Bird Tracks in the Sand: The Search for God in Contemporary Israeli Poetry
This is the first of a three-part lecture series in partnership with Mechon Hadar.
Dinner will be offered to Bronfman alumni upon RSVP.
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"Rabbi Shai Held in Conversation with Rabbi Sharon Cohen-Anisfeld"
Thursday, November 17 from 7:30pm-9:00pm
Many self-identified "secular" writers wrestle deeply in their poetry with their relationship to Jewishness, to the legacy of the Bible and rabbinic texts, and to the personal search for God. It has long been considered a truism that Israeli society is deeply divided between "hilonim" and "dati'im" -- secular and religious Jews. Unlike the North American Jewish community, where there are countless options for communal affiliation and personal practice and belief, the religious landscape in Israel has been seen as largely black-and-white, with little room for "shades of gray". While the secular-religious divide persists -- often with a good deal of mutual hostility -- in many aspects of Israeli social and political life a more nuanced picture can be seen in the writing of contemporary Israeli poets over the last several decades. Through a close reading of selected poems, we will explore the religious struggles of these secular writers and consider how they might speak to our own experiences of faith and doubt in the post-modern era.
Rabbi Sharon Cohen-Anisfeld is Dean of the Rabbinical School at Hebrew College. A beloved teacher and mentor to young adults, Rabbi Cohen-Anisfeld spent 15 years working in pluralistic settings as a Hillel rabbi at Tufts, Yale and Harvard universities; she has been a summer faculty member for the Bronfman Youth Fellowships in Israel since 1993.