Four lectures: On love and its different forms

Daniela Charbit | 27.07.2021 | Photo: Unsplash

אהבה ואי-אהבה

Love. It is celebrated in literature and art, and sought after in the Song of Songs. It has always been a complicated subject, full of contradictions. Love is beautiful and comforting, painful and troubling, healing and redeeming. Among the numerous events held at the VLJI, available as video lectures on our website, here are four lectures about love and its absence, sexuality and everything in between.


The end of love: A sociology of negative relations

Western culture does not cease to discuss the ways in which love bursts into our lives, but says almost nothing about the mysterious moment in which we refrain from falling in love or stop loving.
Dr. Amalia Rosenblum and Prof. Galili Shahar talk with Prof. Eva Illouz about her book The End of Love, in which she examines the range of ways in which romantic relationships come to an end. She talks about the connection between personal freedom and choice, or lack of choice, of romantic and sexual partners, and how it relates to the culture of late capitalism.


Love between men in the Middle East: Exploring Ottoman literature

Was the discussion of sexuality in Europe and the Middle East any less common and accepting in past times compared to the last century? Actually, no. Historian Dr. Avner Wishnitzer shatters the misconception of conservative ancient society, in conversation with Dr. Tsameret Levy-Daphny, in a series of lectures about gender and sexuality in the Middle East, through a deep reading of literature, poetry, shadow theater and sketches from the Ottoman Empire.


On the absence of love and grace: Reading in Natalia Ginzburg’s “Voices in the Evening”

Natalia Ginzburg’s novel Voices in the Evening describes a fragile love story between the narrator and one of the characters. They are surrounded by human relationships between parents and children, between siblings, in-laws, friends and spouses. As part of the conference “The 100th anniversary of the birth of Natalia Ginzburg,” Dr. Dana Freibach-Heifetz shows how the love is surrounded by the absence of love between the characters surrounding the narrator, and explains how each relationship presents a different defect of love. Freibach-Heifetz presents the opposite of the absence of love: a human and unique love, which she calls “secular grace” (a philosophical concept she developed in her book of that title).


A journey to Mount Moriah: Between love and faith, Parashat Vayera

If I choose to give up the thing I desire the most, how much do I really love it? Is it enough to remember love, or must we live with it? As part of the series “Opening the Week: Man and the meaning of life,” Dr. Haim Shapira speaks about the paradox of endless renunciation: letting go of that which you cannot let go - eternal love, and what that has to do with philosophy and parashat Vayera.


Personal freedom, grace, faith and renunciation – all are part of the complex of love. But how does pain turn into love? How does it express our love of God? A lecture by Dr. Roni Naor, one of the winners of this year's Father Prof. Marcel-Jacques Dubois award, will discuss the connection between the two. The lecture will be delivered at the award ceremony on August 29, 2021.

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