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Myerhoff with Victor Turner, Harvey Goldberg, Yoran Bilu and Others on a Pilgrimage to Meron, Israel

Myerhoff with Victor Turner, Harvey Goldberg, Yoran Bilu and Others on a Pilgrimage to Meron, Israel

"All ritual takes ordinary things and makes them extraordinary. The means it uses are everywhere the same. Whether it's an African initiation ceremony in Botswana or a Jewish storytelling session in Los Angeles, ritual sets the ordinary apart by its use of language, gesture, costume, posture--sensuous things. And those sensuous things are very persuasive and invite us to suspend disbelief, exactly as we do in a theater; ritual induces the same willing suspension of disbelief. The 'as if' fades away, and we enter into the story, and it becomes, then, something that has its own reality; an imaginary life, an imagined reality, comes to life and its our own."

Notes:

1. Barbara Myerhoff, "The Ritual Telling of the Great Story that Shapes Individual Lives," transcript of lecture, ts, box 55, folder 5, Barbara Myerhoff Papers, U of Southern California, 6.

Date / time
1983

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Myerhoff with Victor Turner, Harvey Goldberg, Yoran Bilu and Others on a Pilgrimage to Meron, Israel." (Viewed on December 22, 2014) <http://jwa.org/media/myerhoff-with-victor-turner-harvey-goldberg-yoran-bilu-and-others-on-pilgrimage-to-meron-israe>.

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