"Tsoffar's current work focuses on mythological hunger and excessive feeding in the ideologically saturated language, texts, and bodies of Israeli culture. ""This talk explores a specific, and equally saturated, instance of contemporary violence by way of the figure of Ishmael in Hebrew narratives from the biblical, literary sources. My reading of the struggle between Sarah and Hagar (Genesis 16) attends to the manner in which the text approaches the question of the intimate other as a category of representation. I argue that the story of Ishmael and the possibilities inherent in it for new hierarchies, fulfillment of promises and the unfolding of the covenant are subverted, turning it primarily into a story of torture, crying and expulsion. I focus in particular on the expression, 'His hand is against/inside everyone, and everyone's hand is against/inside him,' (Gen. 16, 12). The hand, in contradistinction to language, here initiates a cultural trope of 'hand language', which speaks in the tradition through touch and contact and has the potential to invade, capture, and possess. I go on to consider a few examples of contemporary Hebrew authors who write about different degrees of invasion through hands onto the bodies of children. As a cultural metonym-an intertext-the hand delivers a long tradition of reading boundaries, contact and tolerance. Reading the fiction of David Shachar, Yehudit Katsir, Albert Swissa, and Efrat Danon raises a set of questions about the hand that 'feeds' and moves through violence in Israeli culture."""
Date Record Checked: 2012-06-19 13:09:45