Bloch, Karen Lehrman. 2016. Passage to Israel. New York: Skyhorse Publishing. http:library.regent.edurecord=b2675954.
How is it that, year after year, the UN World Happiness Report ranks Israel as one of the world’s happiest nations? Israel – a country with compulsory military service, internal and external enemies bent on its destruction, and three national days of mourning. Readers looking for an answer to this paradox should check out Passage to Israel, a photographic tour through the astonishing varieties of nature, life, creativity, and faith that define Israel.
Divided into four sections – Land, Light, Life, and Soul – Passage to Israel presents the work of 34 of the country’s most gifted photographers with a forward and introduction that communicate the love and enthusiasm that together were the book’s genesis.
In her acknowledgments, the author writes that inspiration came not only from lovers of Israel (Jewish, Christian, and Muslim) but also from the lies and disinformation that form part of the daily output in most of the global media. She also reveals a powerful idea at the book’s heart: “Israel is indeed a mirror to one’s soul. Those who see the beauty, who stand up for the truth, who understand the meaning, will never regret where they stood in this moment of history, when silence is not an option. Am Yisrael Chai”
Written by Harold Henkel, Associate Librarian
On Monday, February 8, Rabbi Dr. Israel Zoberman led a Book Club discussion at the Library. Fifteen students, faculty, and staff from Regent and CBN took part in a fascinating discussion that ranged from Jewish history, contemporary Israeli politics and society, and Israel’s renowned writer, Amos Oz.
Dr. Zoberman, the son of Polish immigrants, was born in Israel. He has lived in the United States since the 1960s and is founding Rabbi at Congregation Beth Chaverim in Virginia Beach. On January 16, 2010, Rabbi Zoberman, participated in the inauguration of Bob McDonnell, reading Psalm 8 in English and Hebrew.
Dr. Zoberman, proved to be an ideal guide to Amos Oz. Born within a few years of Oz, whose parents fled anti-Semitic violence in Lithuania, Dr. Zoberman has literally lived through most of the themes in Oz’s writing. Of the many varieties of Zionism in Israel today, Dr. Zoberman identified himself with the point of view articulated by Amos Oz: “The Zionist enterprise has no other objective than the right of a drowning man to grasp the only plank that can save him. And that is justification enough…there is a vast moral difference between the drowning man who grasps a plank and makes room for himself by pushing the others who are sitting on it to one side, even by force, and the drowning man who grabs for himself the whole plank and pushes the others into the sea.” *
*Amos Oz and Nitza Ben-Dov, The Amos Oz Reader (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009), 237.