A Journey from Paris to New York by Way of Jerusalem
For more than four decades, Bernard-Henri Lévy has been one of the great moral voices of our time. Now Europe’s foremost philosopher and activist confronts his spiritual roots and the religion that has always inspired and shaped him—but that he has never fully reckoned with.
Join us on Thursday, January 12, at 7pm as he discusses, The Genius of Judaism, his most passionate book, and in many ways his most personal, with author and New Yorker journalist Adam Gopnick.
The Genius of Judaism offers a new vision of what it means to be a Jew. It is rooted in the Talmudic traditions of argument and conflict. At the very heart of the matter is an obligation to the other, to the dispossessed, and to the forgotten, an obligation that, as Lévy vividly recounts, he has sought to embody over decades of championing “lost causes,” from Bosnia to Africa’s forgotten wars, from Libya to the Kurdish Peshmerga’s desperate fight against the Islamic State. Lévy offers a critique of a new and stealthy form of anti-Semitism on the rise as well as a provocative defense of Israel. He reveals the overlooked Jewish roots of Western democratic ideals and confronts the current Islamist threat while intellectually dismantling it. Jews are not a “chosen people,” Lévy explains, but a “treasure” whose spirit must continue to inform moral thinking and courage today.
The Genius of Judaism is a profound, hypnotic intellectual reckoning.
In English. Free and open to the public. No RSVP necessary.
Bernard-Henri Lévy is a philosopher, journalist, activist, and filmmaker. Among his dozens of books are American Vertigo, Barbarism with a Human Face, and Who Killed Daniel Pearl? His writing has appeared in a wide range of publications throughout Europe and the United States. His films include the documentaries Bosna! and A Day in the Death of Sarajevo. Lévy is co-founder of the antiracist group SOS Racisme and has served on diplomatic missions for the French government.
Adam Gopnik, a New Yorker staff writer since 1986, is the author of eight books including Paris to the Moon, Through the Children’s Gate and, most recently, The Table Comes First: Family, France and the Meaning of Food. He has won three National Magazine Awards for Essay and Criticism, and a George Polk Award for Magazine Reporting.