Kabbala and the future at Jewish culture festival

Over 20,000 visitors to Rome Ghetto events

09 September, 18:59

    (by Elisa Pinna) (ANSAmed) - ROME, SEPTEMBER 9 - From the Jewish mysticism of the Kabbala to the most advanced technologies to treat humans, this year's International Festival of Jewish Language and Culture focused on the theme 'Around the Future'. The myth of the mysterious protector figure of the Jewish population Golem, the revolution in robots and Israeli writers and architecture that plots out man-size cities all filled the five days of the festival's eighth edition. The cultural, gastronomic and musical events held in Rome's Ghetto have drawn over 20,000 spectators and will end on Wednesday evening with an initiative entitled 'The Future as told by Animation Cinema'. The festival has become one of the most important international events of Jewish culture and was this year inspired by one of the foundations of Judaism, ANSA was told by curator Ariela Piattelli. 'Tikkum 'Olam' (''Repair the World') means improving life through all the means at one's disposal, including culture and technology, she said. For a festival created eight years ago as a literary event, this proved a challenge, Piattelli admitted, but one of the most popular events was the presentation of the robotic exoskeleton ReWalk, an advanced technology system that enables paraplegics to get up and walk. Its inventor, the Israeli ''dreamer'' Amit Goffer, is quadriplegic (with both arms and legs paralyzed) and thus unfortunately cannot make use of his own revolutionary idea. Presenting it in Rome was Carmine Consalvi, a 27-year-old who was paralyzed in a road accident and who can now - he said - go back to ''looking people in the eye''. Another successful event was on water and technology to preserve it, humanity's most precious resource. Israel is exemplary in that it wastes only 3% of his hydric resources. The celebrity architect Daniel Libeskind discussed his ideas on the architecture of the future, a synthesis of tradition and progress, while Israeli writer Etgar Keret talked about 'his' Tel Aviv, a 'smart city' that celebrated its 100 years of existence with a 100-kilometer bike path. Piattelli noted that all the above was connected with a future invented daily on Rothschild Avenue, Tel Aviv's main street, where there is the highest concentration of start-ups in the Middle East and possibly in the world. On Wednesday evening, the festival will close by paying homage to animation films. ''The People of the Book were pioneers in and continue to drive the art of images,'' the curator said. Discussion will be had on how technologies have made it possible for everyone to think up and make an animated film.

    Animated videos will accompany 'Massà, the Journey', a performance dedicated to women's lives in all their phases, with representatives from Israel's top dance companies. The festival - curated also by Marco Panella, Raffaella Spizzichino and Shulim Vogelmann - showed that the Rome Ghetto ''wants to be an open place'', Piattelli said. (ANSAmed).

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