Facing the Other: Moral Dilemmas in Israeli Literature

By :  Barbara Mann Chana Kekst Professor of Jewish Literature Posted On Mar 1, 2021 / 5781 | Monday Webinar The Other in Jewish Text and Tradition

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Part of the series “The ‘Other’ in Jewish Text and Tradition”

This session is generously sponsored by Dr. Carmen Arick in loving memory of Joyce Arick; and by Marian Rothenberg, in memory of her husband Frank Rothenberg (z”l) who admired JTS from his teenage years onward.

Lyric poetry, with its unique voice and vivid imagery, offers a brief but intense opportunity to enter into the intimate space of another. Through texts by canonical Israeli authors (Dan Pagis, Yehuda Amichai, and Dalia Ravikovitch), we will trace a series of poetic encounters between Self and Other: survivor and perpetrator; mother and child; victim and hero; Jew and Palestinian.   

ABOUT THE SERIES

We live in a time of such polarization—political, racial, economic, religious—that the gaps between us sometimes feel insurmountable. But this is not a new condition for Jews, either within or outside of the Jewish community. This webinar series will explore those gaps between “us” and “the other”: Israelites and other ancient peoples; men and women in the Bible and Talmud; Jews by birth and Jews by choice; the founders of Hasidim and their opponents; Israelis and Palestinians; and more. 

From the ancient Near East to the American civil rights movement; from medieval philosophers to contemporary Jewish educators: how have Jews related to those we define as “other,” and how have we marginalized sub-groups within the Jewish community? What is our obligation to those we perceive as different? How have Jews challenged communal norms from within? JTS scholars guide us in an intellectual journey through Jewish history and text to understand how these gaps have been understood and, at times, bridged.

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