Chagall: Review Essay
Marc Chagall: On Art and Culture, edited by Benjamin Harshav, translated by Barbara and Benjamin Harshav. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2003. 225 pp. $49.50.Marc Chagall and His Times, A Documentary Narrative, by Benjamin Harshav, with translations...
Leo Baeck Werke 5: Nach der Schoa -- Warum Sind Juden in der Welt: Schriften Aus der Nachkriegszeit
edited by Albert H. Friedlander and Bertold Klappert. Gütersloh, Germany: Gütersloher Verlagshaus, 2002. 558 pp. Euro115.The fifth in a six-volume series presenting the writings of Leo Baeck, Nach der Schoa offers twenty-four of Baeck's essays, lectures,...
Maimonides and the Hermeneutics of Concealment: Deciphering Scripture and Midrash in "The Guide of the Perplexed," by James Arthur Diamond
SUNY series in Jewish Philosophy. Albany: State University of New Tork Press, 2002. 235 pp. $21.95.Since the thirteenth century some readers have viewed the Guide of the Perplexed as an esoteric work in which Maimonides uses various stratagems to conceal,...
Martin Buber and Feminist Ethics: The Priority of the Personal, by James W. Walters
The Martin Buber Library. Syracuse, New York, Syracuse University Press, 2003. 140 pp. $19.95.The disciplines of Feminist Studies, Gender Studies, and Queer Studies address more than the restricted content areas they designate. More than anything else...
My Mother's Voice: Children, Literature and the Holocaust, by Adrienne Kurtzer
Peterborough, Ont.: Broadview Press, 2002, 384p. $24.95.Among the moral tasks that parents and educators bear is the necessity of teaching children about evil. Not the difference between good and evil, which is an easier and more understandable undertaking,...
Nathanael West's Indian Commodities
If the imaginary Indian, from the moment of the nation's founding, served as a flexible figure through which to work out questions of "American" identity, Indianness came to serve in the early twentieth century as a category through which Americans could...
Race and Jews in America: An Introduction
The history of American Jews and race has, until recently, inspired a surprisingly limited field of academic inquiry. For the most part, the conversation has been consigned to ongoing and carefully delimited discussions of Black-Jewish relations, a field...
Records of Dispossession: Palestinian Refugee Property and the Arab-Israeli Conflict, by Michael R. Fischbach
New York: Columbia University Press, 2003. 467 pp. $39.50.Records of Dispossession is the fifth publication of the Institute for Palestine Studies series on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Although sponsored by an institute committed to the Palestinian...
Rembrandt's Jews, by Steven Nadler
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003. 250 pp. $25.00.Readers of this exemplary book are in for a series of pleasant surprises. They start at the very beginning, with the book's title. Despite the grandeur suggested by its two terms, the title is...
Resisting History: Historicism and Its Discontents in German-Jewish Thought, by David N. Myers
Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2003. 253 pp. $29.95.Ever since he wrote his dissertation under Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi, the author of Zakhor, a meditation on Jewish history and historians, historian David N. Myers has been intrigued...
Sepharad, by Antonio Muñoz Molina
New York: Harcourt, 2003. 385 pp. $27.00.Antonio Muñoz Molina is one of the most prestigious novelists now writing in Spain. Over the last two decades, his novels have combined modern and postmodern literary technique with powerful storytelling, earning...
Slavery Metaphors in Early Judaism and Pauline Christianity, by John Byron
Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament, 2nd Series, No. 162. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2003. 304 pp. Euro49.This volume, a "slightly revised" (p. v) doctoral thesis in theology (University of Durham), is an attempt to establish "the Jewish...
Some Notes on the Erotics of "Black-Jewish Relations"
In this essay Melnick plots a "hidden" history of Black-Jewish relations organized around the alternating currents of homerotic attraction and homophobic repulsion. Focusing on Chester Himes's underappreciated novel Lonely Crusade, this essay invites...
The Art and Artists of the Fifth Zionist Congress. Heralds of a New Age, by Gilya Gerda Schmidt
Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2003. 269 pp., 41 illustrations. $49.95.This book deals with a rather narrowly defined subject -- the exhibition of Jewish art held in conjunction with the fifth Zionist Congress in 1901. This was, to be sure, a significant...
The Jewish Context of Jesus' Miracles, by Eric Eve
JSNT Supplement Series 231. New York, London: Sheffield Academic Press, 2002. 420 pp. $125.00.In his first book, Eric Eve adds more than four chapters to his dissertation at Oxford University. The first chapter is an introduction that covers the major...
The Missing Peace: The Inside Story of the Fight for Middle East Peace, by Dennis Ross
New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004. 840 pp. $35.00.In the late 1940s, an aspiring graduate student at one of America's leading universities was advised by a senior faculty member that if he was either Jewish or Italian, he need not consider a...
The Owl and Other Stories, by John Auerbach; Tales of Grabowski, Transformations, Escape, and Other Stories, by John Auerbach
Tobypress.com, 2003. 306 pp. $19.95.Tobypress.com, 2003. 307 pp. $19.95.Name that writer: Polish, fluent in a number of languages, sea captain. If you answered Conrad, you're in the same ocean. And John Auerbach deserves just as much attention. Toby...
The Return of the Repressed: Leo Frank through the Eyes of Oscar Micheaux
This article examines how pioneer African American filmmaker Oscar Micheaux, in his 1935 film Murder in Harlem, radically altered the traditional understanding of the 1913 murder of Mary Phagan and the ensuant trial, conviction, and lynching of Leo Frank....
The Ways That Never Parted: Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages
edited by Adam H. Becker and Annette Yoshiko Reed. TSAJ 95. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2003. 410 pp. Euro70.00.During the second half of the twentieth century the "Parting of the Ways" became a dominant model for understanding the origins and continuing...
Transgressions of a Model Minority
Jewish- and Asian-Americans have recently found themselves classed as "model minorities," examples of upward mobility allegedly achieved through thrift, family cohesion, and educational achievement. This ascription has a long history, one dating back...
Unforeseen History, by Emmanuel Levinas
Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 2004. 150 pp. $34.95.There is some room to question whether this collection of Levinas's essays is actually necessary. The three most important philosophical pieces within it -- "Some Thoughts on the Philosophy...
Words to God's Music: A New Book of Psalms, by Laurance Wieder
Grand Rapids; Eerdmans, 2003. 2003. 186 pp. $25.00.What is the best way to interpret a sacred text? That question has baffled religious people for over two millennia. Answers have varied from simple (peshat) to complex (derash), from a literal reading...
Wrestling with God & Men: Homosexuality in the Jewish Tradition, by Steven Greenberg
Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2004. 304 pp. $35.00.This interesting and unusual book, written by Steven Greenberg, an openly gay modern Orthodox rabbi known previously for his writing in Tikkun Magazine under the pseudonym Yaakov Levado and...
Yiddish South of the Border: An Anthology of Latin American Yiddish Writing
edited by Alan Astro, with an introduction by Ilan Stavans. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2003. 212 pp. $24.95.The Jewish presence in Latin American literature, a topic that for a long time was comparatively neglected, has in recent years...
Yiddish Theatre: New Approaches
edited by Joel Berkowitz. Oxford: The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2003. 269 pp. $59.50.Much has been written on the rich history of Yiddish theatre. Indeed, a bibliography compiled by Joel Berkowitz for the book under review includes 35 pages...
Zephaniah: A Commentary, by Marvin A. Sweeney
Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2003. 226 pp. $47.00.With his commentary on Zephaniah in the Hermeneia series, Marvin Sweeney adds a further work to his previous comprehensive ?uvre on the Prophets. Within the last few years, a number of commentaries on...