The most notable indication that research and discussion regarding gender and feminism are flourishing is the increase in the number of books in these fields and the fact that bookstores are allocating a separate section for them. For years, publishing in Hebrew on the issue of gender was very limited, but around the end of the 1980s it began to expand. In fact, from the turn of the century it has become difficult to keep up with all the literature being published in Hebrew.
Past and Present
Among the great world libraries, the British Library stands out as one of the major repositories of Hebrew manuscripts and printed books. The Hebrew collection comprises the library’s holdings of material written and printed in Hebrew characters, ranging from manuscripts copied over a millennium ago to the most recent monographs and serials. It consists of over 3,000 manuscript volumes and some 10,000 Genizah fragments, around 70,000 printed book titles and nearly 1,000 serial titles. Although Hebrew is the predominant language, other Jewish languages that utilize the Hebrew script are also represented in the collection. These include Aramaic, Judeo-Arabic, Judeo- Italian, Judeo-Persian, Judeo-Spanish or Ladino and various others.
Toward a Jewish History of Concepts
The field of modern European Jewish history, as I hope to show, can be of great interest to those who deal with conceptual history in other contexts, just as much as the conceptual historical project may enrich the study of Jewish history. This article illuminates the transformation of the Jewish languages in Eastern Europe-Hebrew and Yiddish-from their complex place in traditional Jewish society to the modern and secular Jewish experience. It presents a few concrete examples for this process during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The article then deals with the adaptation of Central and Western European languages within the internal Jewish discourse in these parts of Europe and presents examples from Germany, France, and Hungary.
Israeli poet Yonatan Ratosh was the leader of the Young Hebrews, a nationalist group active from the 1940s to the 1970s. Despite his opposition to Zionism and his aspiration to revive the ancient Hebrews’ premonotheistic civilization, Ratosh shared Zionism’s ambition to elaborate a new Israeli identity. One prominent act of this mission involved enlarging the literary corpus in Hebrew through translation. Although initially a means of income, for Ratosh translation increasingly came to be a way to express his ideological position and his self-image as an intellectual. Thus, Ratosh provides an example of how developing a national identity can coincide with appropriating foreign literature. With his regular exhortations that Hebrew readers attain knowledge of foreign cultures, Ratosh did not intend to promote cosmopolitanism. Rather, he considered these endeavors as ultimately reinforcing a “Hebrew” identity.
Among the rich Hebrew holdings of the British Library there exists a small cluster of thirty-eight Judeo-Spanish handwritten texts, the majority of which date from between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries. To the best of our knowledge, none of these manuscripts, except one, has been the topic of scholarly investigation or in-depth research. Intended at raising scholars' and specialists' awareness of this important, yet barely known literary resource, this article outlines the manuscripts' principal characteristics, such as subject matter and authorship, as well as origins (i.e. place of completion) and provenance. An inventory of all the relevant manuscripts is appended to the article.
A Treasure Grove for Jewish Studies
Piet van Boxel
The Bodleian Library of Oxford University – one of the oldest and largest in Europe – is among the most celebrated libraries in the world. Its unrivalled collections of manuscripts and books have served generations of students, thus making Oxford a meeting place of international learning and the capital of the Republic of scholars. With its beginnings in the fourteenth century the library owes the first phase of its reputation to Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, the youngest son of King Henry IV, who donated his priceless collection of more than 280 manuscripts, including several important classical texts, to Oxford University. In order to accommodate this major donation the library was moved from its original location – a room above the Old Congregation House, erected next to St Mary’s church – to the Divinity School, which was enlarged with a second storey that was completed in 1470.
Shaul Bartal, The Palestinians from the Naqba to Feddayun, 1949–1956 (Jerusalem: Carmel, 2009).
Matti Steinberg, Facing Their Fate: Palestinian National Consciousness, 1967–2007 (Miskal: Yedioth Aharonoth, 2008).
Shaul Arieli and Michael Sfard, The Wall of Folly (Miskal: Yedioth Aharonoth, 2008).
Nava Sonnenschein, Dialogue-Challenging Identity: Jews Constructing Their Identity through Encounter with Palestinians (Haifa: Pardes, 2008).
Sarab Abu Rabia Queder and Naomi Weiner-Levy, eds., Palestinian Women in Israel: Identity Power Relations and Coping Strategies (Jerusalem: Van Leer Jerusalem Institute/Hakibbutz Hameuchad Publishing House, 2010).
Honaida Ghanim, Reinventing the Nation: Palestinian Intellectuals in Israel (Jerusalem: Magnes, 2009).
Ephraim Lavie, ed., Israel and the Arab Peace Initiative (Tel Aviv University: Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Studies, Moshe Dayan Center for Middle East and Africa Studies and Daniel S. Abraham Center for International and Regional Studies, 2010).
Michael Milstein, Mukawama: The Challenge of Resistance to Israel’s National Security Concept (Tel Aviv University: Institute for National Security Studies, 2010).
The Berlin State Library – Prussian Cultural Heritage (Staatsbibliothek Preussischer Kulturbesitz) holds one of the most important collections of Hebraica in Germany, on par with the collections in Munich, Hamburg and Frankfurt am Main.
In the event of a fire or some other catastrophe in the library, which items from your collection would you save? With flames racing around you or the flood waters rising, the correct answer would probably be ‘whatever’s closest’, but as part of a coldly-considered risk assessment exercise, I am sure it is a question that has been pondered by all librarians with collection responsibilities at one time or another.
Sabra Artists in The Cameri Theatre, 1945–1953
representative of the Yishuv in the 1940s, especially of its younger generation, the sabras born in Palestine, for whom Hebrew was their mother tongue ( Gilula 1999 ). That self-image, widely endorsed, became the conventional, unchallenged depiction of The Cameri