Israeli illustrator Shay Charka explains how Art Spiegelman’s “Maus” liberated Jewish culture by appropriating anti-Semitic stereotypes: “Spiegelman’s most significant contribution to the rehabilitation of the Jewish spirit after millennia of persecution culminating in the Holocaust is specifically through his depictions of Jews as mice.” While a Missouri School Board debates banning "Maus," we revisit this post which originally appeared in TraditionOnline's "The BEST" series.
We are surrounded by irritants and triggers that fracture our attention; along with information overload, we are overwhelmed with pings, lights, and other technological spears that goad us to pay them mind. This is a serious challenge for the life of the spirit, which demands focus and kavvana. A new book about Christian monks in late Antiquity and medieval times argues that these hermits and seekers were obsessed with the issue of distraction. Ariel Evan Mayse demands we pay attention, to this new book, “The Wandering Mind,” and helps us focus on parallel teachings in our own tradition, from Hasidism and mysticism, that may help our minds wonder more and wander less.
R. Ilay Ofran of Kibbutz Yavneh, head of the mekhina Ruah haSadeh, and a psychologist, has become an important voice in the Religious Zionist community. His recent book, profiled by Yitzchak Blau in this week’s Alt+SHIFT, addresses the challenges involved in maintaining our religious tradition in the contemporary world.
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