Judaism and Jewish Renewal in Israel (Alan Brill Interviews Tomer Perisco)


Worth a good look, Alan Brill interviews Tomer Persico –primarily about Judaism, Jewish renewal, democracy, secularism and post-secularism, spiritual cosmopolitanism, and religious ethno-nationalism in Israel. The interview includes a discussion of Tomer’s new book, in Hebrew, about the history of Jewish meditation.

As introduced by Alan,

Tomer Persico knows the insides and outs of the contemporary Israeli religious scene. He is a keen observer of the various spiritual trends in both Orthodox and secular society writing about them in the media, in scholarly articles, and on his important blog. He writes a widely read blog, — occasionally he writes in English for his English language blog or his posts are translated in English by the papers, but the good stuff is in Hebrew–which presents an entrance into the many facets of contemporary Israeli spiritually.  I know some people who only read my blog and his blog. If you don’t know about his blog, then you should. Besides, observing the religious world, Persico teaches at Tel Aviv University and is a fellow at the Hartman institute. His voice is a growing influence in Israeli culture as an exemplar, in that, he is a secular Israeli who turned to Jewish spirituality who provides the Israeli audience with a glimpse into the best (and worst) of Judaism.”

Except for the Hebrew and other biographical details, the same could be said about Alan as a keen observer of contemporary Jewish life.

It’s a two-part interview:

Part 1

Part 2



About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics. http://religion.syr.edu
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3 Responses to Judaism and Jewish Renewal in Israel (Alan Brill Interviews Tomer Perisco)

  1. dmf says:

    my knee-jerk reaction to the Newage (or the now spiritual not religious) is the dangers of worshiping one’s self in this age of commercialized spectacles, making gods of one’s experiences/desires/etc, but of course more formal/institutionalized religions are just accumulations of various individuals’ assembled interests (and the ongoing repurposing/interpretation of such) and there is no good reason to generally prioritize one over the other, Richard Rorty placed his hope in our coming up with democratic systems of organization/governance to protect minorities and the like but we’ve seen that this isn’t a guarantee that one can always rely on. I wonder how much this sort of spiritual orientation (like perhaps cosmopolitanism) depends on the relative success of a community in offering something akin to (or at least a believable promise in) the kinds of ease of living that fed the 60’s human-potential movements?

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