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An essential biography of one of the Bible's most influential books During its 2,500-year life, the book of Genesis has been the keystone to important claims about God and humanity in Judaism and Christianity, and it plays a central role in contemporary debates about science, politics, and human rights. Ronald Hendel provides a panoramic history of this iconic book, exploring its impact on Western religion, philosophy, literature, art, and more. From debates about slavery, gender, and sexuality to struggles over creationism and evolution, Genesis has left its indelible mark on our world and continues to do so today. This wide-ranging account tells the remarkable life story of an incomparable spiritual masterpiece, tracing how Genesis has shaped views of reality-and how changing views of reality have shaped interpretations of Genesis.
Talmudic legislation prescribed penalty for a Jew to testify in a non-Jewish court, against a fellow Jew, to benefit a gentile - for breach of a duty of loyalty to a fellow Jew. Through close textual analysis, Saul Berman explores how Jewish jurists responded when this virtue of loyalty conflicted with values such as Justice, avoidance of desecration of God's Name, deterrence of crime, defence of self, protection of Jewish community, and the duty to adhere to Law of the Land. Essential for scholars and graduate students in Talmud, Jewish law and comparative law, this key volume details the nature of these loyalties as values within the Jewish legal system, and how the resolution of these conflicts was handled. Berman additionally explores why this issue has intensified in contemporary times and how the related area of 'Mesirah' has wrongfully come to be prominently associated with this law regulating testimony.
The book of Numbers in Hebrew, Bemidbar, In the Wilderness is a key text for our time. It is among the most searching, self-critical books in all of literature about what Nelson Mandela called the long walk to freedom. Its message is that there is no shortcut to liberty. Numbers is not an easy book to read, nor is it an optimistic one. It is a sober warning set in the midst of a text the Hebrew Bible that remains the West s master narrative of hope.
The Mosaic books, especially Exodus and Numbers, are about the journey from slavery to freedom and from oppression to law-governed liberty. On the map, the distance from Egypt to the Promised Land is not far. But the message of Numbers is that it always takes longer than you think. For the journey is not just physical, a walk across the desert. It is psychological, moral, and spiritual. It takes as long as the time needed for human beings to change....
You cannot arrive at freedom merely by escaping from slavery. It is won only when a nation takes upon itself the responsibilities of self-restraint, courage, and patience. Without that, a journey of a few hundred miles can take forty years. Even then, it has only just begun.
How can a Jewish approach to social justice offer positive change for America?
"Ancient texts offer significant wisdom about human nature, economic cycles, the causes of inequality, and our obligations to each other. These insights can inform our own approaches to current issues, challenge our assumptions, and force us to consider alternative approaches. The conversation between our texts and our lives can enrich our experience of both." from the Introduction
Confront the most pressing issues of twenty-first-century America in this fascinating book, which brings together classical Jewish sources, contemporary policy debate and real-life stories.Rabbi Jill Jacobs, a leading young voice in the social justice arena, makes a powerful argument for participation in the American public square from a deeply Jewish perspective, while deepening our understanding of the relationship between Judaism and such current social issues as:
Poverty and the Poor Collection and Allocation of Tzedakah Workers, Employers and Unions Housing the Homeless The Provision of Health Care Environmental Sustainability Crime, Punishment and Rehabilitation
By creating a dialogue between traditional texts and current realities, Jacobs presents a template for engagement in public life from a Jewish perspective and challenges us to renew our obligations to each other."
Opening Israel's Scriptures is a collection of thirty-six essays on the Hebrew Bible, from Genesis to Chronicles, which gives powerful insight into the complexity and inexhaustibility of the Hebrew Scriptures as a theological resource. Based on more than two decades of lectures on Old Testament interpretation, Ellen F. Davis offers a selective yet comprehensive guide to the core concepts, literary patterns, storylines, and theological perspectives that are central to Israel's Scriptures. Underlying the whole study is the primary assumption that each book of the canon has literary and theological coherence, though not uniformity. In both her close readings of individual texts and in her broad demonstrations of the coherence of whole books, Davis models the best practices of contemporary exegesis, integrating the insights of contemporary scholars with those of classical theological resources in Jewish and Christian traditions. Throughout, she keeps an eye to the experiences and concerns of contemporary readers, showing through multiple examples that the critical interpretation of texts is provisional, open-ended work-a collaboration across generations and cultures. Ultimately what she offers is an invitation into the more spacious world that the Bible discloses, which challenges ordinary conceptions of how things "really" are.
Learn how to make your own Jewish fabric crafts with spiritual intention venture into a world of creativity, imagination & inspiration.
Journey along with talented Jewish fabric craft artists from throughout the United States and Israel as they retrace their steps in the creative process used to make thirty evocative projects. Then tap into your inner creativity by following step-by-step instructions to fashion family heirlooms with your own personal flair. Inspirational and motivational, these projects and stories will resonate with your artistic soul and awaken a desire to hand-craft Jewish fabric keepsakes to pass down from generation to generation. Projects and techniques include:
Quilting Applique Embroidery Needlepoint Cross-stitch Knitting Crochet Felting Needle felting Tallitot Tallit bags Torah mantles Challah covers Seder plate Afikomen envelopes Torah table (shulchan) covers Tree of Life & shalom wall hangings Purim puppets And more "
The most memorable prayer of the Jewish New Year what it means, why we sing it, and the secret of its magical appeal.
Through a series of lively commentaries, over thirty contributors men and women, scholars and rabbis, artists and poets, spanning three continents and all major Jewish denominations examine Kol Nidre's theology, usage, and deeply personal impact. They trace the actual history of the prayer and attempts through the ages to emend it, downplay it and even do away with it all in vain. They explore why Kol Nidre remains an annual liturgical highlight that is regularly attended even by Jews who disbelieve everything the prayer says.
Prayers of AweAn exciting new series that examines the High Holy Day liturgy to enrich the praying experience of everyone whether experienced worshipers or guests who encounter Jewish prayer for the very first time."
During a time of global conflict, the theological question of whether Muslims, Jews, and Christians worship the same God carries political baggage. Is the God of ISIS the same as the God of Israel? Do Sunni Muslims and Protestant Christians pray to the same Creator and Sustainer of the universe? In this Counterpoints volume, edited by Ronnie P. Campbell, Jr., and Christopher Gnanakan, five leading scholars present the main religious perspectives on this question, demonstrating how to think carefully about an issue where opinions differ and confusion abounds. They examine related subtopics such as the difference between God being referentially the same and essentially the same, what "the same" means when referring to God, the significance of the Trinity in this discussion, whether religious inclusivism is inferred by certain understandings of God's sameness, and the appropriateness of interfaith worship. The four main views, along with the scholars presenting them, are: All Worship the Same God: Religious Pluralist View (Wm. Andrew Schwartz and John B. Cobb, Jr.) All Worship the Same God: Referring to the Same God View (Francis J. Beckwith) Jews and Christians Worship the Same God: Shared Revelation View (Gerald R. McDermott) None Worship the Same God: Different Conceptions View (Jerry L. Walls) Additionally, essays by Joseph Cumming and David W. Shenk explore the implications of this question specifically for Christians wanting to minister among and build relationships with Muslims. Cumming stresses that finding common ground is key, while Shenk advocates for a respectful focus on differences. Insightful, gracious, and relevant, Do Christians, Muslims, and Jews Worship the Same God? sheds light on one of the most important theological issues of our day.
Evidence suggests that conversion originated during the Babylonian Exile. Around the same time, biological genealogy was gaining popularity, especially among priests whose legitimacy was becoming increasingly defined by 'pure' pedigree. When the biological, or ethnic, criterion is extended to the definition of Jewishness, as it seems to have been by Ezra, the possibility of conversion is all but precluded. The Rabbis did not reject the primacy of genealogy, yet were also heirs to a strong pro-conversion tradition. In this book, Isaac Sassoon confronts the tensions and paradoxes apparent in rabbinic discussions of conversion, and argues that they resulted from irresolution between the two conflicting traditions. He also contends that attitudes to conversion can impact not only one's conception of Judaism but also on one's faith, as seems to be demonstrated by authors cited in the book whose espousal of a narrowly ethnic view of Judaism allows for a nepotistic theology.
Kosher USA follows the fascinating journey of kosher food through the modern industrial food system. It recounts how iconic products such as Coca-Cola and Jell-O tried to become kosher; the contentious debates among rabbis over the incorporation of modern science into Jewish law; how Manischewitz wine became the first kosher product to win over non-Jewish consumers (principally African Americans); the techniques used by Orthodox rabbinical organizations to embed kosher requirements into food manufacturing; and the difficulties encountered by kosher meat and other kosher foods that fell outside the American culinary consensus. Kosher USA is filled with big personalities, rare archival finds, and surprising influences: the Atlanta rabbi Tobias Geffen, who made Coke kosher; the lay chemist and kosher-certification pioneer Abraham Goldstein; the kosher-meat magnate Harry Kassel; and the animal-rights advocate Temple Grandin, a strong supporter of shechita, or Jewish slaughtering practice. By exploring the complex encounter between ancient religious principles and modern industrial methods, Kosher USA adds a significant chapter to the story of Judaism's interaction with non-Jewish cultures and the history of modern Jewish American life as well as American foodways.
Unlike earlier generations, Jewish American artists born between the 1930s and the early 1960s were among the first to overtly embrace and challenge religious themes in their work. These Jewish artists felt comfortable as assimilated Americans yet developed an overwhelming desire to explore their cultural and religious heritage. They became the first generation willing to take risks with their material and to discover new ways to create art with Jewish religious content. In his most recent book, Baigell explores the art and influences of eleven artists who enlarged the parameters of Jewish American art through their varied approaches to subject matter, to feminist concerns, and to finding contemporary relevance in the ancient texts. Along with detailed essays on each artist, the book includes nearly one hundred stunning illustrations that testify to the beauty, depth, and importance of the paintings and sculptures produced by this groundbreaking generation of artists.
In this magisterial history, David Nirenberg explores anti-Judaism from antiquity to the present, from the Ancient Egyptians who resented their Jewish neighbours to the ideas of Voltaire and Marx, thereby revealing it to be a mode of thought deeply embedded in the Western tradition. With intolerance and racism on the rise across the West, the central argument of David Nirenberg's groundbreaking study - that to imagine anti-Judaism to be confined to the margins of our society is to be dangerously complacent - is as urgent and as timely as it has ever been.
Abby Chava Stein was raised in a Hasidic Jewish community in Brooklyn, profoundly isolated in a culture that lives according to the laws and practices of an eighteenth-century Eastern European enclave, speaking only Yiddish and Hebrew and shunning modern life. Stein was born as the first son in a rabbinical dynastic family, poised to become a leader of the next generation of Hasidic Jews. But Stein felt certain at a young age that she was a girl. Without access to TV or the internet and never taught English, she suppressed her desire for a new body while looking for answers wherever she could find them, from forbidden religious texts to smuggled secular examinations of faith. Finally, she orchestrated a personal exodus from ultra-Orthodox manhood into mainstream femininity-a radical choice that forced her to leave her home, her family and her way of life.
This groundbreaking collection presents for the first time in English a substantial body of poetry that emerges directly from the sublime and often startling world of Jewish mysticism. Taking up Gershom Scholem's call to plumb the "tremendous poetic potential" concealed in the Kabbalistic tradition, Peter Cole provides dazzling renderings of work composed on three continents over a period of some fifteen hundred years. In addition to the translations and the texts in their original languages, Cole supplies a lively and insightful introduction, along with accessible commentaries to the poems. Aminadav Dykman adds an elegant afterword that places the work in the context of world literature. As a whole, the collection brings readers into the fascinating force field of Kabbalistic verse, where the building blocks of both language and existence itself are unveiled. Excerpts from The Poetry of Kabbalah have been featured in the Paris Review, Poetry, and Conjunctions. "Studded with insight, and written with great verve, this book will become a classic."-Lawrence Fine, author of Physician of the Soul, Healer of the Cosmos
Traditional Jewish family law has persevered for hundreds of years and rules covering marriage, the raising of children, and divorce are well established; yet pressures from modern society are causing long held views to be re-examined. The Jewish Family: Between Family Law and Contract Law examines the tenets of Jewish family law in the light of new attitudes concerning the role of women, assisted reproduction technologies, and prenuptial agreements. Through interdisciplinary research combining the legal aspects of family law and contract law, it explores how the Jewish family can cope with both old and modern obstacles and challenges. Focusing on the nexus of Jewish family law and contract law to propose how 'freedom of contract' can be part of how family law can be interpreted, The Jewish Family will appeal to practitioners, activists, academic researchers, and laymen readers who are interested in the fields of law, theology, and social science.
Many people are familiar with the story of Jewish support for
the American civil rights movement, but this history has another
Outlines a compelling image of relations between the two communities . In "Shared Dreams, " Rabbi Schneier reiterates our commonality, as upheld by Martin Luther King, Jr., and fuels the reader to continue to work for the advancement of race relations among all God s children. from the Preface by Martin Luther King III
"Shared Dreams "brings to life the impressive, surprising, and long-neglected history of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. s efforts in support of the Jewish community. This is a story that sheds new light on the commitment and the relationship between the Jewish and African-American communities as they have struggled together to fight for justice and civil rights in our nation, and our lives.
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