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Posts Tagged ‘Holocaust’

With Quentin Tarantino’s war-fantasy film, “Inglourious Basterds” up for four Golden Globe Awards on January 17, 2010, including, Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Christoph Waltz), Best Director (Quentin Tarantino himself), and Best Screenplay (yup, Quentin Tarantino again),the controversial film is surely going to be the starting point for many conversations.

The Jewish community has taken the film on with special showings and conversations both public and private. In this article, Shalom Hartman Institute Rabbinic Fellow Mark S. Diamond offers his take on the film – he sees it as a Purim-style midrash – and drops a few celebrity names who attended the screening he saw (well, he is head of the Southern California Board of Rabbis, after all).

In his piece, Hartman Institute Senior Fellow Yoske Achituv meditates on the true nature of revenge in Jewish history and philosophy.

Two different views, each interesting and certain to offer fuel for discussion. Just what you expect from the Hartman Institute.

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The London Times (sorry, Times of London) is reporting that – according to Western intelligence sources – Iran has:

perfected the technology to create and detonate a nuclear warhead and is merely awaiting the word from its Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to produce its first bomb

Leaving aside whether we can actually believe that story – assuming it is nearly true if not completely so, that’s a terrible thing, right? Maybe, just maybe, this crisis can be turned into an opportunity; at least that’s the opinion of Shalom Hartman Institute’s Moshe Halbertal. More than a year ago, before this position became the de facto policy of the United States, Moshe wrote:

The Iranian bomb may be a destabilizing force in the region, a watershed in the nuclear arms race and a potential catalyst for World War III. It is also, however, a tremendous opportunity….

It is the jihadization of the conflict which, paradoxically, harbors the possibility of its dissolution. Arab national regimes, once quite content to allow radical Islam to spearhead their war against Israel for them, now find themselves within the fatal range of the nuclear monster they’ve helped create. Millions of Arabs are now realizing, perhaps for the first time, that the prospect of a nuclear jihad is every bit a threat to them as it is to Israel. The Iranian bomb is indeed a destabilizing force in the region, though not quite in the usual sense of the term; driving a wedge into the Arab front, it places the vast majority of the Arab world squarely on the strategic side of the West.

For more unconventional yet logical thinking from Halbertal on this, click here for his full essay.

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Last week, we posted an article by Donniel Hartman on how the nine days from Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) through Yom Ha’atzmaut (Independence Day) mark the new “High Holidays” of Israel.

Today, we would like to draw your attention to an essay by David Hartman on the day preceding Yom Ha’atzmaut, Yom Hazikaron, Israeli Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers. In this personal and moving piece, “Yom Hazikaron: Remembrance before celebration,” R. David talks about his own, personal loss, as well as the national day of mourning.

According to the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs website:

22,570 men and women have been killed defending the land of Israel since 1860, the year that the first Jewish settlers left the secure walls of Jerusalem to build new Jewish neighborhoods.

In the past year, since Remembrance Day 2008, 133 members of the security forces – police, IDF, Border Police, Israel Security Agency and other organizations – have been killed in the service of the state.

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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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Purim arrives next week, and with it a week of costumes, fun, parties, drinking, and lots of noise. It is not unusual to see a gorilla crossing the street and a clown driving a car (well, a lot of drivers in Israel are clowns, the rest of the year, too). But what I mean is that the soberness of daily life (and I mean that in two ways) slips a bit during Purm’s joyful mayhem.

Beyond the parties, however, there is a lot in the Jewish holiday of Purim – hidden identities, cooperation with unfriendly regimes, threats of annihilation, sexual tension and innuendo. It’s an amazing story.

The scholars of the Shalom Hartman Institute, led by holiday maven and scholar Noam Zion, have a lot to say about Purim, and I urge you to stop by the Hartman website and to begin sampling the items there. The story starts right on the homepage.

Culture and Practice
Purim: Strangest of the chagim
Why so much drinking and partying in Megillah?
Yosef story echoes at Purim

God and fate
Two modern thinkers on why God is hidden in Megillah
Who controls our fate; what controls our world?

Women and men
Women in Shushan: Playing by the rules and winning
The ultimate supermodel: Esther or Vashti?
Esther: Ornament fit for a king
Ahashverosh unmanned: Who really controls his relationships?

Purim and politics
Haman and the Jewish question – relevant today
Zionism and Diaspora politics after Haman
Arthur Szyk: Art changed pre- and post-Shoah

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Is there evil in the world? Many say yes. What is the Jewish response to it? The latest educational curriculum to be posted online on the Hartman website focuses on evil and Jewish responses to it – and is extensive.

Click on the links below to view and to download PDF files (Please note – some of these files are large and may take a few minutes to download).

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[blip.tv ?posts_id=1572105&dest=32833]

David Hartman (Lindenbaum): How is it Possible to Speak of a Personal God after the Holocaust?, Dec. 8, 08, Pt.2 of 2

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