On Thursday, October 30, Rabbi Dr. Israel Zoberman will be at the Library to lead a discussion of Jews and Words, by Amos Oz and Fania Oz-Salzberger. Amos Oz is perhaps the most famous living Israeli author. Newsweek has described him as “a kind of Zionist Orwell: a complex man obsessed with simple decency and determined above all to tell the truth, regardless of whom it offends.” Fania Oz-Salzberger, Amos Oz’s daughter, is a professor of history at the University of Haifa School of Law and Center for German and European Studies.
In their book, father and daughter tell the tales behind Judaism’s most enduring names, adages, disputes, texts and quips. These words, they argue, comprise the chain connecting Abraham with the Jews of every subsequent generation.
As readers who have attended previous Book Club discussions with Rabbi Zoberman can attest, he is a terrific scholar, teacher, and raconteur. The Library is pleased to have him with us again to enrich our understanding of Jewish history and culture.
The discussion will take place at 1:00 pm in the Library Gallery. All of the Library’s copies of the book are currently checked out, but Yale University Press has some generous excerpts available on Google Books.
Distance students and faculty welcome!
Distance students and faculty can join the discussion live via Google Hangouts, Google’s free videoconferencing software. Here is our permanent link for all Book Club events:
The first time you click on the link, Google will prompt you to install the Hangouts plug-in. Once that’s done, the same link will take you to the Book Club discussion each month.
For more information about the Library Book Club and future events, visit our webpage.
Written by Harold Henkel, Associate Librarian
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.
Written by Harold Henkel, Associate Librarian
On February 8th, Dr. Israel Zoberman, Founding Rabbi at Congregation Beth Chaverim in Virginia Beach, will lead a discussion at the Library of stories and essays from The Amos Oz Reader.
Amos Oz is Israel’s best known novelist and one of the country’s most respected intellectuals. In a career spanning nearly half a century, Oz’s writing has been rooted in the history and people of Israel. Newsweek characterized the author and his work as “eloquent, humane, even religious in the deepest sense, [Oz] emerges as a kind of Zionist Orwell: a complex man obsessed with simple decency and determined above all to tell the truth, regardless of whom it offends.” Rabbi Zoberman, who grew up in Israel, has known Amos Oz for many years and corresponds with him regularly. He has reviewed several of his books and is a uniquely qualified guide to this important author.
In order to allow the greatest possible participation, we have selected the following chapters from the book as suggested readings, which together come to only 110 pages:
- The Kibbutz at the Present Time
- Where the Jackals Howl
- An Alien City
- Whoever Moves Toward the Light Moves Toward the Holy City
- The Meaning of Homeland
- Thank God for His Daily Blessings
- An Autobiographical Note
- Father and Son in a Search for Love
- My Mother Was Thirty-eight When She Died