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Abstract

This article considers the dynamics of the memories of World War II for survivors who give multiple accounts of their experiences over time. I compare five testimonies with different medial content given in 1944, 1983, and 1996 by Ruth Glasberg Gold. In November 1941, at the age of eleven, she was deported with her parents and brother from Czernowitz to the Bershad ghetto, Transnistria, where she lost her family and was orphaned. My major interest is to examine how Glasberg Gold’s memories over time intersect with changes of medium, location, language, and temporal context, and might have brought different or similar emphases in her written, audio, and video testimonies of the Holocaust. I believe her case to be important for scholarly analysis as it allows one to explore how the developing personality of a Holocaust survivor and changing media environments intersect and relate to how memories of the Holocaust become shaped, rehashed, and modified over time.

In: European Journal of Jewish Studies

Abstract

Since the beginning of the Judezmo press in the second half of the nineteenth century, “the language question” has been a recurrent topic of debate. Throughout the pages of the many newspapers in Judeo-Spanish, several linguistic ideologies were exposed, often causing heated controversies. The aim of this article is to analyze the views, assumptions and conceptions regarding the many languages employed by the Sephardim of Turkey during the second half of the twentieth century. Şalom, a Judezmo newspaper published in Istanbul from 1947 onwards, will be the source informing this analysis. Finally, it will be observed whether such linguistic ideologies had an impact on the domains of use of the languages employed by Turkish Jewry and helped to conform the current linguistic landscape of the community.

In: European Journal of Jewish Studies
Author: David Stromberg

Abstract

This article focuses on two aspects of Isaac Bashevis Singer’s life and work from 1923 to 1935. First, it outlines his early career in Warsaw, focusing on his essays and tracing his efforts to establish a literary career independent from that of his older brother, Israel Joshua. Second, it considers Singer’s emigration from Warsaw, with a focus on his brother’s efforts to get him out, as found in personal correspondence. Along the way, I expose gaps between Singer’s memoirs and details found in letters, especially relating to historical circumstances leading him to obtain a tourist visa to the United States in 1935. The article delineates a tension between Singer’s establishment of a position within Yiddish literature in Warsaw distinct from his brother’s, and the need to leave the city in order to survive, adding Israel Joshua’s own voice to the testimony from this period.

In: European Journal of Jewish Studies
Author: Gideon Nevo

Abstract

For many years, humorist Ephraim Kishon diligently brandished his satirical whip at Israel’s socio-economic socialist structure, while vividly portraying the vicissitudes of the Israeli ‘homo economicus’ in the labyrinth of modern life. This line of writing brought him his fame, both in Israel and abroad. At the later stages of his career though, a significant portion of his work was dedicated to the relationship between Israel and its neighbors and between Israel and the world. In this area Kishon has articulated and cemented a stern nationalistic worldview. A systematic analysis of this worldview is a matter for several articles. In this article I will focus on Kishon’s treatment of national entities that are not part of Israel’s immediate circle of confrontation (i.e., its neighboring Arab states) but are rather scattered far and wide all over the world.

In: European Journal of Jewish Studies

Abstract

Scholarly discussion concerning rabbinic conceptions of the nature of halakhah—realist vs. nominalist—has for the most part focused on halakhic content and discourse. However, as Schremer has shown, non-halakhic passages may present conceptions that differ from those found in halakhic sources. Following Schremer’s suggested distinction, in this study I examine non-halakhic texts which use various metaphors or linguistic styles to characterize the miṣwot. In the cases I examine, I will demonstrate that the authors could have formulated their content in more than one way, and thus their choice of a particular linguistic style reflects their particular conception of the nature of the miṣwot. My suggestion is that non-halakhic sources that display both modes of thought, realist and nominalist views of Jewish law, offer more accurate reflections of the multifaceted conceptual world of the rabbis than do halakhic texts.

In: European Journal of Jewish Studies

Abstract

The article examines Max Wiener’s thoughts on the relation of Judaism and religion via his critique of his former teacher, Hermann Cohen. This focusses on the notion of religion developed by Cohen in the context of Jewish Scientific Research [Wissenschaft des Judentums]. It discusses Wiener’s thoughts on religion in order to exemplify the specific kind of struggle a non-Christian religious tradition might get into concerning the application of the notion of religion upon itself.

In: European Journal of Jewish Studies
Author: Yossef Schwartz

Abstract

The article’s point of departure is a debate that took place in about 1290 between Zeraḥyah b. Isaac Ḥen and Hillel b. Samuel, two Jewish-Italian thinkers, that presents us with a surprisingly great variety of Arab, Jewish, and Latin-Christian exegetical and cosmological approaches regarding angelic nature. Zeraḥyah, following the dominant attitude among Arab, Muslim, and Jewish philosophers, strives to interpret the biblical angel-figure either naturalistically or allegorically. Conversely, Hillel cleaves more closely to Christian scholastic conceptions, adhering to the biblical narrative in the literal sense. The struggle between Jacob and the angel (Gen 32) posed one of the most challenging cases, presenting the interpreter with a situation in which an angel did not only appear but was also engaged in bodily contact. In the case of Hillel, his dual commitment as a Jewish Maimonidean heavily influenced by Latin Scholasticism led to the development of a highly unique solution.

In: European Journal of Jewish Studies