First Year Seminar
Jerusalem: Vision and Reality
Fall 2002
Lewis Glinert


Jerusalem, as a vision and as a reality, has always mesmerized Jewish minds -- Royal City of Solomon, Holy of Holies, kabbalistic core of the world, site of a foretold apocalypse, twice rased to the ground, focus of Diaspora dreams, since 1948 once more a Jewish capital, but divided for two decades by war and still savagely fought over. The coming of a new millennium is yet further focusing world interest on the mountain-top city. In this course, we will sample the symbolism of Jerusalem across 3000 years of Jewish intellectual and artistic expression, from the Bible down to the contemporary Israeli and Diaspora arts, in poetry and prose, in film, music and the visual arts. Through the Book of Psalms, the Biblical prophets, medieval poetry, contemporary Israeli cinema, novels of Shulamit Har-Even and Elie Wiesel and many other forms of expression, we will ask above all: Can one find in "Jerusalem" a consistent set of symbols and values holding firm down the centuries, uniting contemporary Jews with their distant ancestors?


Students will be required to write six papers in the course of the quarter.
  • The first two (2~3 pages) will not count for the grade.
  • The next three (4~5 pages) count for 20% each.
  • The final paper will count for 40% of the final grade. ion credit.

    Students are requested to follow the MLA (Modern Language Association) format for citing sources. (See Sources: Their Use and Acknowledgement.) Papers will be graded on the following criteria: * Quality of the topic (appropriate, suitably focused, clear).
    * Organization. Does it proceed logically? Are all elements clearly related to the topic sentence? Does the conclusion follow from the argument, and does it echo the topic sentence?
    *Writing style. This includes proper spelling, correct punctuation, grammatical sentences, proper tone, varied sentence patterns, etc.

    Late Work
    Unless permission is granted by the instructor well in advance of the deadline, late essays or papers will be penalized a minimum of one letter grade rank (i.e. a "B" will automatically be reduced to a "B-").

    The Composition Center Web Site
    The Composition Center Web site is a textbook-quality site that provides students with advice on all stages of the writing and researching processes. Please visit


    The following will be available in Baker-Berry Reserve

    Useful web sites for Jerusalem:
    Students will be required to write six papers in the course of the quarter.
    2. (mini-course)

    The following videos will be available in Jones Media Library AND digitally on the internal server

    Jerusalem: Between Heaven & Earth [documentary]
    Melodies of Jerusalem
    My Michael
    Himmo king of Jerusalem


    The following instructions are for users on campus only. Video services require Macs or PCs with processors running at least above 233 MHz (all iMacs and G3s, G4s as well as all Pentium III machines) on an ethernet connection . Wireless connections will be OK for audio. Expect mixed results for video.

    All services are available on a server called Pushkin1. There is an identical server by the name of Pushkin. Substitute "Pushkin" for "Pushkin1" in the instructions below, if needed. Web access is available at http://pushkin1. Note that for technical reasons access via the web may be somewhat delayed, particularly in case of large files.

    Windows 98 and ME users need to pay special attention to the log-in procedure explained below. Macintosh users (Systems 8.6 and higher, OS X) and Windows NT/2000/XP users can find the server on the network.

    NT/2000/XP users go to the START menu, then to RUN, type in "\\Pushkin1", and log in as "visitor" with password "bartlett". We recommend making a "shortcut." Note: XP Home is not supported!)

    Mac users go to Chooser, select AppleTalk, Zone Bartlett, select Pushkin1 and log in as "visitor" with password "bartlett". We recommend making an alias.

    Windows 98/ME users log out of their machines and log in new, as "visitor" with password "bartlett", go to the START menu, then to RUN and type in "Pushkin1". If asked for a domain, they should type in ""Ńsubsequent messages about "domain servers" can be ignored.

    LISTENING/VIEWING THE MATERIALS Double-clicking on the icon of a sound or video file will normally make it play. If your computer tells you that it cannot find the application your basic installations are incorrect. Re-install QuickTime (from, double-click or open the file directly from the QuickTime Player.

    IMPORTANT: your instructor CANNOT help you with access or performance problems. Call 6-2624 or 6-2716 during business hours for help.

    Other servers may be used occasionally. Instructors will email students with access information. Attempts to copy files to users' machines violate the legal framework under which we provide access to audio and video resources. Violations may not only cause discontinuation of these services but may also be punishable by law.


    Note: Throughout this course, you should refer for historical background to Gilbert, Jerusalem History Atlas, Kollek & Pearlman, Jerusalem: a history of forty centuries, and Bahat, Illustrated Atlas of Jerusalem

    0:     Orientation in space, time and spirit
    Sept 26 Introduction, course mechanics, goals, etc. videorecording: Melodies of Jerusalem

    1:     Jerusalem in the Bible
    Oct 1 [To prepare for the class, consult a commentary based on Jewish traditions, using Hertz 'The Pentateuch' and the various volumes of the Soncino edition of the Bible. In class, have with you at least a translation of the Bible ]
    Genesis ch 14 v.17-23, ch. 22 [in Hertz, Pentateuch]
    Kings part one, ch 8, ch 9 v1-9 [Soncino books of the Bible.]
    Isaiah ch 52 [Soncino books of the Bible.]
    Lamentations [in Cohen, Five Megilloth, Soncino books of the Bible.]
    Psalms ch. 48, 122-126, 137 [Soncino books of the Bible.]
    Zechariah ch 14 [in The Twelve prophets, Soncino books of the Bible.]

    Oct 3

    Talmon in Cohen & Mendes-Flohr, 495-503
    Levenson, 89-145, 176-184.
    Sarna, 151-166

    2:     Jerusalem in ancient rabbinic writings

    Oct 8

    Due: Due 11 p.m: 2~3 page paper
    'How is Jerusalem portrayed in either Psalms or in Isaiah and Zechariah?'

    Hammer: 71-82, 92-139

    Oct 10

    Bialik & Ravnitzky, Part 1, ch 7 ‘The Destruction of the First Temple’, ch 9 ‘The Second Temple’, ch 10 ‘The Destruction of the Second Temple and of the Land’, part 2 ch 2 p 371f ‘Jerusalem’, ch 9 p 301f ‘Fasts’
    Hertz, J H (ed) The Daily Prayer Book , 130-156, 284, 964-979, 1012-3

    3:     Jerusalem in medieval writings

    Oct 15

    Due: 2~3 page paper on either
    'In what sense was Jerusalem considered a Sacred Space in Antiquity?' or
    'How do the ancient Jewish texts seek to interpret the destruction of the two Temples?'

    Hammer: 151-191
    Maimonides, Guide for the Perplexed part 3, ch 45.
    Rosovsky 60-73 (article by Joseph Dan)

    Oct 17

    Halevi, The Kuzari 89-91, 99-101, 293-5
    Rosenfeld, 144-5, 176-9
    Hertz, J H (ed) The Daily Prayer Book , 356-359 [Lekha Dodi]
    Carmi, 250-1, 472-479
    Scheindlin, 84-89

    4:     Jerusalem in Ashkenazic and Sephardic folklore

    NB: Start reading the novels by Wiesel and Har-Even at this point to ensure that you've completed them in good time for our class discussions]

    Oct 22

    Rosovsky 344-351 (article by Rosovsky)
    Vilnay(for oral class report)
    • Ch II (Dome of the Rock): Sections 1-13, 16-18
    • Ch IV: sections 1-3
    • XIII (Temple Vessels): 3-7
    • XVIII (The Wailing Wall): whole chapter
    • XIX: 6-10, 19
    • XX: 1-2, 10-12
    • XXI: 1-3
    • XXIII (Caves): 1-4, 6
    • XXIV: 1-2
    • XXVIII (Mt of Olives, Scopus): 2-17

    Sholom Aleichem, 222-229

    5:     Jerusalem in modern Jewish thought

    Oct 24

    Heschel, Introduction + pp 1-38

    Oct 29

    Rosovsky 149-177 (article by Hertzberg)
    Hertzberg The Zionist Idea, 103-114(Alkalay, Kalischer), 201-4(Herzl), 226-241(Herzl), 242-5(Nordau), 557-570(Jabotinsky), 605-619(Ben Gurion)
    Katz, Jacob 'The Jewish National movement' in Ben-Sasson & Ettinger
    Berkovits, Eliezer. ‘Crisis and faith.’ Tradition pp 5-19
    Mendes-Flohr & Reinharz p 544-555 -- [this view is typical of the traditional pious opponents of Zionism]

    6:    Jerusalem in modern Hebrew poetry

    Oct 31

    Due: 11 p.m: 4~5 page paper:
    To what extent was Zionism based on traditional Jewish thought?

    Other sources on the traditional Jewish view of the final redemption are:
    * In Hammer, p 133-136, 143-146 (Rabbi Saadiah was a preeminent early-Medieval philosopher (9th century). All these statements represent dominant views
    * some of the Rabbinic original sources in Bialik Book of Legends', Part 3, chapter 5

    Burnshaw: poems by Greenberg 62-64, Yeshurun 89-91.
    Amichai, Poems of Jerusalem and Love Poems 3, 5. 7-9. 15, 23, 87, 101, 103, 105, 107, 109, 125-7
    Abramson, ch 6 'Jerusalem'
    Grindea, 56-58
    Kosman, poem: 'Note in the Western Wall'

    7:    Jerusalem in contemporary Jewish fiction and nonfiction

    Nov 5

    Hammer: 257-317
    Grindea, 46, 59-63 (halfway down), 76-87, 100-102 (Asch), 113-4, 238

    Nov 7

    Hareven, City of Many Days [novel]

    Nov 12

    Hareven, City of Many Days[novel]

    Nov 14

    Due 11 p.m: 4~5 page paper:
    'Time is one of the main protagonists in City of Many Days'. Discuss.

    Wiesel, A Beggar in Jerusalem [novel]

    Nov 19

    Wiesel, A Beggar in Jerusalem [novel]
    8:    Jerusalem in Israeli film

    Nov 21

    Due: 11 p.m: 4~5 page paper:
    What is the significance of the beggar in 'A beggar in Jerusalem'?

    My Michael (based on Amos Oz's novel of that name)

    Nov 26

    Himmo King of Jerusalem
    9:     Jerusalem in Israeli art and photography

    Dec 3

    Ofrat 7-19, 21-36, 87-106, 257-300
    Bar-Am (selections)
    Due December 7, 11 p.m.:    Final paper, 6~8 pages:
    How is the visual atmosphere of 20th century Jerusalem portrayed in any three (or more) of the following forms of Modern Jewish expression that we have studied:

  • Poetry
  • Fiction
  • Film
  • Painting and Sculpture
  • Feel free to go beyond the stuff I asked you to study week by week (e.g. by drawing on my full reading list in the syllabus), but I won't hold it against you if you don't.

    * If you have any questions about this course, you can reach Prof. Glinert at Lewis.H.Glinert@Dartmouth.EDU.

    Back to Hebrew at Dartmouth home.

    [ DAMELL]