Tuesday, June 18, 2024

  • Tuesday, June 18, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon
The Donald and Robin Kennedy Undergraduate Award honors the best essay and thesis written by an undergraduate at Stanford on a Jewish theme. 

It has given the award three times. One is for a study of Jewish identity and self-perception during the Balkan Wars of 1912-13. Another was on "the emergent role of yoatzot halakha (‘halakhic guideswomen’) in Modern Orthodox life, especially in relation to rabbis."

Both of those sound like they involve true scholarship and research. 

But then there is this other recipient of the award, Joey Friedman:
Honors Thesis: The Soul of the World Weeping Through Us: Constructing a Grief Ritual Performance as a Counter to Colonial Violence

This thesis explores Indigenous and Jewish diasporic wisdom to confront colonial violence and collective trauma. I draw upon on the scholarship of Healing Justice activists as well as my own Jewish lineage to grapple with diasporic survival amidst colonial violence. From the rich tapestry of diasporic Jewish wisdom, I unearth insights about grief enshrined within the yearly ritual process of Tisha B’av and the poetic tradition of communal lament which offer spiritual and political frameworks for redistributing power in the face of colonial catastrophe. These threads inform a ritual performance grieving the Israeli occupation and destruction of Gaza, heightened since October 2023.
This is a word salad that essentially says that Mr. Friedman decided to create his own "grief ritual" for Gaza, taking whatever he felt spoke to him from both Jewish and non-Jewish sources. He is comparing the millennia of Jewish suffering that is detailed in the Tisha B'Av kinot to Palestinians who cheer the exact same types of attacks on Jews. 

This isn't scholarship. I don't have access to the paper, but judging from the summary, Friedman does not try to find any differences between Jewish and Palestinian suffering but only manufactured commonalities.  It is as much "scholarship" as the Jewish Voice for Peace "Haggadah." It is an egotistical project that has nothing to do with Judaism and everything to do with subverting Judaism for Friedman's own self-centered goals. It is egoism pretending to be Judaism.

Friedman attended a Jewish high school, Kehillah. Here are the Jewish studies classes it offers:

While they teach algebra, English, history and chemistry, this Jewish high school does not teach Tanakh, Talmud or the Siddur. Instead, Jewish texts are only an excuse to teach something else that sounds like fun. 

It would be as if instead of teaching physics, there was a course in building a Rube Goldberg-type machine and pretending that this is a physics course.  

And the end result of such an education is what we see in this thesis.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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