Author Nathan Szajnberg will host a deeply informative talk about his work with three classic father-son relationships that are seen throughout history as told by classic texts. He examines their dynamics and underpinnings, before going on to examine their points of failure. He then follows with a fourth example, regarding the relationship between Jacob and Joseph, and how it illustrates an architecture for a sustainable future. Mr. Szajnberg highlights the places where this father-son relationship endures where others fail. This talk is substantiated with a huge amount of research and nuanced investigation that has culminated in a wonderfully comprehensive book that is sure to leave the reader with an expanded world view.
About the book
Jacob and Joseph, Judaism's Architects and Birth of the Ego Ideal is about a father and son story—Jacob and Joseph—that is radically different and healthier than the three major father-son myths in Western literature: the Abraham/Isaac (Akeda); the Laius/Oedipus (parricide) and the God/Christ (filicide) stories.
The book demonstrates that the Jacob and Joseph relationship provided the familial infrastructure for an enduring architecture for Judaism. It also discovers the first description of a psychic structure—the Ego Ideal—found in Joseph, that explains both his success as a man and provides the fundamental ingredient for Jewish endurance. We will follow the story with careful attention to the poetry of the text and the liveliness of the characters' interactions including Joseph's breaking into tears six times, the first overt tears shed by a Biblical forefather (or mother).
Nathan Moses Szajnberg, MD, was born in a German DP camp and grew up in upstate New York. He studied at the University of Chicago College and Medical School, then in residencies in pediatrics, general psychiatry and child/adolescent psychiatry. He studied with Bruno Bettelheim and Saul Bellow among others. He's received two NIMH awards (adolescence and infancy) and was the Ticho lecturer in 2012.
Nathan was the Sigmund Freud Professor of Psychoanalysis at the Hebrew University and Wallerstein Research Fellow in Psychoanalysis (2005–16) during which he began writing this study of father-son relationships. This is his sixth book. He lives in Palo Alto with his wife, Yikun and three sons, Natti, Didi and Uri.
Books will be available for sale at the event for $42. Retail value is $100.
Part of the Taube Center for Jewish Peoplehood
Thursday, March 7
Freidenrich Conference Center, Room F-401
$42 Ticket and book bundle | $18 General Public (ticket only) | $15 Members and J-Pass holders (ticket only) | $5 Students with ID (ticket only)
Contact: Ilanit Gal | (650) 223-8649 | [email protected]