Today we began to assess our topic by looking at how Hollywood has portrayed Israel, and its music. We took a god look at Otto Preminger’s Exodus (1960):

And we examined its main (often involuntarily hilarious, but always revealing) musical traits/moments:

Exodus (USA 1960): List of relevant musical scenes

Then we discussed how the movie obliterated one of the most musical scenes in the original novel, by Leon Uris (1958), since it also involves sex, and gives a rather different view of the “Jewish musical soul” of the early citizens of Israel. For everyone’s convenience, here are Uris’ pages:

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These pages, and the juicy “cultural confusion” that they inevitably generate, served as a good introduction to our (VERY QUICK) overview of the ca. 2000 years of Jewish Diaspora that preceded modern Zionism and the establishment of the State of Israel.

map of jewish diaspora

The Jewish Diaspora: Migrations and Expulsions (source LDS)

map03-jewish expulsions 1000-1500

Jewish Expulsions, 1000-1500 (source, Encyclopaedia Judaica)

Finally, we analyzed an inspiring TedTalk by documentarian Julia Bacha, which helped us in articulating one of the key topics for this semester: the “power of attention.” We specifically discussed how difficult it may become to listen when all around us there are many disturbing, distracting, confusing, conflicting, and altogether unintelligible sounds…