How do mothers reconcile conflicting loyalties--to their religious traditions, and to the daughters whose freedoms are also constrained by those traditions? Searching for answers, Tova Hartman Halbertal interviewed mothers of teenage daughters in religious communities: Catholics in the United States, Orthodox Jews in Israel.Sounding surprisingly alike, both groups described conscious struggles between their loyalties and talked about their attempts to make sense of and pass on their multiple commitments. They described accommodations and rationalizations and efforts to make small changes where they felt that their faith unjustly subordinated women. But often they did not feel they could tell their daughters how troubled they were. To keep their daughters safe within the protective culture of their ancestors, the mothers had to hide much of themselves in the hope that their daughters would know them more completely in the future.Moving and unique, this book illuminates one of the moral questions of our time--how best to protect children and preserve community, without being imprisoned by tradition.
What binds together Jews of Israel and the United States? Amid the hope and frustration generated by the Middle East peace process, the meaning of Jewish statehood is more vigorously contested than ever before. A secular democratic Israel, responsive to Western liberal values, is prepared to make peace with the Palestinians by sacrificing its own historic homeland. But a covenantal Israel, which draws its Jewish identity from divine promise and the biblical narrative, refuses to surrender to modern imperatives. As the very nature of Jewish statehood has become ever more polarized, American Jewish life has been profoundly affected by this fateful Zionist contradiction.
In Are We One? Jerold S. Auerbach presents a surprising new interpretation of this contemporary Jewish dilemma. The modern Jewish impulse to embrace Western values, he writes, exacts a terrible price. He offers a critical reassessment of Zionism, a challenging analysis of the sources of the identification of American Jews with Israel—and a gloomy prognosis of the future of Jewish life, both in Israel and the United States.
In a ringing indictment that is sure to spark controversy, he states that the eagerness of secular Israelis to import American culture reflects their sweeping rejection of Jewish and Zionist values. Indeed, the diminishing number of Israelis who actually remain faithful to Jewish religious and historical imperatives are denigrated as fundamentalist zealots by Israeli and American Jews alike. Present-day Israel now exhibits such Jewish self-loathing, he states, that it has depleted its own ability to inspire world Jewry.
In a groundbreaking book that draws upon original historical analysis and extensive personal experience in Israel, Auerbach invites readers to consider the debilitating consequences of an adulterated Jewish identity in Israel and in the United States for the very future of Judaism.
A world-leading military strategist and an IDF insider explain the improbable success of the Israeli armed forces.When the Israel Defense Forces was established in May 1948, it was small, poorly equipped, and already at war. Lacking sufficient weaponry or the domestic industrial base to produce it, the newborn military was forced to make do with whatever it could get its hands on. That spirit of improvisation carried the IDF to a decisive victory in the First Arab-Israeli War.Today the same spirit has made the IDF the most powerful military in the Middle East and among the most capable in the world. In The Art of Military Innovation, Edward N. Luttwak and Eitan Shamir trace the roots of this astounding success. What sets the IDF apart, they argue, is its singular organizational structure. From its inception, it has been the world’s only one-service military, encompassing air, naval, and land forces in a single institutional body. This unique structure, coupled with a young officer corps, allows for initiative from below. The result is a nimble organization inclined toward change rather than beholden to tradition.The IDF has fostered some of the most significant advances in military technology of the past seventy years, from the first wartime use of drones to the famed Iron Dome missile defense system, and now the first laser weapon, Iron Beam. Less-heralded innovations in training, logistics, and human resources have been equally important. Sharing rich insights and compelling stories, Luttwak and Shamir reveal just what makes the IDF so agile and effective.
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