JUDAIC STUDIES AT A CROSSROADS: CULTURAL SUBSTANCE OR ACADEMIC FRAMEWORK?* Ithamar Gruenwald (Tel Aviv University) Judaic Studies in Israel today faces a distressing cultural crisis that has trapped the humanities as a whole, a crisis that emerges out of the complex problems of the interrelationship between Israeli academia and cultural life and society. In fact, this discussion has wider implica- tions than merely raising the problems of Judaic Studies in Israel. Accordingly, it is presented out of a deep sense of urgency, which makes it difficult to avoid using language that has a tone of alarm. I write in these terms because I know that a considerable number of academic colleagues share my strong feelings about matters that hamper their academic work. Unfortunately, these feelings have not so far extended beyond lame cries devoid of clear direction towards any practical resolution to the problems we face. Furthermore, of course, the few cries that are publicly heard to date mostly fall on the ears of those who do not even feel, or are not prepared to admit, that this is a dire hour for Judaic Studies. So even as solutions are pro- posed, we must continue to raise the
Review of Rabbinic Judaism – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1998
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