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What Does a Jew Want?On Binationalism and Other Specters$
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Udi Aloni

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780231157599

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231157599.001.0001

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Pnay El (Face of God)

Pnay El (Face of God)

The Place of Radical Encounter

Chapter:
(p.53) Pnay El (Face of God)
Source:
What Does a Jew Want?
Author(s):

Aloni Udi

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231157599.003.0008

In this chapter, the author reflects on the notion of the face of God and relates it to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. While preparing to release his recent book in Israel, the author received a Hebrew translation of Judith Butler's Precarious Life from his publisher. He also consulted different books and notes, including the Bible. Here he cites the concept of purim and how God “has hidden his face in his hiddenness,” as well as Butler's discussion of the face in Precarious Life face. Butler, he suggests, offers us a new way of thinking about the dehumanization that occurs in images found in contemporary media. He also recounts his midrash-panim (midrash about the face) in relation to Jacob and Esau, with emphasis on how the face of God becomes the place of radical encounter and a reminder of the way in which Israelis act toward Palestinian citizens of Israel.

Keywords:   face of God, Israeli–Palestinian conflict, Israel, Judith Butler, Precarious Life, Bible, purim, God, midrash-panim

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