Award-winning writer and lecturer Barbara Sofer grew up
in a small town in Connecticut, and moved to Israel in 1971. She is a
graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the Hebrew University in
Jerusalem. Her articles -taking on a wide range of subjects from ethnic
cooking to terrorism--have appeared in The New
York Times, The Boston Globe, Parents, Readers' Digest, Woman's Day,
Hadassah Magazine and Inside Magazine
among many others. She writes a bi-weekly column for the Friday Jerusalem
Barbara has written five books and contributed to
EXCERPT FROM CURRENT ARTICLE
May 10, 2013
The Human Spirit: Local journey
Tour guide Adi Yaakobi, 25, a bare-headed sabra from Bat Yam, places a thick book in the center.
The teens sit cross-legged in a circle on the stones of a Jerusalem archeological park.
“Does anyone not know what this book is?” he asks. If anyone is unsure, he or she isn’t is admitting it. “Please stand and move as close to or as far away from this book as you feel,” Yaakobi instructs them.
The boys and girls hop to their feet and arrange themselves accordingly. About half cluster around the book; the others scattering themselves to show how distant they feel. New assignment from the guide: “How much do you know about this book? Reposition yourself according to how much you know.”
There’s a lot of movement. Some of the youngsters feel more than they know; for others it’s the opposite. Still others don’t move. There doesn’t seem to be a correlation between knowledge and emotional proximity.
The book is a Tanach, the Five Books of Moses, Prophets and Writings – the canon of 24 books of the Hebrew Bible, compiled two millennia ago. It’s an edition with a plastic cover, the kind these high-school students are likely to get when they’re sworn into the IDF, as did my husband several decades ago.
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