Israel Celebrates: Jewish Holidays and Civic Culture in Israel by Hizky Shoham
Israel Celebrates is about the intersection where Israeli inventiveness and Jewish tradition meet: the holidays. It employs the anthropological history of four Jewish holidays as celebrated in Israel in order to track the naturalization of Jewish rituals, myths, and symbols in Israeli culture throughout “the long twentieth century” of Zionism and on to the present, and to demonstrate how a new strand of Judaism developed in Israel from the grassroots. But could this grassroots Israeli culture develop into a shared symbolic space for both Jews and Arabs? By probing the political implications of the minutiae of life, the book argues that this popular culture might come to define Jewish identity in Israel of the 21st century.