The Truth About Erotic Dreams

There are dreams that disturb us, others that almost make us regret waking up. We fall, we fly away, we kiss a star, we see a deceased loved one, a snake or a spider appears …

Sometimes you wonder what this weird dream we just made means!

Dream interpretation experts can say a lot about the person who had the dreams, and shrinks have taken a close interest in deciphering certain symbols. Nightmare, erotic dream, or delirious dream, what should we see in it?

How to analyze this bizarre dream that comes up all the time? What does it reveal about your deepest desires?

If you had a daring dream, that does not mean that you have become obsessed with sex, of course not! Learn how to decipher an erotic dream.

I had an erotic dream, is it serious doctor?

From simple romances to the hottest scenarios, many of us have erotic dreams, dreams of sex, dreams of love … but few admit their existence.

And yet, they say a lot about us and especially about our sexuality! Immerse yourself in these dreamlike thoughts full of meaning and discover the meaning of erotic dreams.

Dreams of sex or love in the early morning

Sleep is broken down into cycles of approximately 90 minutes, each comprising a phase of slow and paradoxical sleep. It is during the last part that dreams appear. Erotic reveries are an integral part of our intimacy, from an early age and especially during adolescence.

Puberty, conducive to the naughty dreams, is also closely related to the first emotional turmoil … It is then a learning of sexuality that will be perpetuated throughout adulthood.

Where do these erotic dreams come from?

As for the origin of erotic dreams, psychoanalysts are formal: erotic dreams do not happen by chance and are the fruit of desires experienced during the day.

For example, if a man had an effect on you during the day, you may dream of scorching hugs with him during your sleep.

What are these erotic dreams for?

Making love in a dream shows that the dreamer’s imagination is stimulated or, as Freud postulated, that she is able to form a desired scenario or even satisfy unconscious impulses.

A true object of liberation, the erotic dream therefore allows the individual to fulfill sexual needs that have escaped and thus, to thrive better in daily life.

Far from moral pressures, the dreamer can then deploy her libidinal energy and express all her sexual desires, even the most eccentric. Do you dream of being a man-eater when you make a point of staying true to reality?

Or do you have sex with your colleague on the photocopier when the latter intimidates you greatly? Never mind, in dreams, taboos, restraint and other blockages have no place!

Better yet, dreams of sex and love allow you to detect certain blockages, even to release them.

Thus, a young woman who is a little frigid but who nevertheless dreams incessantly of sexual relations with multiple orgasms could thus realize her discomfort and decide to consult a specialist to come to the end of her problem.

Should we be afraid of them?

Certainly not!

These dreams are not the sign of disorders but on the contrary of a good mental health. Your dreams, if they are the expression of repressed carnal or sexual desires for which you are not responsible, should in no way be confused with reality.

So there is no need to feel guilty and imagine that you are suffering from some form of perversity.

How to interpret erotic dreams?

It can be good, even beneficial, to question the meaning of erotic dreams in order to improve daily life, especially love life and sexuality.

First, psychoanalysts consider that the erotic dream takes two forms: that which involves a sexual act with penetration, which can then mean a lack in reality, with a libido which is not fully fulfilled; and the one that remains carnal (kisses, caresses), simply signifying general well-being.

For women as for men, certain universal symbols are imposed on us.

In the case of romantic encounters, the scenarios are quite similar from one person to another. Then there is the experience of each, their situation as a couple and their relationship to society more generally.

So it’s these additional details that allow for accurate interpretation and can make all the difference. Other symbols are universal, like fire, earth, water, day, night, trains …

On the analytical side, dreams involving a romantic encounter do not reflect the style of the person with whom the dreamer would like to materialize, but rather a hidden side of herself.

Thus, a person who dreams of his new boss with an assertive character and an eventful existence does not necessarily refer to a desire towards him, but to what he would like to be and to his life, which seems to him perhaps too boring to his taste.

What Happens When We Sleep

Sleep is an extraordinary piece of machinery that researchers are just starting to understand.

If neuroscientists begin to reveal the secrets of our nights, they are still far from having unraveled all of dreams’ mysteries. Because the mechanics that punctuate our nocturnal rest are really complex.

Our sleep consists of several cycles of ninety minutes on average. If we do not go to sleep at the first signs of fatigue (yawning, heavy eyelids), we miss the first cycle and will have to wait for the next.

Like a traveler who stays on the platform until the next train. Each cycle is divided into several stages (light, deep, REM sleep) which have specific functions.

Slow light sleep: the most fragile

Ah! This delicious moment when we fall asleep.!

For a few minutes already, our thoughts have been appeased. Throughout the day, our brain activity gradually released molecules such as serotonin and adenosine that cause sleep. After a while, their accumulation makes us fall into the arms of Morpheus.

At the same time, the decrease in brightness signals to our internal clock, located in the hypothalamus, that it is time to go to bed. This signal lowers our internal temperature and triggers the secretion of melatonin. This hormone which will be produced throughout the night makes us want to sleep in an irrepressible way.

But beware! At this point, the slightest external stimulus – a slamming door or a ray of light – can still wake us up easily. If nothing disturbs us, our brain activity progressively decreases and our muscles relax. Breathing becomes calmer.

In a few minutes, we reach stage 1: it’s official, we sleep. Ten minutes later, we slip into stage 2, during which sleep is less light even if it remains fragile. The electrical waves emitted by the brain are a little slower still. The level of cortisol – the stress hormone – decreases. Heart rate and blood pressure drop. This phase accounts for about 50% of all night’s sleep.

Slow deep sleep: crucial for memory

When we reach stage 3, we are in deep sleep.

So much so that a person awakened during this phase remains completely dazed during the first seconds. This period lasts between ten and twenty minutes per cycle. Heart pressure and muscle activity are at their lowest level.

This is when we rest the most.

Our brain is also idling and yet … This is a key time for memorization. The connections between neurons multiply in order to fix in memory knowledge and memories.

It is also during this phase that the secretion of growth hormone reaches its climax. Deep sleep accounts for 20-25% of total sleep time, and is mainly concentrated during the first part of the night.

Paradoxical sleep: the time of dreams

Under our closed eyelids, our eyes move in all directions, while the rest of our body is inert, as if paralyzed. This is why it is called REM, which stands for Rapid Eye Movements.

Conversely, the respiratory rate and the pulse increase.

An electroencephalogram would reveal that our brain activity is at its peak. As intensely, if not more, than during awakening. And yet … we are sleeping!

According to scientists, memorization of motor skills (learning to ride a bike for example) would take place mainly during this stage. Some studies also show that it stimulates creativity.

So if you have a dream of wild horses full of amazing adventures, this could be happening during REM sleep.

If dreams can occur throughout the cycle, it is during REM sleep that they are the longest and most complex, without anyone really knowing why.

Shorter at the start of the night, this phase gradually lengthens over cycles and occupies between 20 and 25% of our sleep time.

Sweet wake up

REM sleep is followed by micro-awakenings of which we are rarely aware.

Scientists think that these, in the middle of the night, may help us to ensure that “everything is fine” by increasing our vigilance. At the end of the last cycle, when the day begins to break, the light acts like a bugle in our brain even when we have our eyes closed, and warns our biological clock that it is time to press the switch ” awakening ”.

After a good night’s sleep, the concentration of adenosine and melatonin, the molecules of sleep, is at its lowest. While that of cortisol goes up. These two signals promote our awakening, now imminent. It’s off for a new day.

SEO, Definition and Benefits for Online Businesses

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s the process wherein it affects the visibility of a website or web pages in different search engines. 

SEO is a method of acquiring traffic from free, organic, editorial or natural search results from major search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Search results display content, videos or local listings based on its relevancy to the users. One thing to be noted is it does not involve any payment at all.

SEO evaluates how search engines work, what do people search for, the actual keywords people use when searching, and the preferred search engine of the target market. SEO involves customizing the content, HTML, and other associated website design to boost its relevance to a certain set of keywords and to remove hindrances to the indexing activities of search engines.

SEO Advantages for Every Business

On this day and age every business aims to rank on Google and join other companies that use the Internet as their medium for advertising their business. It has become a need for businesses to invest in SEO especially now that people are using their PCs, tablets, and mobile phones for searching and buying their needs and wants.

SEO is a modernized marketing strategy that helps businesses build brand awareness online. A strong online presence aids in building trust in search engine and among potential customers. Below are the major benefits of using a SEO strategy in your business:

Brings more clients, making customers stay

This is one of the main reasons why businesses today get SEO services. Having an SEO-optimized website helps in bringing more clients, doubling the number as fast as it can as compared to those that don’t apply this digital marketing strategy.

Perhaps, SEO is the most affordable and efficient marketing strategy today especially when almost all businesses are clamoring their way online. SEO can help you make your website more visible to those actively looking for your service or product.

Builds credibility and trust

With SEO strategies, SEO helps establishing a solid foundation for your website with faster navigation and effective user experience. It aids in making your website discoverable in the major search engines like Google. Aside from the effective user experience, building credibility in the search engines involves several factors and they are:

  • Positive user behavior
  • High quality backlink profiles
  • Optimized on-page site and content

But keep in mind that establishing trust and credibility is not a process you can achieve overnight. It takes time, effort, and commitment. Moreover, your brand or website should provide valuable and quality product/services so that customers can start putting their trust in you.

Provides continuous Flow of free high quality traffic

According to official sources, Google received over 2.2 trillion searches for the whole year of 2013. With SEO, your website can tap the most popular and most used search engine, Google. You can get a continuous flow of targeted and free traffic. Free traffic mostly comes from SEO strategies involving link building, lead generation, and content generation.

Offers a long-term marketing strategy

The changes the SEO brings to your online business will be noticeable and quantifiable. The changes can be seen within the first year of executing the SEO strategies.

It also guarantees long-lasting results that extend beyond quick and temporary boosts in search engine rankings. Digital marketing evolves just like the traditional one, so it’s recommended to follow trends and changes. Implementing the required changes will improve from basic SEO to best practices, enhancing the user experience for potential customers.

Helps to achieve better conversion rates

If your website is SEO-optimized, it will load faster and visitors will be able to surf quickly. The website will load properly in almost all type of devices including smartphones and tablets.

The websites that are optimized properly are easy to read and the quick navigation always grabs and holds the attention of visitors. If they stay longer on your SEO-optimized website, it is likely that they can become your loyal subscribers, customers, or returning visitors.

Spring is the real season of new beginnings


“Spring is the time of plans and projects.”
~Leo Tolstoy in Anna Karenina

Did you know March used to be the beginning of the year? It was, until 1752, when we transitioned from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar. Maybe our ancestors were on to something; it seems odd to begin our year in the dead of winter, the darkest season. We haven’t even put away the holiday garland when we’re expected to lay out our intentions for the new year on Jan. 1.

Wouldn’t you like more time to think through ideas and plans for the coming months? To more carefully consider the possibilities? Besides, sages have always told us to make no decisions “in the low times” and that seems like good advice. It seems that Spring is the real season of new beginnings. March comes at the waning end of winter and –if we were honest—it is the month we actually begin preparing for the year to come. Until then? We’re mostly in a holding pattern.

Daylight savings time means more light in the evening and an overall lifting of spirits. Now that we’re no longer hunkered down in the dark of winter, our days can wind down later, giving us more time to be with our families and friends—and the motivation to be more productive. Although a few last storms may hit, the certainty that warm weather is coming sustains us. Rebirth is around the corner, when fertile soil and April showers will bring a burst of beautiful, delicate-edged blooms in all colors of the rainbow.

And in our personal lives, we have an opportunity for the fresh start spring can bring on its official start day: the 21st of March. So here is the plan: wipe the slate clean every March 1. That’s when you’ll do the planning for the year. You will start thinking about your ideas for the new year on January 1, but you are not going to be in such a big hurry to set your intentions in stone. No, you’ll be planting your seeds in March, from here on out, hoping that the softer soil of spring will mean bigger and better blooms.

That’s why people go to Florida when they retire, their days of fresh starts and seed planting have come to an end, no Spring at all, just Summer, Summer, Summer and Summer to enjoy the fruits of all that seed planting. Spring is of course a good time for doing a Spring cleaning. Such a job could be bog or small depending how much junk and waste materials you want to discard. Some home owners even rent a Spring cleaning dumpster so they can remove a large qunatity of litter all at once.

This is a great idea to restart our year any time it works best for us. For people living in the desert southwest their new year is well on it’s way before most, but for others that isn’t always true. We planted our seeds last fall and our garden is actually on its last legs. It all depends on where you live. Of course we do love daylight savings so that is a consideration. But we can all start or restart whenever we want, right?

Even though people living in Los Angeles where it’s pretty much been spring or summer most of the time, (they only down to the 40’s a a couple times a year) we love the idea of beginning things in Spring. It’s our favorite time of year.

Lean Belly Breakthrough Review

Lean Body Breakthrough is a weight loss program created by Bruce Krahn, who is both an author of bestselling body transformation programs and a personal trainer. Lean Body Breakthrough reveals a proven way to lose not less than one pound if belly fat every day with the aid of certain herbs, spices, foods, and 5 simple body movements.

A Brief History of the Lean Body Breakthrough Program

Lean Body Breakthrough was created specifically targeting health-conscious women and men aged 50 and above. It shares a unique formula by Dr. Heinrick for getting rid of belly fat and associated health issues such as depression, low libido, and heart disease without involving drugs, restrictive diets, risky diets, and tasteless foods. Lean Body Breakthrough targets internal irritation, which is what causes stubborn belly fat.

Dr. Heinrick used a unique 2-minute ritual on Dan, who is Bruce’s father-in-law that suffered a heart attack while on an airplane. According to Bruce, Dan was able to lose 9 pounds of belly fat in just 3 days and 30 pounds in 30 days.

What Does the Program Cover?

If you want to understand what Lean Belly Breakthrough has to offer better, here are some of the topics the program covers:

– A list of foods capable of triggering a heart attack any time

– A list of foods that can dissolve a pound of belly fat each day if eaten in the right way

– Important information pertaining to signs that you are at high risk for suffering a heart attack

– Tracking sheets to help you monitor health progress while you shed off excess weight

– Potent spices, herbs, and food nutrients that have an effect on hormones responsible for fat storage

– A practice that can help you get rid of excess fat from other parts of the body along with minerals, herbs, and foods you can use for the same

This list of topics is not exhaustive but it shows the main things that Bruce teaches in the program. If you wish to learn more about the program, visit the official page.

The Good

Experienced and Knowledgeable Fitness Specialist

Bruce has more than 15 years of experience as a fitness consultant and has worked with celebrities including Nelly Furtado and Tom Cochrane. Bruce understands what works and what does not and his program offers scientifically proven workout strategies and meal plans to help you lose unwanted fat, enhance your flexibility, and develop lean muscle.

Designed Specifically for Older Persons

The vast majority of fitness programs in the market are geared mostly towards younger persons. The workouts are often too intense and meal plans are not suitable to older age groups. The Lean Belly Breakthrough offers meals and exercises geared specifically to the needs of people in this age group.

Tackles the Root Cause of Belly Fat

Fitness and nutrition programs sometimes work for some people, but often bring temporary results. The reason for this is that they have not addressed the root cause of the problem. The Lean Belly Breakthrough is a completely different program that teaches techniques designed to provide long-term results.

It is Easy to Follow

The Lean Belly Breakthrough doesn’t require you to follow unreasonable demands. When you are following the program, you never have to starve yourself, count calories, exercise too hard, take risky supplements, or undergo surgery. Everything is doable, simple, and backed by clear, detailed explanations.

It Improves Your Quality of Life

The greatest benefit the Lean Belly Breakthrough provides is a second lease of life. It can help you reverse or avoid the harmful effects of belly fat, so that you can become healthier, feel stronger, and achieve your life goals.

60-Day Money-Back Guarantee

The Lean Belly Breakthrough is an effective and legit weight loss program, but if you don’t find this to be the case, you can always ask for a full refund within 60 days.

The Bad

It Does Not Replace Medical Intervention

The Lean Belly Breakthrough does seem to work as promised but it is wise to work closely with your doctor when using it, especially if you have a serious health condition.

Discipline and Consistency

It is never easy to stick to a weight loss program, so always remember before you buy the Lean Belly Breakthrough program that if you lack discipline you will be unable to lose weight and keep it off for good.

A Digital Program

If you don’t love eBooks or live in an area with a poor or no Internet connection, you will not like that the Lean Belly Breakthrough is only available in digital format.

The Bottom Line

The Lean Belly Breakthrough program is an amazing program for older persons that have trouble getting rid of belly fat and are suffering from various diseases due to it. It is not a magical system that works overnight, but if you want to lose fat quickly and in a natural way, the Lean Belly Breakthrough is highly recommended.

Forbidden Ideas


The words in its title are forbidden. That appears to be the central lesson of the field notes from the June, 2009 conference on models of statehood for Israel/Palestine. The second and third parts of this monograph deal with the mechanisms engaged to enforce the proscription around the one state topic; this part deals with its forbidden history and content.

When the call for papers for our conference came out in the fall of 2008, it was immediately met by one of my colleagues at Osgoode Hall Law School who noted, in a letter of complaint to the Dean, that “politically the ‘one-state solution’ has become a code word disguising a call for the destruction of Israel.” By way of explanation for why he thought Osgoode should not sponsor a conference that to his mind, would only bring controversy and dissension, he rhetorically asked the Dean.

Is there any legal issue per se in connection with the establishment of ‘one state’ in Israel & Palestine? Aren’t the models simple and obvious? Why hide then behind the number of states to be created? Isn’t it that the real issue, other than security, is the repatriation of the 1948 Palestinian refugees to their old homes in Israel? Will this objective not be facilitated by the one-state, certainly much more easily than in the framework of two states? Isn’t it self-explanatory?

By this analysis, the gezerah around the one state model protects the more deeply forbidden idea of the Palestinian refugees’ Right of Return to the place that they consider their homeland; a right that, if exercised, would undermine the Jewish majority in the state of Israel and, with presumably inexorable logic and pragmatics if the state of Israel is to remain democratic, the Jewish nature of the state. The impossibility of a Palestinian Right of Return is thus a fence around the more forbidden idea that the state of Israel might not be Jewish.

The verbotten one state model operates as one of the outer rings of prohibition protecting concentrically increasing sacrosanctity. As we experienced, the fence around the one state model is itself circumscribed by expanding rings of outer structures that ranged from demands for “balance” in discussions about Israel/Palestine to requisite thresholds of civility and scholarship supposedly attendant upon the topic.

The centrality of how fraught any discussion on the one state model would be (at least in the Canadian context) recurred as a theme from before that first email complaint up until the very day of the conference and beyond. As the Organizing Committee sought to gain the participation of local Zionist and two state proponents on our advisory committee – it having been relatively straightforward to secure the participation of Israeli scholars – we were informed by those we approached that the topic of the one state model was too charged for local participation.

Immediately after the letter of complaint went out from my Osgoode colleague, one of our Advisory Committee members, who had been copied on the email, raised with us an issue regarding the title of our conference that had not before occurred to him. As he noted, words exist, as Stanley Fish would say, within an interpretive community. The “One State Solution” has become a euphemism.

It’s not as vile as the “Final Solution”, but it has a similar impact on the reader and listener, and it simply cannot be used without signaling its now commonplace meaning. Most of the people who deploy it mean the “Destroy The Jewish State By Another Means Solution”. Unfortunately, no amount of bona fide explanation by the conference’s organizers can rid the phrase of the use that its most aggressive proponents have made of it.


The original title of the conference (One State or Two?) apparently was ineradicably a code for something far more ominous. It appeared that there could not be a space for discussing alternatives to the more orthodox two state model without triggering concentric rings of security alarms. As a result, it increasingly appeared as though the only legitimate discussions that could take place about statehood in Israel/Palestine were ones that were already received.

The four members of the Organizing Committee in fact had not only a broad scope of views on models of statehood between them, but shared a fair amount of skepticism and ambivalence about any of the models presented. From the outset, we actively sought out the participation of scholars who could represent a range, if not polar opposition, on conceivable ways out of the Middle East impasse.

When the call for papers was answered by a far more complex range of models than suggested by the original title – One State or Two? – we changed the title to reflect the diversity and richness of papers that were beginning to be sent in. Neither the conference vision statement – which was explicit in its aspiration to canvass diverse positions – nor the change in title could shake our critics’ preoccupation with the presence of the one state model as a scholarly topic of inquiry.

That the one state model was the central anxiety of the conference’s critics was reinforced throughout coverage. The Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy (CIJA) issued a statement several weeks before the conference stating that “the conference aims to explore a one-state, bi-national solution to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, the imposition of which would spell the end of Israel as a Jewish state” and called on people to “write to the President of York University making clear that events like this should not have the sanction of the university.”

On the first day of the conference, the National Post published an article by Stephen Scheinberg and Neil Caplan on what they presumed was the “original political objective of the organizers”, namely the promotion of the one state model. As they noted, We believe that frustration with the lack of progress toward a two-state solution does not provide a sufficient basis for advocating a one-state solution.

Current calls for a one-state solution mask a desire for the disappearance of Israel as a Jewish state. They not only reinforce the demands of fundamentalist groups like Hamas, but also cater to demagogic seekers of “justice” and anti-Israel campus groups.

Some time after the conference, in an article in the Canadian Jewish News announcing a review of the conference by the President and Provost/Vice President Academic of York University to the Jewish community, the presence of the one state model in the themes addressed by a roster of speakers and as a topic of scholarly debate remained central to the Jewish community’s concerns: another issue that concerned many members of the Jewish community was the York-sponsored conference in June called Israel/Palestine: Mapping Models of Statehood and Paths to Peace. The concern stemmed from the fact that a large majority of the speakers promoted a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – a solution that would mean the end of a Jewish state.

While not all of the furor that arose around the conference was focused on the perils of raising the one state model as a subject of inquiry, it is fair to say that vast bulk of the express anxiety was provoked by this stimulus. The successive proscriptions embedded within the forbidden one state topic fits well with the Talmudic analogy to gzerot established to protect a biblical precept. As with biblical commands within a world of religious pluralism, there is a contingent, contested, and at times radically incommensurable quality to those topics which different communities take – internally – to be indisputable.

The contingent nature of gzerot – the quality of being deeply and meaningfully proscriptive to insiders while potentially perplexing, if not arbitrary or even vexatious, to outsiders – is manifest in the history of these devices. This contingent quality is present even when outsiders have profoundly empathetic responses to the inner logic, even empathy sufficiently deep to be akin to a recognition of necessity.

Gzerot – rabbinical, and therefore human, commandments designed to shore up the sacrosanctity of the divine commands given in the Torah – emerged most prolifically after the fall of the second temple in 70 CE when the center of Jewish lawmaking moved from the land of Israel to the dispersed communities of the Diaspora and the Torah itself became interpretively surrounded by the mishnah and the mishnah by the spiraling complexity of the Talmud.

When the Jews of Europe were enclosed in ghettos – segregated communities that had earlier been preferred by Jewish communities wishing to settle in new towns but became imposed during the renaissance – the authority of rabbinical leaders became entrenched as the ghettos became autonomous and corporate law-making jurisdictions. Rabbinical law flourished commensurately and the distinctiveness of the Talmudic legal tradition was massaged to respond to a plethora of disputes and conundrums both ponderous and mundane. The structure of rabbinical jurisdiction became solidified as the threat of excommunication from a familiar space was given the edge of banishment to a surrounding world of pervasive and persistent anti-Semitism.

When the walls of the ghettos were taken down in the 19th century under the ideals of the Enlightenment and the expansion of the French Revolution through Napoleon, Jews dispersed from the corporate and segregated world of ghettos and aspired towards equal citizenship in their surrounding societies. As a result of the dispersal and of the promise of integration, the jurisdictional scope that the ghettos had afforded the integrity and development of Talmudic law was commensurately diluted. Not only did many Jews assimilate rapidly and sometimes with great success into non-Jewish society, Jewish law lost the solidarity and jurisdictional enclosure that enables many legal traditions to flourish.

This disruption was significant enough that, as Celia Fassberg notes, commentators have observed that by the end of the 19th century, “the rabbinical establishment had missed the opportunity to develop Jewish law in a number of areas crucial to modern life – contracts, torts, commercial institutions, and the like.” The waning robustness of Jewish law is one of several reasons that Jewish law did not play a significant part in the legal system of the new Jewish state.

Not only did integration play a role in retarding the development of Jewish law by dispersing the legal authority from theretofore highly localized communities with steep enforcement mechanisms for non-compliance, the Jewish Enlightenment (Haskalah) that followed upon the release from the ghettos also fractured the prior cohesion of the Jewish people. Where orthodoxy prevailed by default and by imposed context prior to the Haskalah, the Enlightenment’s dispersal of Jewish communities simultaneously fractured the religious community into distinctive clusters that accommodated, to greater and lesser degrees, elements from Europe’s surrounding and emerging modernity.

Beyond the religious fracturing that increasingly dwindled Orthodox Judaism’s monopoly over observants, the free and critical inquiry at the core of the Enlightenment further dispersed Jews into the secularism that was spreading throughout Europe. Over the 19th century, the conception of authority that had governed Jews – seeped in revealed truths and rooted in deeply historical sources, many with absolute validity – gave way to a persuasive authority whose sources were far more plural and hybrid and contentious.

The paradigm of fences built around absolute truths by authorities whose expertise clustered around a highly distinctive set of sources and methodologies shifted, for Jewish as well as non-Jewish Europeans. The corporate pluralism of the Middle Ages and Renaissance gave rise to a far more scattered and complex pluralism just as the concept of citizenship held the promise of embracing far more diverse swathes of society.

As Amos Elon has poignantly laid out in The Pity of It All: A Portrait of the German-Jewish Epoch, 1743-1933, this promise was devastatingly betrayed for Europe’s Jews. The Haskalah transformed the viciously stigmatized and ghettoized Jewish population into a stunningly successful and seemingly fully integrated part of the upper echelons of German society.

Having taken seriously the promise of full and equal citizenship in the European community of nations and the prospects of fecundating millennia of Jewish thought with the fruits of the Enlightenment (and vice versa), Jews found themselves transformed in the European imaginary into deadly threats to national integrity.

No longer having the security of ghettos to retreat to, the pervasive and seemingly ineradicable anti-Semitism of European society exploited the vulnerabilities that arise from the openness of integration, assimilation, and hope. The pedagogy of the Holocaust appears to logically and overwhelmingly reinstate a new absolute around which multiple fences are required, emerging as they do out of the seemingly indelible historical truth of deep-seated anti-Semitism: no state but Israel can ultimately protect the Jews and the state must be Jewish to provide this protection.

This is the logic of an unspeakable pain and grief that is hard to deny. This is an historical logic that, while contingent, is so virtually unassailable and so immediately evocative, also to outsiders, to render it a seeming necessity. It is hard to imagine a group whose terror of dependency on the goodwill of others is more justified.

At this post-deluvial point in history, however, the Jews are dispersed and fractured – both geographically and intellectually – and have been as deeply and widely infused with the Enlightenment’s core value of critical inquiry as the rest of us. Perhaps the best illustration of this is the high level of contestation and disputation that are tolerated within Israel proper, for example in its media and its universities; a tolerance that is often unparalleled in other Western democracies.

Some of the most vocal critics of pronouncements about the unassailable nature of the Israeli state come from Israel itself. When Professor Neve Gordon of Ben-Gurion University called for a boycott of Israel, the group leading the furor to have a tenured professor fired was the Jewish community of Los Angeles. While the President of Ben-Gurion was highly critical of Gordon’s position, she was also clear that “like it or not, Gordon cannot be readily dismissed.

The law in Israel is very clear, and the university is a law-abiding institution.” The recurrent commitment to the Enlightenment values of secularism and critical inquiry is also seen in the enduring tension within Israel itself over the place of secularism in the state. Very few states have this tension so omnipresently part of the national dialogue with itself.

In this much more complex post-Enlightenment/post-Holocaust context, where Jewish and non-Jewish communities are riddled with contradictions and seemingly irreconcilable tensions around competing core values, we are no longer innocent of the power of persuasive authority over the force of revealed authority.

The pluralism of the contemporary world makes it hard to see one peoples’ history as rooted in a bedrock of universal truth while another peoples’ history is rooted in imagination. However much necessity our shared understanding of history generates, it is hard for children of the Enlightenment not to see that it all could have been otherwise – and it all might be otherwise. Gzerot are ultimately fragile defenses against this need to know.