The authors in this collection reflect deeply and self-consciously about practicing psychoanalysis within or alongside the borders of the Land of Israel. Unique passions characterize the lives of those who live here, on the individual and group level, and this will be true for the psychoanalyst who has been born and raised here or who has immigrated to this land and has had to struggle with transformations in language, values, and identity. In Israel, one passionately believes or disbelieves, or strives to be dispassionate, with varying degrees of success. The boundaries of the land can “contain” these dynamics, but this depends on how the boundaries are defined, internalized, and symbolized. The dimension of passion will grip the patient and analyst at some point during the evolution of the transference and countertransference matrix, and may bind the two together or drive them apart. Using rich clinical presentation and theoretical innovation, the authors in this compendium discuss these conflicts, and consider how terror, war, political ideology, primitive personality structure, the Holocaust, and idiosyncratic religious beliefs arouse these hidden passions and challenge analytic neutrality. Throughout, the authors carefully reexamine the development of their own personal identity, ideology, and professional perspectives in order to ascertain whether or not, or under what conditions, passion can be creatively transmitted. eros and tragedy
Moshe Halevi Spero (MSSW Case Western Reserve University, PhD University of Michigan) is a full professor in the Weissfeld School of Social Work, Bar-Ilan University, and Director of the Postgraduate Program in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. He also serves as senior clinical psychologist at the Sarah Herzog Memorial Hospital and the Weinstock Oncology Day Hospital, Shaare Zedek Medical Center. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Ma'arag: The Israel Annual of Psychoanalysis.