In Case You Missed It: BHL Talks About the Failure of European Liberals at the LitFest

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From Saturday Night

A nice moment between Bernard-Henri Lévy and Tamara Handelsman, the Founding Chairperson of the Hyman S. & Freda Bernstein Jewish Literary Festival. BHL delivered the Gerald L. Bernstein Memorial Lecture on Saturday night at the Maison Française.

Shabbat Surfing–Lit Fest Half-Time Show

Big weekend coming up. Bernard-Henri Lévy is sold out, but Elisa Albert (The Book of Dahlia) and Darin Strauss (Best-selling author of Chang & Eng) both have tickets available on Sunday. Mention the blog and you’re entitled to 2-for-1 tickets for both readings.

It’s been a busy week, and there are many busy days ahead. The following is a PSA: 

In this election season it is important to remember that the Washington DCJCC does not support or oppose candidates for elected public office. Opinions expressed at all programs of the Washington DCJCC belong solely to those expressing them. The Washington DCJCC is committed to presenting a wide selection of programs that present multiple viewpoints and encourage you to visit our website washingtondcjcc.org for information on several events relating to this year’s election.

Now for something that is simultaneously religiously irreverent and reverent. From the good folks at myJewishLearning.com:

Ask BHL a Question

The Gerald L. Bernstein Memorial Lecture featuring Bernard-Henri Lévy may be sold out, but that doesn’t mean you’re necessarily shut out. BHL has agreed to answer to answer some questions submitted electronically via our website. We’ll record his answers and post them here after the event. Click here to submit your question.

Bernard-Henri Lévy at the French Embassy is Sold Out

Don’t get left out of these other excellent non-fiction talks and readings at the Hyman S. & Freda Bernstein Jewish Literary Festival:

  • Tuesday, September 16–Edgar Bronfman with Wayne Firestone talk about Hope, Not Fear: A Path to Jewish Renaissance (Birthright Alumni get in free!)
  • Friday, September 19–Jacques Berlinerblau discusses Thumpin’ It: The Use and Abuse of the Bible in Today’s Presidential Politics
  • Tuesday, September 23–Ariel Sabar discusses My Father’s Paradise: A Son’s Search for His Jewish Past in Kurdish Iraq
  • Wednesday, September 24–Masha Gessen discusses Blood Matters: From Inherited Illness to Designer Babies, How the World and I Found Ourselves in the Future of the Gene
  • Wednesday, September 24–Stephen Joel Trachtenberg talks about Big Man on Campus with Francine Zorn Trachtenberg

Bernard-Henri Lévy coming to DC via Tblisi and Gori

UPDATED: This event has sold-out, but you can submit a question for BHL and have it answered online.

This year’s Gerald L. Bernstein Memorial Lecture will be delivered Saturday, September 20 by Bernard-Henri Lévy at La Maison Française at the Embassy of France. His new book, Left in Dark Times: A Stand Against the New Barbarism, “scrutinizes the totalitarianisms of the past as well as those on the horizon, and argues powerfully for a new political and moral vision for our times.”

Although BHL (as he is known in France) came to greater American attention only in 2003 for his investigative book, Who Killed Daniel Pearl?, he has for decades been a leading philosopher/journalist in France who cut his teeth covering the 1971 Bangladeshi War of Independence from Pakistan. So perhaps it is not surprising that he was recently in Georgia to observe the situation on the ground in Tblisi and Gori which he recounts in the Huffington Post:

As we approach Gori, the situation is different, the tension is suddenly palpable. Georgian jeeps are sprawled in the ditches on the sides of the road. Farther along is a burnt-out tank. Even farther along is a more important check point which completely blocks the group of journalists we have joined. And it is here that we are clearly told that we are no longer welcome, “You are in Russian territory now,” barks an officer puffed up with importance. “Only those with Russian accreditation may go farther.”

The post ranges from the war-torn streets of Gori and Kaspi to the inner-sanctum of besieged Georgian President Saakashvili to a suprising admission from a Russian General regarding Israel’s support for the Georgian army, “We summoned the Israeli Foreign Minister to Moscow. And he was told that if he continues to supply arms to the Georgians we would continue to supply Hezbollah and Hamas.” BHL concludes his essay with a moral charge sure to resonate with the themes of his talk on September 20, “Either we are capable of raising our voice and saying STOP to Putin in Georgia. Or the man who went, in his own words, “down into the toilets” to kill the civilians in Chechnya will feel he has the right to do the same thing to any one of his neighbors. Is this how we will build Europe, peace and the world of tomorrow?”

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