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Posts Tagged ‘sinai’

A controversial new book, The Invention of the Jewish People, by Tel Aviv University historian Shlomo Sand, is now in English, after kicking up a dust storm of controversy in its original Hebrew incarnation. This is a summary of the book’s thesis, as explained in a recent review on Tablet, an online Jewish cultural magazine:

Sand… argues that the Jews were not in fact exiled from Israel, and that the bulk of modern Jewry does not descend from the ancient Israelites Rather, he claims, they are the children of converts—North African Berbers and Turkic Khazars—and have no ancestral ties to the land of Israel. Zionism is not a return home, Sand writes, it is the tragic theft of another people’s land. As such, Israel is not the political rebirth of the Jewish nation—it’s a complete fabrication.

The first issue of Shalom Hartman Institute’s Havruta magazine touched on many aspects of the matter of Jewish peoplehood – from a different perspective that accepts and aims at strengthening the concept of Jewish peoplehood. Read the articles here.

Shalom Hartman Institute’s coverage of Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israeli Independence Day, also addresses these issues from a perspective that embraces Jewish peoplehood.

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Shalom Hartman Institute Fellow and Scholar Melilah Hellner-Eshed talks about how to remember the event at Sinai in which the Jewish people received the Torah, and what is Jewish memory, the how the transmission of the collective Jewish memory was through ritual and reciting. This is the second in a series of three classes given to Jewish community leaders at Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, Israel

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Rabbi Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi tells us how and why to make Torah study relevant and useful in our lives today in this great essay:

We must strive to establish the Torah for ourselves, our families and our communities as a vital, dynamic text – as relevant to our lives today as it was 2,000 years ago. We must become fully engaged in Torah study, appreciating its power to guide us through our daily existence, inform our understanding of the world around us, challenge our beliefs and preconceived notions and inspire us to always achieve more. It is only once we allow Torah to enter our lives and to permeate every aspect of our being that we may someday come to exclaim – with the Psalmist, “Oh how I love your law, it is my meditation all the day.”

Read her entire essay here.

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We mentioned Rabbi Sam Gordon‘s involvement with the “Rabbis for Obama” group in a recent post. Here is an adaptation of a sermon he gave last summer in which he brings together the Israelites’ 40 years in the wilderness with the 40 years between the death of Robert F. Kennedy and the nomination of Barack Obama as the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate: (more…)

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Shalom Hartman Institute Fellow and Scholar Melilah Hellner-Eshed talks about how to remember the event at Sinai in which the Jewish people received the Torah, and what is Jewish memory, the how the transmission of the collective Jewish memory was through ritual and reciting

Read Full Post »

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Professor Moshe Halbertal, Senior Fellow at Shalom Hartman Institute, Jerusalem, Israel, talks about Rabbinic interpretations of the revelation of Torah at Mount Sinai to the Institute’s Lay Leadership Program, June 27, 2008

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