Workshop – Chicago Center for Jewish Studies Graduate Working Group

This workshop invites graduate students across the disciplines with research interests in Jewish Studies:

January 27th, 12-1pm, Social Sciences Tea Room (SSRB 201)

Sam Berrin Shonkoff (Ph.D student in History of Judaism)

Ancient Soil and Firm Sod: On Buber’s Insistence that the ‘Land of Israel’ Literally Refers to the Land

Given Buber’s strong affinity for the “pan-sacramentalism” of Hasidism, it might strike us as peculiar that he so boldly affirmed the exceptional holiness of the geographical eretz yisrael (the Land of Israel). Moreover, scholars such as Rivka Schatz-Uffenheimer observe a spiritualization/internalization of eretz yisrael in Hasidism to the extent that striving for “self-redemption” in Exile even outweighs the hope for collective redemption in Zion. In Buber’s 1944 book Bein Am le-Artzo (later translated as On Zion: The History of an Idea), however, he portrays Hasidism as a movement that radically embraces the earthly aspect of eretz yisrael and that provides a foundation for what Buber sees as a truly robust and righteous form of Zionism. Furthermore, Buber ironically portrays political Zionism as the movement that spiritualizes/internalizes the notion of Zion. In this exploration of the relationship between Buber’s Zionism and his interpretation of Hasidism, we will gain a better understanding of why and how he insisted that eretz yisrael literally refers to “land”.

Refreshments will be served.
Find more information at http://ccjsgraduateworkinggroup.wordpress.com/ or email workshop coordinators Katharine Pflaum and Joela Zeller at cjs.grad.ws@gmail.com.

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