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 IsraelNationalNews.com), is available here.

5 comments:

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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