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Land and Wisdom: The Love of Zion - from the Hebrew Bible to Contemporary Israeli Poetry

Photo for Land and Wisdom: The Love

Photo: Mt. Arbel, Sea of Galilee (Israel). Via Maxpixel.net; cropped. CC0 1.0 Universal.

Thursday, November 21, 2019
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Bunche Hall, Room 10383
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I have not sung you, my country, not brought glory to your name with the great deeds of a hero or the spoils a battle yields. But on the shores of the Jordan my hands have planted a tree, and my feet have made a pathway through your fields. – Rachel Bluwstein Sela, 1926

About the Talk

This talk explores the sources of the Love of Zion – religious, philosophical and poetic – in Hellenistic Biblical literature, through Jewish philosophers – Philo of Alexandria, Rabbi Moshe Ben Maimon and Rabbi Yehudah Halevi, and their resonance in the literature of early modern Israeli pioneers – A. D. Gordon and Rachel Bluwstein Sela. We shall find how the various ancient, medieval and early modern trends of thought culminate in contemporary Israeli Love of the Land – through the poems of Naomi Shemer and Ehud Manor.

About the Speaker

Dr. Nili Alon Amit is a researcher and lecturer of philosophy of soul and philosophy of education at Hakibbutzim Academic College in Tel Aviv, Israel. During the 2019-20 academic year, she serves as a Israel Institute Visiting Assistant Professor at the UCLA Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies.

While with the Center, Alon Amit is teaching several courses, including the Fall class "Global Perspectives on Multicultural Education" in the International & Area Studies program of the International Institute, and Winter course "On Happiness and Redemption: A Literary History from Ancient Canaan to Modern Israel" in the Department of Comparative Literature.

She has previously held the Haifa University Presidential Scholarship for Doctoral Research and the Mofet Institute of Education (Tel Aviv) Postdoctoral Scholarship. Alon Amit received her Ph.D. in Ancient Philosophy from Haifa University in 2014. Her research explores the history of ideas from Ancient Greece to modern times. She is the author of the forthcoming book: On Happy Souls: The History of Soul in Western Culture (Cambridge Scholars, 2021).

Sponsor(s): Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, Center for the Study of Religion