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Jonathan Magonet

The annual International Jewish-Christian Bible Week runs from a Sunday to a Sunday, allowing for the celebration of the Jewish Shabbat and the Christian Sunday by attending one another’s religious services. During the five years covered in this issue, it has been the author’s privilege to offer the sermon on the Saturday morning during the Jewish service. This enables him to explore new perceptions of the texts we have been studying that have arisen during the Week, but also to reflect on broader issues that might have arisen in the multiple interactions – interfaith, intercultural and interpersonal – that have taken place during the Week. Given the occasional negative associations that accompany the word ‘sermon’, I have preferred to use the term ‘epilogues’ to characterise these responses to the texts and experiences of the Week. The term also covers a more imaginative reflection on the Book of Proverbs (Hebrew: mishlei) that we have been studying – a visit to the City of Mishlei.

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James W. Nelson Novoa

The article presents a recently identified and studied manuscript, Ms. Pal. 2666 from the Palatine library of Parma which contains a miscellaneous collection of philosophical and literary texts in aljamiado script or Spanish but written in Hebrew characters. The collection of texts, dating from the middle of the fifteenth century including renderings of some important works of Medieval Spanish literature adds to our knowledge of Sephardic reading and writing on the eve of the expulsion. After providing a description of the manuscript, of its contents and organization, the article presents a case for a Sephardic readership and literature culture conversant with the literary trends in vogue in Spain at the time of the compilation of the collection.

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Intertwined Landscape

The Integration of Arabo-Islamic Culture in Pre-state Palestine

Mostafa Hussein

argued, resulted in the incorporation of Christian cartographic discourse into the national Hebrew discourse of the nation ( Ginsburg 2014 ). Christian discourse, however, was not the only influence on the Jewish imagination of pre-state Palestine. Jewish

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Menachem Keren-Kratz

ones, many of which are conducted in Yiddish. These forums offer direct discussions on daily events, criticisms of Extreme Orthodox leadership, and views on inner political issues, as well as an opportunity to observe the version of the Hebrew language

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Shakespeare and the Jews

Lily Kahn

. Jewish engagement with Shakespeare goes back to the beginning of the Jewish Enlightenment in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, when Hebrew authors in Central Europe first began looking to Shakespeare as a literary role model and

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Marc Saperstein

Joseph Krauskopf immigrated from his native Prussia to the United States at the age of fourteen, and was ordained with the first class of students at the newly established Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati. Quickly establishing a reputation for his spellbinding oratory, he became rabbi of Knesseth Israel in Philadelphia, one of the largest Reform congregations in the United States, with a membership composed predominantly of congregants with German background. Although he was a strong supporter of US military action during the Spanish-American War, the First World War caused him considerable anguish, as he remained attached to his roots in German culture throughout his career. In a series of Sunday morning discourses and holiday sermons beginning on Rosh Hashanah 1914, Krauskopf expressed horror at the widespread suffering caused by the war, strongly supported the initial US policy of neutrality, and vehemently criticized expressions of growing support for the Entente Cordiale. While upholding the US war effort after America's entry into combat, as the end drew near he continued to excoriate policies that would humiliate and impoverish Germany, with prescient warnings of future disasters.

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Ricky David

'Det judiska högstadiet' at Vasa Real may be unique in the world. Its existence is important to ensure a dynamic, varied and tolerant Jewish community in Stockholm but also to show that we can integrate in a multicultural environment without losing our identity as Jews. This system started about twenty-five years ago as a trial project and has adapted to the changing demands of pupils' social and educational requirements throughout the years. The uniqueness is the fact that we have a unit within a state school structure. The Jewish classes study homogeneously most subjects; that is, secular subjects as well as Hebrew and Jewish Studies, but are integrated with non-Jewish pupils in mathematics, a third language and science. The concept of streaming in mathematics and integration in science classes was developed to create more natural areas of cooperation between pupils. The major challenge that we face is the governmental stance that religion cannot be enforced on pupils, while we endeavour to educate and provide strong Jewish identities. This article will focus on how much this stance affects the Jewish identity of the youth attending an integrated school environment as well as other factors that influence Jewish identities.

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The Perils and Joys of Translation

Barry Davis

From its very beginnings the character of Yiddish was marked by its role as translator and interpreter of religious texts. Although there were secular writings, they were not substantial until the nineteenth century. One hundred years ago the primary role of translation was to present the outside world to Yiddish-speaking Jews, and libraries were full of translations of the international classics. Today the main role is the reverse: translation from Yiddish to other languages to gain access to that lost Jewish world. Functional translation into Yiddish is still required, mainly for Hasidim/Haredim, for example in the field of health or (in Israel) civil defence. Yiddish has clearly influenced other languages spoken by Jews, where one finds Yiddish words or calques, particularly in Hebrew and English. The concept of 'postvernacular Yiddish' has arisen to describe the contemporary use of Yiddish by speakers of these other languages. Both in the past and the present, Yiddish has been represented stereotypically, and often as an essentially 'ludic' language. One of the functions of literary translation ought to be to combat these stereotypes and demonstrate the richness and flexibility of Yiddish, as of any other language.

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Black Hats and Holy Tongues

Language and Culture among British Haredim

Simeon D. Baumel

The term haredi literally means ‘fearful’ with the reference being to fear of the Almighty. Appearing in the Bible in the phrase ‘Hear the word of the Lord, you who tremble [haredim] at his word’ (Isaiah 66:5), the haredim – along with the poor and the contrite in spirit – are those to whom the Lord will pay heed. Although the term is biblical, its contemporary use began only during the latter half of the twentieth century. Initially utilised by speakers of Hebrew to denote any Jew who was punctilious about his religious practice, the term gradually came to designate those Jews whose style of life, worldview, ethos and beliefs went beyond what many people seemed to understand by ‘Orthodox’. In English speaking countries the term ‘ultra-Orthodox’ served as a marker, but as it was foreign to the Jewish experience it did not precisely capture the essentials of the group it was meant to signify. Consequently, the term ‘haredi’ came into use (Heilman and Friedman 1991).

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Books for the Masses

The Amsterdam Yiddish Book Industry, 1650–1800

Shlomo Berger

During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries Amsterdam functioned as the European printing centre of Yiddish books. Texts in the Ashkenazi vernacular were published in the city for the benefit of the local reading public, and these books were also distributed throughout the Ashkenazi diaspora, in central and eastern Europe. Two basic guidelines directed the work of Yiddish book agents in Amsterdam: printing was considered a service to Ashkenazim and their communities: nevertheless, printing of Yiddish books also needed to be a commercially sustainable project. Therefore, books dealing with religion, tradition and didactical literature comprised the majority of the printed output. These were considered as practical (printed in Yiddish for the benefit of the masses who could not read Hebrew) and thus their production also included a commercial logic. Between circa 1650 and 1800 more than 500 Yiddish books were published, including texts in various genres. The modernization process that encompassed Jewish communities in Western Europe also signalled the downfall of Yiddish book production in Amsterdam, and the end of a period of Yiddish literature composed and published in West Yiddish, a dialect that was pushed aside by the emerging Eastern European, modern, Yiddish.