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A mixed- bag of essays on a highly interesting subjectMay 15 2006
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Silberstein and Cohn are to be commended for honing in on a highly interesting subject, and for gathering together scholars from a wide number of fields to consider various aspects of it. However the results so far as I can tell are very mixed. I found offensive Adi Ophir 's absurd contention that Israeli Jews reading the Haggadah regard the 'Other' as defeated Palestinian Arabs. I also was not thrilled by Hanan Hever's analysis of the Canaanite conception of the 'other'.
My own principal concern in considering the question of the 'other' in the Jewish tradition relates to the conception of Mankind created in the 'image of G-d'. As among others Rabbi Irving Greenberg teaches this sense of the 'dignity of the other 'means that they are our ' equals'. How this translates in our understanding of our own special role in the world is major question that yields no easy answer.