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February 28, 2019
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16 color illus.
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v2.1 Reference
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February 28, 2019
9780253038265
English
266
16 color illus.
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v2.1 Reference

The Holocaust's Jewish Calendars

Keeping Time Sacred, Making Time Holy

Calendars map time, shaping and delineating our experience of it. While the challenges to tracking Jewish conceptions of time during the Holocaust were substantial, Alan Rosen reveals that many took great risks to mark time within that vast upheaval. Rosen inventories and organizes Jewish calendars according to the wartime settings in which they were produced—from Jewish communities to ghettos and concentration camps. The calendars he considers reorient views of Jewish circumstances during the war and show how Jews were committed to fashioning traditional guides to daily life, even in the most extreme conditions. In a separate chapter, moreover, he elucidates how Holocaust-era diaries sometimes served as surrogate Jewish calendars. All in all, Rosen presents a revised idea of time, continuity, the sacred and the mundane, the ordinary and the extraordinary even when death and destruction were the order of the day. Rosen's focus on the Jewish calendar—the ultimate symbol of continuity, as weekday follows weekday and Sabbath follows Sabbath—sheds new light on how Jews maintained connections to their way of conceiving time even within the cauldron of the Holocaust.

About the Author

Alan Rosen is author of The Wonder of Their Voices: The 1946 Holocaust Interviews of David Boder, editor of Literature of the Holocaust, and editor (with Steven T. Katz) of Elie Wiesel: Jewish, Literary, and Moral Perspectives. He lectures regularly at the International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem and other Holocaust study centers.

Reviews

"In addition to the richness of the calendrical artifacts surveyed, Rosen provides an evidence based argument against the erasure of Jewish time. Applying a fresh integration of historiography and hermeneutics, he forges a path that leads beyond Holocaust time by delving into its devestating details."—the Lehrhaus

"Alan Rosen shows how calendars provided a sacred territory to defy the Nazi attempt to impose a futureless existence of mundane time, religious time, and Jewish history over the centuries."—Gershon Greenberg, author of Modern Jewish Thinkers

"With penetrating acumen Alan Rosen demonstrates the relationship between time and meaning, between meaning and holiness, between holy days and the divine presence—all of which came under assault in the Nazis' effort to kill Jewish souls before destroying Jewish bodies."—David Patterson, author of Along the Edge of Annihilation: The Collapse and Recovery of Life in the Holocaust Diary

"This is an extraordinary book about the courage of Holocaust victims who, under circumstances of the greatest cruelty, imaginable and unimaginable, did not budge from their experience of the world as a sacred place, and in whose lives evil was given no sway over the dignity shaped by the holiness of time itself. The fashioners of Dr. Rosen's calendars, and the thousands whose lives, while in the fiery furnace, were guided by them, are offered in this work a faithful, vivid, deeply moral tribute. It must be read by the expert and novice alike."—Rabbi Joseph Polak, Chief Justice, Rabbinical Court of Massachusetts; child survivor of Bergen-Belsen; and author of the award-winning memoir After the Holocaust the Bells Still Ring

"The routine of our lives brings us every day in contact with calendars: simple and illustrated, those hanging on the wall, on our table or in our pockets. And we treat them as taken-for-granted tools that organize our lives. Dr. Rosen reveals to us the meaning of the calendar as one of the most representative elements of Jewish resistance during the Holocaust. . . . Dr. Rosen breathes life into the calendars' old pages and dry dates, placing them in their proper place of honor as an exhibit reflecting the world of Jews in the forests and in hiding, in labor and concentration camps. . . The book combines extensive information and fascinating investigations with sensitivity to the victims of the Holocaust and its survivors, and opens a new channel for understanding the heroic struggle of the Jewish soul during these terrible years.."—Esther Farbstein, author of Hidden in Thunder: Perspectives on Faith, Halachah, and Leadership During the Holocaust

"Rosen's important and very readable study raises and answers an array of significant questions concerning the concept and meaning of Jewish time as well as the value of a calendar's insistence on normalcy, regularity, and order during the hellishly disordered time of the Shoah."—the arts fuse

"Rosen's work is the most comprehensive to date treatment of these precious artifacts of the Holocaust's Jewish efforts to maintain religious observations and identity and should serve scholars and lay people interested in accessing this aspect of Jewish martyrology."—Choice

"The book offers a comprehensive overview as well as a detailed insight into everyday Jewish life during the Holocaust as well as into the techniques of survival and the preservation of one's own Jewish identity through the special access to the Jewish time. Rosen illustrates how the victims opposed the destruction of Jewish life when they wrote the Jewish calendar, and thus makes a fundamental contribution to it."—Christin Zühlke, H-Soz-Kult

"Dr. Rosen's pioneering, unique, and revealing study is the beautifully written result of original and profound research."—The International Committee for the Yad Vashem Book Prize

"The Holocaust's Jewish Calendars is a masterpiece that helps us grasp one of the most fundamental traditional modes of spiritual resistance—the tracking of Jewish time in the ghettos, camps and in hiding."—Jewish Action

"The Holocaust's Jewish Calendars is deeply researched, eloquently written, and filled with surprises. Rosen has unearthed a treasure trove of calendrical works, mute survivors to historical calamity. He analyzes each artifact in terms of its materiality, its creator, its calendrical calculations, and its Holocaust setting. By means of the calendars, Rosen explores philosophically the meaning of tracking time under such extreme conditions. The Holocaust's Jewish Calendars is an original and profound contribution to the study of Jewish culture during the Holocaust."—Elisheva Carlebach, Journal of Modern History

"The Holocaust's Jewish Calendars, whose wealth of detail and insight can only be hinted at here, should have a large readership and take its place among the most important studies of the Holocaust."—Eric J. Sundquist, Johns Hopkins University, Holocaust and Genocide Studies
Indiana University Press
Jewish Literature and Culture

9780253038272 : the-holocausts-jewish-calendars-rosen
Paperback / softback
266 Pages
$35.00 USD
9780253038265 : the-holocausts-jewish-calendars-rosen
Hardback
266 Pages
$80.00 USD

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Elie Wiesel

edited by Steven T. Katz, Alan Rosen
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Approaches to Teaching Wiesel's Night

edited by Alan Rosen
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