LECTURE: The Forgotten Debate over the Name of the Jewish State

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May 12, 2021
Subject Fields: 
Jewish History / Studies

Wednesday 12 May 2021 at 20:00 CEST
Tal Hever-Chybowski - Maison de la culture Yiddish, Bibliothèque Medem
Online lecture in English.

In January 1952, the Zionist philosopher and Hebraist Simon Rawidowicz published an essay in the New York Yiddish monthly Di Tsukunft (The Future), in which he argued that it was not yet too late to repair what he saw as a disastrous mistake committed by the young Jewish State: namely, its appropriation of the name “Israel,” which for thousands of years had designated the totality of the Jewish people, both in the Land of Israel and in the Diaspora. His essay spurred a heated debate in the Jewish press on both sides of the Atlantic, lasting for several years and culminating in an impassioned exchange of letters between Rawidowicz and David Ben-Gurion. This debate, which was conducted in Yiddish, Hebrew and English, revealed philosophical, theological, and political tensions that would continue to dominate relations between the State of Israel and the Jewish Diaspora for decades.

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Please confirm your attendance by 12 May to ijs@uantwerpen.be. You will then receive the weblink.

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While I am sure the correspondence in Yiddish will be a contribution the subject and wish the event every success, with regard to the discussion on the name of the State - it has not been ‘forgotten’ and appears in a number of scholarly works. Interested parties can access information in many archives, among them the Ben-Gurion Archive.