- A Language in Search of Its Author: The Early Modern Beginnings of Modern Hebrew
- BOOK LAUNCH: Sport and British Jewry, 1890-1970
- Simon Wiesenthal Memorial Lecture - Perpetrators, Collaborators, Resisters, Bystanders: The Shoah in Greater Bulgaria, 1943
- We Are Here: Memories of the Lithuanian Holocaust
- Identity through Difference: Rabbinic Judaism and Christian Narrative
- Fighting a Specter in Times of War: Soviet Jewry and the Heroization of Bogdan Khmelnitsky
- Summer Conference 2013
- Summer Lecture
- Marc Michael Epstein Lecture
- Kenneth Sacks Lecture
- Institute of Jewish Studies Summer Concert
- An Extraordinary Archive: Emanuel Ringelblum and the Warsaw Ghetto
- Jewish Identity and Israeli Foreign Policy
- Sephardim, Holocaust and Diasporic Memory: the Jews from the Island of Rhodes
- Rescue during the Holocaust: Sources and Causes
- David to Nehemiah: new fragments from Kenyon’s Jerusalem
- Book Launch: Ruta's Closet
- The Amazing Adventures of a Hebrew Manuscript from Medieval England
- My Father the Good Nazi: Reflections on an Encounter
- First Films of the Holocaust: Soviet Cinema and the Genocide of the Jews, 1938-1946
- Ukrainians, Jews and Poles: The Ukrainian Triangle in Historical Perspective
- Bringing the Dark to Light – Memory of the Holocaust in Postcommunist Europe
- Blair, Labour and Palestine: Conflicting Views on Middle East Peace After 9/11
- Jews and the Making of the Modern Cultural Industry
- Vision 2020: Leading British Jewry into the Future
- Redcliffe Salaman, President of the Jewish Historical Society of England
- From Ambivalence to Betrayal: The Left, the Jews and Israel
- The Postwar Quest for Justice: Jewish Honor Courts in Poland and in the Displaced Persons’ Camps
- What's Jewish About Jewish Folklore?
- Can Judaism restore the ‘Human’ to Human Rights?
- Christóbal Méndez alias Abraham Franco Silveyra: The Puzzling Saga of a 17th Century Converso
- Jewish Women Writers in Victorian England
- Defining Jewish Medicine
- The Ambiguity of Virtue: Gertrude van Tijn and the Fate of the Dutch Jews
- How Jesus celebrated Passover –Early Modern Views of the Last Supper
- "...And Thereafter: the impact of World War One on the Jews and their Europe"
- Empires, Nationalisms and the First World War
- Hunt for the Jews: the Case of Occupied Poland, 1942-1945
- The Man who never threw anything away: Moses Gaster and his World
- Jewish and Christian Tombstones from ancient Zoara/Zoora
- Royal Jews: Jewish Life in Berkshire from the Readmission Till Today
- The Jews in Congress Poland: At The Dynamic Centre of Political, Economic and Cultural Change
- What Exactly was the Goal of the Nazi anti-Jewish Enterprise?
- From Elephantine to Jerusalem and Back
- Maimonides and Contemporary Tort Theory: Law, Religion, Economics and Morality
- The Grammar of the Eastern European Hasidic Hebrew Tale
- Do Jews Believe in Saints? A Medieval Rabbi and his Posthumous Travels
- Jewish Women and Books in Medieval and Renaissance Italy
- Ephemeral Metropolis? The History of Jewish Warsaw
- Depicting Jewish Thought
- The European Jewish Experience of Migration: Early Modern and Modern Perspectives
- Archaeologists, Collectors, and Museums: Redressing the Ethical Divide in the face of Modern Conflict
- "In the footsteps of King Billy": The Origins of the Jewish Community in Dublin in the Context of Irish History
- The Rediscovery of Josephus and Modern Jewish Identity
- Zodiac Calendars and Angels in the Dead Sea Scrolls
- Moses’ Jewish Problem
- The Biblical Ishmael as seen by Medieval and Modern Jews
- PIANO CONCERT
- Jewish Writing in Poland
- The Popes and the Jews in 16th Italy: a convoluted encounter
- Brothers-in-arms with Nazi Germans: Jews in Finland during World War II
- The future of the past: Reflecting on Jewish history under the signs of shadow and hope
- Jewish Languages
- Domesticating Techniques in the First Hebrew Shakespeare Translations
- The Epistle of the Number by Ibn al-Ahdab. The Transmission of Arabic mathematics to Hebrew circles in Medieval Sicily
- Theodor Herzl: From Jewish Politics to Geo-Politics
- The Zohar: Reception and Impact
- Wandering Jews in England’s Green and Pleasant Land
- A New Approach to Mapping Jewish History
- Persuasion or Coercion? Approaches to the Law in early Jewish and Christian thought
- Digitalising Hebrew Manuscripts
- “An Even More Unexpected Find” – the Synagogue of Dura-Europos and its Place in Local Society
- Naphtali Franks FRS (1715-1796) – Musician, Synagogue Warden and Communal Eminence
- Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism and the Left in Britain
- Writing Jewish History in Eastern Europe
Can Judaism restore the ‘Human’ to Human Rights?
Publication date: Mar 25, 2014 03:46 PM
Start: Mar 26, 2014 07:15 PM
Devorah Wainer, The University of Sydney
Wednesday March 26th
Devorah Wainer has had vast experience with asylum-seeking refugees and will offer insights from 'Torah', Jewish philosophers and 'Midrash' for stimulating thinking about the vexed topic of refugees.
As the global discourse concerning the treatment of people who seek asylum continues to be framed by politics and legal conventions, it seems that the ‘human’ in the concept ‘human rights’ is increasingly being lost. Terms such as displaced people, refugees, asylum-seekers, economic or climate refugee belong to international conventions and law, and mean nothing to the person fleeing from persecution, torture and death. They are ordinary people seeking life—the most primal instinct of all living beings—who, mostly, have become objects of derision and are unwanted. There is a huge divide between ethics and law and people are being lost in the abyss.
When researching the passage of refugees through the borderlands desert of Mexico and Arizona, USA, Devorah Wainer was struck by the profoundly ordinary, and individual, human aspects of those fleeing their homelands. Likewise after visiting and advocating for asylum-seekers in Australian detention centres she was deeply disturbed by the demise of ordinary people, including children, during their incarceration. She witnessed people being effectively de-humanised.
In this lecture she will briefly describe a few scenarios from these experiences. She will then deconstruct some terms and concepts from the 'Torah' explaining why mere translation from Hebrew to English is inadequate to develop the meaning and practical implications for us today. The thoughts of Jewish philosophers and scholars are woven throughout this lecture as Devorah re-inserts the 'neshama' (soul) to people who are mostly unknown, unseen and unheard.
Dr Devorah Wainer is an Honorary Associate in the School of Social And Political Sciences at the University of Sydney in Australia.
She was born in South Africa during the apartheid regime. Grappling with the ethical nature of the serious issues confronting her, she concluded that ‘the unexamined life is not worth living’ and participated in peace-making initiatives for dismantling that regime.
In Australia Dr Wainer again acted, gaining release for those who had been detained for 3 – 5 years.
Her doctoral thesis, 'Beyond the Wire: Levinas vis-à-vis Villawood' is a study of Emmanuel Levinas’ philosophy as an ethical foundation for asylum seeker policy, and develops a new qualitative research methodology—'Midrash Methodology'.
Devorah Wainer lectures on Refugee Studies, Levinas's philosophy and 'Midrash' methodology.
Lecture 7.15pm Pearson lecture theatre, G22 Pearson building (NE entrance)
BOOK ONLINE NOW TO RESERVE YOUR PLACE
For more events, see our Lectures Programme for Spring 2014.
Page last modified on 25 mar 14 15:36