Ono Academic College lecturer, Dr. Tzahi Cohen has recently published a book entitled “Stories of ‘Recite Your Verse to Me’”.

On 14.03.2021, Ono is celebrating the book’s publishing with an event featuring commentary by Prof. Tova Hartman, Prof. Rella Kushelevsky, Prof. Avigdor Shanan and Rabbi Daniel Cohen.

Cohen’s book deals with some stories that appear throughout the Babylonian Talmud about sages in crisis or deliberation, sometimes around their status as leaders and as public figures. In each of the stories, the protagonist hears from a baby, a young student, a verse or a verse fragment.  This is the source of the book’s title “Recite Your Verse to Me”.

The verse that the baby utters fits perfectly and miraculously in the eyes of the sage into the situation in which he is placed, and serves as a sign and signal for him to resolve his dilemma. The sage responds with a personal statement that clarifies how he understood the verse he heard as relevant to him and what his conclusion is from it.  

The main experience that the stories describe is detaching the verse from its context and repositioning it in a miraculous context in accordance with the circumstances in which it was told, while refreshing the reading of it. As for the sage who hears the verse from the mouth of the baby, the verse is said for his benefit. Now, out of the familiar context, the astonished listener can appreciate the marvelous adaptation of the verse, in the context of the current circumstances of his life. He can approach the verse without commitment and detached from conventions.  He can hear it as a personal sermon.

Dr. Tzachi Cohen is a lecturer in literature, Judaism and education at the Ono Academic College. His research deals with the literature of the Jewish Sages, innovative pedagogy, Hebrew literature, contemporary cinema and the connecting points between the worlds of culture and society. His book “To What is Cinema Similar” is about to be published soon.

For more information about the book inauguration event: https://yedion.ono.ac.il/yedion/FireflyWeb.aspx?prgname=PayingForItems&arguments=-N,-N,-N878,-N8074