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Archive for the ‘Zionism’ Category

Update, March 16, 2010: The meme continues. Here’s another piece (this one by Irwin J. Mansdorf) on engaging new forms of conversation between Israel and the world: The Hasbara challenge: We can’t counter Arab PR by telling people Israel invented cell phone

A new Israeli government effort to bring the average “Yossi Israeli” into the ongoing effort at getting Israel’s position across to average individuals and the media to combat negative perceptions, stereotypes, and anti-Israel sentiment is getting a significant amount of attention in the media, Jewish and otherwise.

The website Masbirim will attempt to begin training Israelis to speak on behalf of Israel when the opportunity arises. It also contains satirical videos poking fun at how poorly Israel is understood or known beyond stereotypes of violence and backwardness. As with much satire, the quality of the work has been widely debated, as well. (more…)

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Good piece from the New York Times summarizing the debate in Israel regarding the “price” Israel must pay to redeem Gilad Shalit. Read it here.

Donniel Hartman’s take on it here.

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Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic Monthly interviewed Michael Oren, a New York state native who is now Israel’s ambassador to the United States in Aspen, CO, recently. In the interview (click here to see the entire interview on video; click here to read the Israel-Diaspora relations segment edited down for you), Oren discusses the need Israelis have for American Jews and vice versa:

Israel needs the political and economic support of American Jewry, and American Jewry increasingly needs the spiritual infusion of the Jewish state.… In recent years, we have found that a 10-day visit to the state of Israel by American Jewish youth does more for Jewish identity than seven years in Hebrew school. In fact, seven years in Hebrew school, as one poll shows, does some damage to Jewish identity.

Oren also cleverly dissects the “problem” of American Jewry for Herzl and the early Zionists: America wasn’t supposed to happen for the Jews. Nowhere was supposed to be safe for them! Oy. What a problem!

This issue comes up over and over again. North American rabbis here at Hartman Institute in recent weeks heard lectures on the subject and worried over it time and again. Here’s a link to a downloadable PDF document featuring Donniel Hartman’s in-depth take on the matter: “Rethinking the Partnership Between Israel and World Jewry.”

(Hat tip to Hadassah Levy for bringing it to my attention.)

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This is a new program designed to draw 15-16 North American scholars out of their universities and into larger, deeper projects on top-level Jewish, Israeli, and continuity issues, among others. Invites are going out soon to potential participants. Details of the program here.

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The annual Tikkun Leil Shavuot lectures at Shalom Hartman Institute are one of the year’s most anticipated events.
This year’s theme is, “Ethics, Judaism and War,” and features lectures in English and Hebrew from Hartman Institute faculty on issues both classic and contemporary.

Shavuot evening, Thursday, 28 May, 2009

English/אנגלית
22.30-23.45 Rabbi Prof. David Hartman: The Role of the Other in Situations of War and Civic Life in the Jewish Tradition
2.30-3.30 Dov Weiss: “Moshe’s Protest against Divine War: The Case of Sihon.”

Hebrew/עברית
00:00-01:00 הרב ד”ר דניאל הרטמן: מוסר מלחמה במסורת היהודית ובמקורות ישראל

01:15-02:15 פרופ’ אבי שגיא, האלוף ישי בר: “והיה מחניך קדוש”: טוהר הנשק ומשמעותו במסמך רוח צה”ל

02:30-03:30 ד”ר אורית קמיר: מוסר כבוד האדם במלחמה

חג שבועות ביום – יום שישי ו’ סיון, 29 במאי, 2009

16:00-17:00 ביטי רואי: כוח, תפילה ומלחמה בתורת ר’ נחמן מברסלב
17:15-18:15 פרופ’ אבי שגיא: מוסר במלחמה

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Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman, Shalom Hartman Institute, Jerusalem, Israel, says that Israel at 61 is not looking for messianic redemption or major developments. Israel and Jews should be content if the Jewish State takes small steps of continuous progress toward safety, security, social welfare, democracy, pluralism, and peace.
Special kudos to the person who can tell us who is singing “Hatikvah” in the opening credits.

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As the siren rings throughout Israel on Monday night, take a moment to think about the 6 million Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Commemoration of the Holocaust in Israel has a fascinating history and present. Read here how Donniel Hartman describes Yom Hashoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day – as one of Israel’s new “High Holy Days.” That is, the period from Yom Hashoah to Yom Haatzmaut – Israeli Independence Day – is as important or more so in the Israeli consciousness than the “Yamim Noraim,” Days of Awe from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur.

PS: There will be a video soon.

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The Houston Jewish Herald-Voice called Donniel’s lecture on the Gaza War against Hamas there “intellectually honest and authoritative.” Read the full article here. You should be able to view snippets from the lecture on You Tube by visiting the link above, or YouTube directly. See one of the videos below.

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“Shalom From Jerusalem”: Rabbi Morley T. Feinstein, University Synagogue, Los Angeles, CA, talks about his week-long residency at Shalom Hartman Institute, Jerusalem, Israel, as part of the Rabbinic Leadership Initiative.

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We don’t get enough of David Hartman on our main website (mea culpa). But we have a new and, as usual, provocative, piece from Rabbi David on the future of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He says it far better than I can.

If we allow the God of Creation to channel our particular religious traditions, the future need not be buried by the past. We must never be discouraged by the obstacles encountered in our search for peace. The anger and bitterness of the past must not inhibit new thinking and bold initiatives. Our total commitment to resolve the tragic conflict with the Palestinians will be the finest expression of our loyalty to a tradition which seeks to unify solidarity with all of humanity and gratitude for the gift of Judaic particularity.

Read his entire piece here – and be better off for having done so.

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