Much of Martin Buber's work revolves around the principle that all life is encounter. Another Jewish philosopher, Emmanuel Lévinas, refines this interaction by stating that the meeting with any face implies a distinct responsibility.
In the field of documentary, many filmmakers aim to avoid the so-called "boring talking-heads" of interviews by resorting to the use of "cutaways."
For me the topic in question here warranted a different approach; I wanted neither to distract nor to entertain.
By refusing the technique of cutaways, and insisting on and exploring faces, I was hoping for a memorable face-to-face engagement.
Started more than fifteen years ago, this is the first installment for a large project originally called "Time To Be (Jews in Paradise)" which includes others like rabbis Arthur Green, Jonathan Omerman and Joseph Gelberman.
Its new working title is "Jews Talk."
PLEASE RESPECT THE COPYRIGHT CLAUSE. If you are interested in sharing this piece, please ask for permission by contacting Pier Marton through piermarton.info Thank you.
About Dr. Zornberg. This is her website: avivahzornberg.com
Dr. Zornberg was born in London and grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, where her father was a Rabbi and the head of the Rabbinical Court. She studied with him from childhood; he was her most important teacher of Torah. She holds a BA and PhD in English Literature from Cambridge University. After teaching English literature at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, she turned to teaching Torah. For the past twenty-five years, she has taught Torah in Jerusalem at Matan, Yakar, Pardes and the Jerusalem College for Adults. Dr. Zornberg also holds a Visiting Lectureship at the London School of Jewish Studies. She travels widely, lecturing in Jewish, academic and psychoanalytic settings.
Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg is the author of "The Murmuring Deep: Reflections on the Biblical Unconscious" - published by Schocken in March, 2009/paperback 2011 - "Genesis: The Beginning of Desire" (National Jewish Book Award) JPS 1995; paperback Schocken 2011, renamed "The Beginning of Desire: Reflections on Genesis" - "The Particulars of Rapture: Reflections on Exodus" Doubleday 2001/paperback Schocken 2011 - Her next book on the Book of Numbers will be published by Schocken in 2014.
Her publications also include:
‘Let me see that good land: The Story of a Human Life,’ in Answering a Question with a Question: Contemporary Psychoanalysis and Jewish Thought, edited by Lewis Aron and Libby Henik (Academic Studies Press, 2009), 236-264.
'Jonah: A Fantasy of Flight,' in Psychoanalytic Dialogues, Vol.18, No.3, May-June, 2008, 271-299
'Seduced into Eden: The Beginning of Desire,' in Longing: Psychoanalytic Musings on Desire, edited by Jean Petrucelli (Karnac, 2006), 193-225.
'Cries and Whispers: The Death of Sarah,' in Beginning Anew: A Woman's Companion to the High Holy Days, edited by Gail Twersky Reimer and Judith A.Kates (Touchstone, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1997), 174-200.
'The Concealed Alternative,' in Reading Ruth, edited by Gail Twersky Reimer and Judith A.Kates (Ballantine, 1994), 65-81.