• The City Square in the Performance of Taanit: From Rabbinic Space to Contemporary Jerusalem

    In winter 2012 the Israeli group Tnua Tsiburit (Public Movement) initiated Taanit (Civil Fast), a performance action that first took place at Davidka Square, in Jerusalem. Taanit was designed to explore the potential role of the body, and of bodily self-affliction, in social and political protest. An intertextual analysis of Taanit reveals it also as a site-specific interpretation of the city square that examines its political-theological significance by evoking traditional, religious layers of meaning given to that place. Following the reclaiming of the city square that characterized recent protests around the globe, Public Movement’s civil fast reactivates the religious underpinnings of modern urban space by juxtaposing it with rabbinic traditions, illuminating through performance the potential significance that the rabbinic space of public fasting has for modern urban politics.