JBuzz News September 14, 2012: Yosef Yerushalmi: Remembrance of Jews’ Past Yosef Yerushalmi’s ‘Zakhor’ Remains as Relevant as Ever

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JEWISH ACADEMIC & UNIVERSITY NEWS

Remembrance of Jews’ Past

Yosef Yerushalmi’s ‘Zakhor’ Remains as Relevant as Ever

Source: Robert Zaretsky, Forward, 9-14-12

Speak, Memory: One of our most prolific and profound writers on Jewish history, Yosef Yerushalmi died in 2009.

Courtesy The Jewish Museum
Speak, Memory:One of our most prolific and profound writers on Jewish history, Yosef Yerushalmi died in 2009.It was 30 years ago that Yosef Yerushalmi’s” Zakhor: Jewish History and Jewish Memory” was first published. The shortest book by Yerushalmi, a prolific professor of Jewish history at Columbia University until his death in 2009, it has had the longest reach. The issues raised in the book, Yerushalmi suggested, are not “necessarily confined to Jewish history.”He was right. With the new school year beginning, teachers and parents should recall the reason that a book devoted to “zakhor,” or the Jewish injunction to remember, resonates in fields far beyond Yerushalmi’s original subject.

Yerushalmi’s reflections begin with a paradox: For a people so preoccupied by the past, Jews were remarkably indifferent to history….READ MORE