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Unformatted text preview: Dr. Mira Z. Amiras San Jose State University http://sjsu.edu/faculty/amiras Comparative Religious Studies firstname.lastname@example.org Fall Semester 2007 RelS/JwsS/MdES 153 J EWS , Z IONISM AND THE S TATE Mondays 6:30-9:15PM Room: SH 241 COURSE DESCRIPTION In this course we weave together six threads of Jewish identity that concern issues of land, especially The Land ha- aretz, called by some the Holy Land, by some the Zionist State, and by others, the Zionist Entity. The threads we will examine include Descent : what, or who, are Jews and what makes them so? Faith : what are the Jewish teachings and practices relating to the sacred, and in what ways are these fundamentally similar to or different from Christianity and Islam? Land : what makes a land Holy Land and sacred to Jews, and what attachments do the Jewish people have to other lands and political states? What is Zionismand whose definition is valid? Are there different kinds of Zionisms and Zionists? What is the relationship between Jews, Zionism and the nation-state. Language: what is a sacred language, what are the languages of the Jews, what happens when sacred language gets lost or revitalizedand why are these important questions? History : is there a distinctive Jewish chronicle, or are there many narratives? How do history and tradition affect identity? And finally, Destiny : what is the Jewish concept of tikkun olam and what are the possible futures of Jewish identity, the State of Israel, and Jews residing in other national states? These threads will be woven into our consideration of each weeks topic. The purpose of the course is to focus on the complexities of our subject matter, not to engage in polemic. We will be exploring each of the above from a variety of perspectives. This course is designed for all students interested in exploring these compelling issues. Students both familiar and unfamiliar with Jewish traditions are welcome: there are no prerequisites for this class. RelS 153 fulfills major and minor requirements in the Comparative Religious Studies, Jewish Studies and Middle East Studies Programs at SJSU. REQUIRED READING FIRST READING (SELECT ONE) SECOND READING (SELECT ONE) Kaplan, A., ed. T HE L IVING T ORAH (selections/Bilingual Edition) Chazan, R. E UROPEAN J EWRY & THE F IRST C RUSADE Cavadini, J., ed. M IRACLES IN J EWISH & C HRISTIAN A NTIQUITY Cohen, J. L IVING L ETTERS OF THE L AW Patai, R. T HE H EBREW G ODDESS Halevi, Z. T HE A NOINTED Patai, R . T HE S EED OF A BRAHAM Roth, C. T HE S PANISH I NQUISITION THIRD READING (SELECT ONE) FOURTH READING (SELECT ONE) Hertzl, T. O LD N EW L AND (or other works of Hertzl) Bershtel & Graubard S AVING R EMNANTS : J EWISH IN A MERICA Ravitzky, A....
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