08 February 2010

Los Angeles: The Jewish Body, Feb. 15

Emory University professor anthropology Melvin Konner will explore traditional Jewish and non-Jewish views about the Jewish body at the next meeting of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Los Angeles, on Monday, February 15.

The free event begins at 7.30pm, at Sha'arei Am -The Santa Monica Synagogue, 1448 18th St., Santa Monica.

The Jewish Body: An Anthropological/Genealogical View" will explore such issues as circumcision, menstruation and other religious issues, Jewish strength and weakness, anti-Semitic ideas about Jewish physique and diseases, the revival of the body in Zionism, cosmetic surgery and the myths and realities about Jewish genes.

Konner will trace the historical trajectory from strength (the great warriors of ancient times) to weakness (the deliberate submission of the Diaspora), back to strength (the "muscle-Jews" of Europe, the people's army of modern Israel). While the Jews invented Hollywood, they held up to the world an Aryan ideal of beauty.

His new book "The Jewish Body" examines the "body Judaic" through the prism of Jewish culture and provides an anatomical history of the Jewish people with insights into how our ancestors viewed their bodies and themselves in the scope of Jewish history.

There will be a book sale and signing.

Konner (PhD, MD) is the author of nine books and is the Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Anthropology at Atlanta's Emory University.

For more information, see the JGSLA site.

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