Signs, Symbols and Songs
“With signs and wonders…”
D’varim 26:8

From the very beginning of the Jewish story, signs, symbols and songs have played an integral part of how we identify ourselves and how we present ourselves to the outside world.

G-d places a rainbow in the heavens, Cain bears an eternal mark, the Tallit bears a sky-blue thread, the Jews sing a song at the sea, Miriam leads a dance, boys bear the sign of the covenant of circumcision, we celebrate the Shabbat, Hassidim dance in infinite loops, Theodor Herzl sketches a flag in his notebook, Jews dance circles in the streets of Tel Aviv after the announcement of the state singing of hope (tikvah), Naomi Shemer hums of a Jerusalem of gold – these are the road-signs of Jewish life.

Join Batya Bricker and the Academy, in partnership with the SAZF as we explore the power of symbols to communicate, considering examples from all over the world and in different areas of life - religion, nationhood, society, universal language and more; as we delve into religious, cultural, linguistic and lyrical symbols through the ages.

The three sessions will deal with the following areas:

Session 1: In this session we investigate general symbology and Jewish precedents (both symbols we have chosen for ourselves and those externally imposed), the creation of the Jewish flag, blue and white and the Magen David along with its alternatives.

Session 2 will delve into linguistic symbols from Eliezer Ben Yehudah’s resurrection of spoken Hebrew to Achad Ha’Am and Bialik in modern Israel.

Session 3 will uncover the lyrical symbols from Hatikvah (and its alternatives) to Natan Alterman; from Naomi Shemer’s Yerushalayim Shel Zahav to Meir Ariel’s Yerushalayim Shel Barzel.

Because these signs are sealed in our flesh, our soul and our aspirations.

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The Academy is a vibrant, modern-orthodox program for Jewish thought, scholarship and education and that inspires our community with a lifelong love of Jewish learning. About us…

In association with Mizrachi South Africa and the London School of Jewish Studies (President: Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, Dean: Rabbi Dr Raphael Zarum, Honorary President: Emeritus Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks)