Reply
Moderator
Rahel
Posts: 223
Registered: ‎08-06-2007
0 Kudos

Welcome and introduce yourself

[ Edited ]
Hello to our readers! Welcome to the Jewish Encounters book club. This month, we'll be discussing Emma Lazarus by Professor Esther Schor. This captivating biography tells the story of author of the famous poem, "The New Colossus," and vividly captures her life and times. Tell us a bit about yourselves. What brings you to this conversation? Have you read any of Lazarus's work? Are you coming from an interest in Judaism generally, or in poetry, or in 19th-century America? All perspectives are a welcome addition to our discussion. For myself, perhaps not unlike many of you, I had primarily known of Emma Lazarus through the poem "The New Colossus." For several years, I lived in the East Village and frequently walked past her home on 10th Street, which has a plaque identifying it, and I often wished I knew more about her (I also used to walk past Emma Goldman's home, but that's an Emma for another day). When I first read Emma Lazarus I was fascinated and thrilled to learn about her life in the realm of 19th century American literature, and her bold and unconventional spirit. Having recently read and discussed Betraying Spinoza here on the Jewish Encounters book club, it's also especially interesting to me to look at her emergence from the Sephardic Jewish community which some two hundred years earlier gave us Spinoza. I look forward to hearing your thoughts, and we are thrilled that Professor Esther Schor will be joining us for this conversation! Best, Rahel

Message Edited by Rahel on 02-14-2008 09:48 PM
Rahel
Moderator
www.nextbook.org
Frequent Contributor
tillie_t77
Posts: 27
Registered: ‎01-29-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Emma Lazarus book club: Welcome and introduce yourself

Hi, I wanted to join this book discussion after I missed attending a Jewish film fesitval, in my home town (Baton Rouge, LA). The culture here is decidedly French Catholic (we have this Tuesday off from work and school for Mardi Gras), and there is yet a very strong evangelical Protestant culture. The Jewish culture is here, obviously, but--well, none of us gets out much -- and the Jewish presence is not immediately evident. So this may be my only chance to get some exposure into Jewish culture and thought. I'm eager to get started!!

-Tillie

P.S. Here is a rather interesting site about the Jewish people in Louisiana.

http://www.louisianafolklife.org/LT/Articles_Essays/jewsinla.html

Although since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the Jewish population in New Orleans (like all the rest) is decidedly decreased.
Moderator
Rahel
Posts: 223
Registered: ‎08-06-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Emma Lazarus book club: Welcome and introduce yourself

Hi, Tillie. Welcome to the board.
Thanks for posting that article about Jews in Louisiana -- I never would have thought to describe Yiddish as a Creolized blend, but it's a great way to explain it. And Judah P. Benjamin of the Confederacy is mentioned in our book -- he was a member of the same social club as Emma Lazarus's father.
We look forward to hearing more from you and our other readers.
Thanks for posting!
Rahel
Rahel
Moderator
www.nextbook.org
Contributor
Geri
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎09-17-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Emma Lazarus's "golden door"

I am excitedly looking forward to reading "Emma Lazarus" which I just received from bn.com. She's been such an enigma to me. Her strong, shining image of America as the "golden door" is now being countered by the debates on immigration. I am looking forward to addressing some of the complications of her life and the role played by her less well-known poetry. "The New Colossus" has to be the best known piece of literature written by an American Jewish woman.
Let's gear up for a great discussion.
Geri
Author
Esther_Schor
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎01-28-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Emma Lazarus's "golden door"

Thanks for that, Geri. Emma's "golden door" has been on my mind a great deal in this election season. I think of it every time I hear about border fences and steeper document requirements at the US/Canada points of entry. What's "golden" in the golden door is also still under discussion: economic advantage, prosperity, opportunity and (as we saw in the LA debates last week) the enduring question of who, if anyone, "loses" when immigrants "win" American opportunities.

I think you'll find that these questions were before Emma Lazarus too; she wrote the sonnet, in part, to try to resolve some of her own conflicts about Jewish immigrants from E. Europe. And she was, elsewhere, very frank about her ambivalence. I think her frankness made it possible for her to reckon with herself, to bring herself to a more exacting ethical standard.


Learn more about Emma Lazarus.
Frequent Contributor
Chingchewy
Posts: 84
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Introduce Yourself



Rahel wrote:
Hello, Jewish Encounters readers.
I hope your New Year is off to a good start. I just wanted to remind everyone that we've just begun a discussion of Dr. Sherwin Nuland's fascinating biography of Maimonides. It's a great read, and very accessible, with lots to offer readers no matter your previous background in the topic. So do check it out!
Hope to hear from you soon
Rahel




Hello! My name is Carol and I am very interested in your opinion. I am interested in learning more about Jewish culture and lifestyle. Can you recommend a book that would give me general information and be a good starting point for my research in Judaism? Thank you so much!
Moderator
Rahel
Posts: 223
Registered: ‎08-06-2007
0 Kudos

Maimonides: Welcome and Introduce Yourself!

Happy new year and welcome to our new and returning Jewish Encounters readers.

We are so lucky to have Dr. Sherwin Nuland with us this month to discuss his biography of that most famous of Jewish doctors, Maimonides.

Introduce yourself, and share with us what brings you to the conversation. Is it an interest in medicine, in Jewish and Aristotelian philosophy, in Jewish life in medieval Spain, North Africa, and Egypt? Have you had previous encounters with Maimonides and are looking to learn more, or is this your first dive into the waters of his life and work? Whatever your interest, we are looking forward to your comments and excited for the conversation to begin.

As always, consider the Jewish Encounters Board your home for discussions of anything in Jewish life, culture, and ideas that you'd like to chat about. Mention it in the Community Conversation thread, or feel free to start a thread of your own.

Hope to hear from you soon!
Rahel
Rahel
Moderator
www.nextbook.org
Frequent Contributor
mildone
Posts: 84
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Maimonides: Welcome and Introduce Yourself!

I have read both Maimonides and Rashi's Daughters and am most grateful to Jewish Encounters for offering both books for reading. I have profited and have been most enlighten by my reading of both books. I am still digesting the contents and trying to grasp the deep insights of Maimonides. I have always wondered what medical people thought of the practice of medicine back in Maimonides days. The author does give us some of his feelings especially about the practice of bedside manners in the practical aspects of medicine.
mildone
Moderator
Rahel
Posts: 223
Registered: ‎08-06-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Maimonides: Welcome and Introduce Yourself!



mildone wrote:
I am still digesting the contents and trying to grasp the deep insights of Maimonides. I have always wondered what medical people thought of the practice of medicine back in Maimonides days. The author does give us some of his feelings especially about the practice of bedside manners in the practical aspects of medicine.
mildone




Hi, Mildone.
Great to have you back. I hope we'll be welcoming more readers soon. And please, share your thoughts and questions about Maimonides -- the contemporary medical view of Maimonides is certainly one of the great things that this book offers, among many other insights.
Talk to you soon!
Rahel
Rahel
Moderator
www.nextbook.org
Frequent Contributor
Timbuktu1
Posts: 1,572
Registered: ‎12-31-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Maimonides: Welcome and Introduce Yourself!

Just stumbled across this site and thought I'd mention that the Chabad is offering a course on Maimonides beginning this month, for anyone who is interested. The classes are conducted on the same subject all over the world so classes should be available to everyone. I've been studying at the chabad for two years now and I've been waiting to study Maimonides, in particular.

Enjoy!
Moderator
Rahel
Posts: 223
Registered: ‎08-06-2007
0 Kudos

Introduce Yourself

Welcome to the Jewish Encounters book club! This is the place to check in, introduce yourself, and tell your fellow participants a little about yourself if you'd like. What made you want to participate in this conversation? Where are you in the book? What ideas about the Biblical David are you bringing to the table? What else are you reading these days that you'd like to talk about?
Rahel
Moderator
www.nextbook.org
Frequent Contributor
marcialou
Posts: 166
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Introduce Yourself

Hi All,

I joined this group because I am interested in the Bible as literature. I took a course in it last summer at what was then called Barnes and Noble University. I'm also interested in examining the Bible as a way to understand how our ancestors viewed the world and as a way of understanding we modern people are still attracted to this ancient collection of myth, history, and moral instruction.

I've read the first few chapters of Robert Pinsky's book but quickly realized that I should read the original first (Samuel and Kings). I hope I can get through both in time to keep up with the discussion.

Marcia
Frequent Contributor
mildone
Posts: 84
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Introduce Yourself

Marcialou, like you I enrolled in the B&N Course "The Bible as Literature." I realize that to fully understand the Bible I must be firmly grounded in the Hebrew Scriptures. There is a book written by a Rabbi entitled "A Rabbi Speaks to Jesus," that was given a great review and encouragement to read this book by the present Pope. Although the Rabbi can not accept Jesus as messiah he does dialogue with Jesus in an open and honest manner. Like the Rabbi I too must dialogue in an honest and open manner with the Hebrew Scriptures.
mildone
New User
BGreen3001
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎09-02-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Introduce Yourself

I've been studying the Torah for several years, mostly to learn the stories we Jews tell ourselves about ourselves. The David story is one of the most challenging: rising from obscurity to heights of glory he never could have imagined, David ended his days an old man who couldn't get warm. I've always wondered why he's not the subject of great drama.
Contributor
LynnSomerstein
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎09-02-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Introduce Yourself

Hi! I am a psychoanalyst. The language and fire of Biblical literature and other sources such as the Bhagavad Gita are exciting in themselves, and offer templates of human behavior that help me understand both clinical experience and metapsychology. I am just finishing (I hope) a theoretical examination of one of the many interpretations of the relationship between Abraham and Isaac.

This morning, meaning late last night, I began reading The Life of David, and I guess I'd better read Robert Alter's book too. I love the sounds of words, especially old words, and both Alter and Pinsky bring sound and meaning to the words they choose.

I am looking forward to an interesting discussion, and want to thank Robert Pinsky and our hosts at B&N for providing us with this opportunity.
Moderator
Rahel
Posts: 223
Registered: ‎08-06-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Introduce Yourself

Hello to our first members! It's great to welcome you to the board, and I'm looking forward to welcoming more members over the next few days. I think we're going to have a fascinating conversation.
Rahel
Moderator
www.nextbook.org
Len
Reader
Len
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎08-31-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Introduce Yourself

Hi, my name is Len and like many of you I am interested in Biblical literature. I have interests in other ancient texts as well particularly the Greek epics and plays. Outside of my family, work and fishing I love reading. I have been trying to find writers I enjoy and then try to read all that they have written. This year I tackled Chabon, David Mitchell, Antrim and have just begun to read Richard Powers.

I have read Samuel I and II as well as early Kings. I am very grateful to Prof. Pinsky for his contribution. It has added dimension to my thinking about the David story that hadn't been there for me before. I have some thoughts about the other narratives that make up these texts and looking forward to hearing other people's ideas about them.
Frequent Contributor
jmcnaughton
Posts: 58
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Introduce Yourself

Hi all. I'm Jean.

I'm not only interested in the Bible as literature, but I'm a Christian that is always looking to learn and understand more of the Bible.

I've always found the Old Testament very difficult to read (compared to the New Testament). So, I'm hoping to learn more of one of the most famous Old Testament people.

This book will be at my back door when I get home from work tonight, so I can't wait to sit down and start reading. I've enjoyed the posts so far - Marcia and Rahel, you're both so knowledgable.
Frequent Contributor
marcialou
Posts: 166
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Introduce Yourself

Welcome Jean,

It will be good to have a fresh perspective. I found it helpful to read Samuel I, Samuel II and the first 2 (or 3) chapters of Kings before I jumped into Robert's book. I wasn't especially knowledgeable until I did that.

Marcia
Moderator
Rahel
Posts: 223
Registered: ‎08-06-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Introduce Yourself

Jean, welcome to the book club -- we look forward to hearing from you!
Rahel
Moderator
www.nextbook.org
Users Online
Currently online:4 members 453 guests
Please welcome our newest community members: