On Monday, February 8, Rabbi Dr. Israel Zoberman led a Book Club discussion at the Library. Fifteen students, faculty, and staff from Regent and CBN took part in a fascinating discussion that ranged from Jewish history, contemporary Israeli politics and society, and Israel’s renowned writer, Amos Oz.
Dr. Zoberman, the son of Polish immigrants, was born in Israel. He has lived in the United States since the 1960s and is founding Rabbi at Congregation Beth Chaverim in Virginia Beach. On January 16, 2010, Rabbi Zoberman, participated in the inauguration of Bob McDonnell, reading Psalm 8 in English and Hebrew.
Dr. Zoberman, proved to be an ideal guide to Amos Oz. Born within a few years of Oz, whose parents fled anti-Semitic violence in Lithuania, Dr. Zoberman has literally lived through most of the themes in Oz’s writing. Of the many varieties of Zionism in Israel today, Dr. Zoberman identified himself with the point of view articulated by Amos Oz: “The Zionist enterprise has no other objective than the right of a drowning man to grasp the only plank that can save him. And that is justification enough…there is a vast moral difference between the drowning man who grasps a plank and makes room for himself by pushing the others who are sitting on it to one side, even by force, and the drowning man who grabs for himself the whole plank and pushes the others into the sea.” *
*Amos Oz and Nitza Ben-Dov, The Amos Oz Reader (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009), 237.