Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Torah scroll at Masada

A ritual scribe has committed himself to inscribing a Torah scroll in the location of Masada's famous synagogue. The story (from, is available here.


Adam L. Bean said...

That's weird, but then everything about the Israeli propagandizing use of Masada is weird.

Rafael said...

Hhhmmmmm . . . I'm sensing a bit of hostility, Adam, which is weird. But then everything about liberal Western hostility is weird.

Have you heard of Nachman Ben-Yehuda? His book, The Masada Myth, was the second book I read for my PhD studies. Very interesting, particularly because it is (i) so well-informed theoretically, and (ii) so well-documented empirically.

Adam L. Bean said...

The second book you read for PhD studies? Quite interesting. I wonder what was the first.

Last June when I visited Masada we watched the heart warming (read nauseating) video at the multi-million dollar visitor center before ascending the cable car, and then watch fighter jets make several passes overhead. Definitely weird.

Rafael said...

The first book I read was Barry Schwartz's 2000 book, Abraham Lincoln and the Forge of National Memory (see also the second half of this study, Abraham Lincoln in the Post-Heroic Era [2008; my comments here]).

I didn't realize your comments were rooted in a personal reaction to Masada's myth-making machine. I still think the hostility is a bit strange, but I think you would appreciate Ben-Yehuda's book. Another great book is Yael Zerubavel's Recovered Roots (as well as her article, with Barry Schwartz and Bernice M. Barnett in Sociological Quarterly, "The Recovery of Masada: A Study in Collective Memory"). There are, of course, numerous other articles on this very interesting topic.

Adam L. Bean said...

Actually, I think calling it "weird" was somewhat less than hostility, though, true, it wasn't exactly a loving embrace either.

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