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Is laughter essential to Jewish identity? Do Jews possess special radar for recognizing members of the tribe? Since Jews live longer and make love more often, why don't more people join the tribe? "More deli than deity" writer Nancy Kalikow Maxwell poses many such questions in eight chapters-"Worrying," "Kvelling," "Dying," "Noshing," "Laughing," "Detecting," "Dwelling," and "Joining"-exploring what it means to be "typically Jewish." While unearthing answers from rabbis, researchers, and her assembled Jury on Jewishness (Jewish friends she roped into conversation), she-and we-make a variety of discoveries. For example: Jews worry about continuity, even though Rabbi Mordechai of Lechovitz prohibited even that: "All worrying is forbidden, except to worry that one is worried." Kvell-worthy fact: About 75 percent of American Jews give to charity versus 63 percent of Americans as a whole. Since reciting Kaddish brought secular Jews to synagogue, the rabbis, aware of their captive audience, moved the prayer to the end of the service. Who's Jewish? About a quarter of Nobel Prize winners, an estimated 80 percent of comedians at one point, and the winner of Nazi Germany's Most Perfect Aryan Child Contest. Readers will enjoy learning about how Jews feel, think, act, love, and live. They'll also schmooze as they use the book's "Typically Jewish, Atypically Fun" discussion guide.
For the first time, The Koren Classic Shabbat ?umash widely used in Israel and admired around the world is available in a Hebrew edition with English instructions. The Hebrew parshiyot, haftarot and Shabbat tefillotare followed by an English halakhic guide at the back. The entire text has been reset to create a most readable, practical, all-in-one volume. May be personalized for special Shabbatot or bar or bat mitzva celebrations. Published in cooperation with the Orthodox Union. Available Spring 2010.
The Koren Talpiot Siddur is an inspiring Hebrew prayerbook with English instructions. The siddur marks the culmination of years of rabbinic scholarship, and exemplifies the tradition of textual accuracy and innovative graphic design of the renowned Koren Publishers Jerusalem publishing house. English instructions elucidate the Hebrew text. Halakhic guides to daily, Shabbat, and holiday prayers supplement the traditional text. Prayers for the State of Israel, its soldiers, and national holidays, and for the American government and its military reinforce the siddur's contemporary relevance. Personal (Yerushalayim) size, Ashkenaz, with burgundy bonded-leather binding. Ideal for daily or weekly personal use.
Contributors to this volume study women who practice or interact with the gender norms and spaces of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. The book focuses on questions of how and why religious and secular authorities seek to regulate women's mobility and access to particular spaces, and how religious women negotiate their agency and mobility within traditional institutions. The chapters are grouped under three sections: ""Women and Colonial Regimes,"" ""Religion and Women's Mobility,"" and ""New Spaces for Religious Women."" Secular, critical, and comparative viewpoints are explored, with much of the scholarship steeped in fieldwork; i.e., an orthodox district in Jerusalem, a shopping mall in Istanbul, women travelers in Pakistan, and Korean immigrant women in Los Angeles. Contributors broaden notions of space to include architecture, national borders, external and internal boundaries, and assorted identifying markers such as race and clothing and their associated mobilities. Multicultural and global in scope, this work makes a significant, groundbreaking contribution to the fields of geography, women's studies, and religious studies.
Ever since the children of penniless immigrants caught the train from Whitechapel to White Hart Lane - to be greeted with the refrain: 'Does Your Rabbi Know You're Here?' - this forgotten tribe have helped to shape the Beautiful Game. In telling the fascinating lives of these largely unsung trailblazers, Clavane uncovers a hidden history of Jewish involvement in English football. From Louis Bookman, the first Jew to play in England's top division, to the pugnacious winger Mark Lazarus, whose last-gasp goal won the 1967 League Cup for QPR, to shady figures like One-Armed Lou, a ticket tout who never told the story of his missing limb the same way twice, through to the businessmen who helped form the breakaway Premier League, and in the process changed the English game for ever.
A leading expert provides an engaging firsthand portrait of American Judaism today American Judaism has been buffeted by massive social upheavals in recent decades. Like other religions in the United States, it has witnessed a decline in the number of participants over the past forty years, and many who remain active struggle to reconcile their hallowed traditions with new perspectives-from feminism and the LGBTQ movement to "do-it-yourself religion" and personally defined spirituality. Taking a fresh look at American Judaism today, Jack Wertheimer, a leading authority on the subject, sets out to discover how Jews of various orientations practice their religion in this radically altered landscape. Which observances still resonate, and which ones have been given new meaning? What options are available for seekers or those dissatisfied with conventional forms of Judaism? And how are synagogues responding? Wertheimer provides new and often-surprising answers to these questions by drawing on a wide range of sources, including survey data, visits to countless synagogues, and revealing interviews with more than two hundred rabbis and other informed observers. He finds that the majority of American Jews still identify with their faith but often practice it on their own terms. Meanwhile, gender barriers are loosening within religiously traditional communities, while some of the most progressive sectors are reappropriating long-discarded practices. Other recent developments include "start-ups" led by charismatic young rabbis, the explosive growth of Orthodox "outreach," and unconventional worship experiences often geared toward millennials. Wertheimer captures the remarkable, if at times jarring, tableaux on display when American Jews practice their religion, while also revealing possibilities for significant renewal in American Judaism. What emerges is a quintessentially American story of rash disruption and creative reinvention, religious illiteracy and dynamic experimentation.
Just as European Jews were being emancipated and ghettos in their original form-compulsory, enclosed spaces designed to segregate-were being dismantled, use of the word "ghetto" surged in Europe and spread around the globe. Tracing the curious path of this loaded word from its first use in sixteenth-century Venice to the present turns out to be more than an adventure in linguistics. Few words are as ideologically charged as "ghetto." Its early uses centered on two cities: Venice, where it referred to the segregation of the Jews in 1516, and Rome, where the ghetto survived until the fall of the Papal States in 1870, long after it had ceased to exist elsewhere. Ghetto: The History of a Word offers a fascinating account of the changing nuances of this slippery term, from its coinage to the present day. It details how the ghetto emerged as an ambivalent metaphor for "premodern" Judaism in the nineteenth century and how it was later revived to refer to everything from densely populated Jewish immigrant enclaves in modern cities to the hyper-segregated holding pens of Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe. We see how this ever-evolving word traveled across the Atlantic Ocean, settled into New York's Lower East Side and Chicago's Near West Side, then came to be more closely associated with African Americans than with Jews. Chronicling this sinuous transatlantic odyssey, Daniel B. Schwartz reveals how the history of ghettos is tied up with the struggle and argument over the meaning of a word. Paradoxically, the term "ghetto" came to loom larger in discourse about Jews when Jews were no longer required to live in legal ghettos. At a time when the Jewish associations have been largely eclipsed, Ghetto retrieves the history of a disturbingly resilient word.
In recent years, martyrdom and political violence have been conflated in the public imagination. Ruben Rosario Rodriguez argues that martyr narratives deserve consideration as resources for resisting political violence in contemporary theological reflection. Underlying the three Abrahamic monotheistic traditions is a shared belief that God requires liberation for the oppressed, justice for the victims and, most demanding of all, love for the political enemy. Christian, Jewish and Muslim martyr narratives that condone political violence - whether terrorist or state-sponsored - are examined alongside each religion's canon, in order to evaluate how central or marginalized these discourses are within their respective traditions. Primarily a work of Christian theology in conversation with Judaism and Islam, this book aims to model religious pluralism and cooperation by retrieving distinctly Christian sources that nurture tolerance and facilitate coexistence, while respecting religious difference.
Most Jesus specialists agree that the Temple incident led directly to Jesus' arrest, but the precise relationship between Jesus and the Temple's administration remains unclear. Jesus and the Temple examines this relationship, exploring the reinterpretation of Torah observance and traditional Temple practices that are widely considered central components of the early Jesus movement. Challenging a growing tendency in contemporary scholarship to assume that the earliest Christians had an almost uniformly positive view of the Temple's sacrificial system, Simon J. Joseph addresses the ambiguous, inconsistent, and contradictory views on sacrifice and the Temple in the New Testament. This volume fills a significant gap in the literature on sacrifice in Jewish Christianity. It introduces a new hypothesis positing Jesus' enactment of a program of radically nonviolent eschatological restoration, an orientation that produced Jesus' conflicts with his contemporaries and inspired the first attributions of sacrificial language to his death.
Unraveling the controversies surrounding the Dead Sea Scrolls Since they were first discovered in the caves at Qumran in 1947, the Dead Sea Scrolls have aroused more fascination-and controversy-than perhaps any other archaeological find. They appear to have been hidden in the Judean desert by the Essenes, a Jewish sect that existed around the time of Jesus, and they continue to inspire veneration to this day. In this concise and accessible book, John Collins tells the story of the scrolls and the bitter conflicts that have swirled around them since their startling discovery. He explores whether the scrolls were indeed the property of an isolated, quasi-monastic community or more broadly reflected the Judaism of their time. He unravels the impassioned disputes surrounding the scrolls and Christianity, and looks at attempts to "reclaim" the scrolls for Judaism after the full corpus became available in the 1990s. Collins also describes how the decades-long delay in publishing the scrolls gave rise to sensational claims and conspiracy theories.
Jewish law is a singular legal system that has been evolving for generations. Often conflated with Biblical law or Israeli law, Jewish law needs to be studied in its own right. An Introduction to Jewish Law expounds the general structure of Jewish law and presents the cardinal principles of this religious legal system. An introduction to modern Jewish law as it applies to the daily life of Jews around the world, this volume presents Jewish law in a way that answers all the questions that a student of comparative law would ask when encountering an unfamiliar legal system. Sources of Jewish law such as revelation, rabbinical and communal legislation, judicial decisions, and legal reasoning are defined and analyzed, and the authority of who decides what Jewish law is and why their decisions are binding is investigated.
Always wearing an easy smile, Hasidic rabbi Haskel Besser spreads joy wherever he goes, enriching the lives of his many friends and congregants with his profound understanding of both Orthodox Judaism and human nature.
With warmth and admiration, journalist Warren Kozak writes about the rabbi's extraordinary life--from his family's escape to Palestine in the late 1930s to his witnessing of Israel's rebirth in 1948, to his move to New York City, where he lives today.
A rare window into the normally closed world of Hasidic Jews, "The Rabbi of 84th Street" is also the story of Judaism in the twentieth century; of the importance of centuries-old traditions; and of the triumph of faith, kindness, and spirit.
A political crisis erupts when the Persian government falls to fanatics, and a Jewish insider goes rogue, determined to save her people at all costs. God and Politics in Esther explores politics and faith. It is about an era in which the prophets have been silenced and miracles have ceased, and Jewish politics has come to depend not on commands from on high, but on the boldness and belief of each woman and man. Esther takes radical action to win friends and allies, reverse terrifying decrees, and bring God's justice into the world with her own hands. Hazony's The Dawn has long been a cult classic, read at Purim each year the world over. Twenty years on, this revised edition brings the book to much wider attention. Three controversial new chapters address the astonishingly radical theology that emerges from amid the political intrigues of the book.
This volume includes multiple renditions of every prayer, thus illustrating the broad diversity within traditional intonation of each prayer mode. In accordance with the traditional role assigned to the prayer leader of each service, renditions are presented at levels appropriate to the lay cantor (baal t'filo) as well the professional cantor (chazz'n). Liturgical texts that were traditionally intoned by cantor and choir, or by choir alone, are also included. Annotative commentary explains the liturgical role and character of each service and analyzes the musical content of each prayer mode within it. It also explains the techniques employed in applying the prayer mode to specific liturgical texts and how the applications reflect the literal as well as spiritual content of the texts. This set comprises four books covering the fourteen weekday liturgical occasions, with annotated commentary.
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.
Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus takes readers on a fascinating journey, helping them discover how learning about the Jewish world of Jesus can enrich their own faith. By exploring the land, culture, customs, prayers, and feasts, Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg help readers to perceive Jesus through the eyes and ears of first-century Jews.
In The Other Judaisms of Late Antiquity the late Alan F. Segal is at his very best. This reissued and expanded editionanow containing his celebrated "Heavenly Ascent in Hellenistic Judaism, Early Christianity, and Their Environment"adelineates the variegated nature of both Judaism and Christianity in their formative periods. As Segal demonstrates, it is more accurate to speak of Judaisms and Christianities. Through his deft deployment of social-scientific methods and due attention to Jewish primary sources from the Second Temple period, Segal is able to trace the intricate, internecine struggles among Jewish, Christian, and gnostic communities in the earliest days of the Common Era. In doing so, Segal masterfully validates the importance of inductive historical reconstruction and analytical comparative study for illuminating the complex religious world of the first three centuries.
The seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson (1902-1994) was perhaps the twentieth century's most well-known Jewish religious leader, best identified for spearheading the world-wide reconstruction of post-Holocaust Jewish religious life and inspiring a re-awakening of Jewish awareness and observance. Overseeing a primarily educational organization in over fifty countries, he addressed a vast range of educational matters in his correspondence, essays and public addresses. This book, the fruit of the author's exhaustive research, closely examines Rabbi Schneerson's substantive corpus and identifies the cohesive educational theory that underlies it. The defining elements of that innovative theory are shown to provide a vision for education that is of practical relevance to communities and individuals far beyond the Jewish community and for the wider world. After illustrating how Rabbi Schneerson's practical agenda is a consequence of his theory, implications of his educational theory for current educational practice and policy in the wider setting are found to frequently surpass the limitations of popular educational thinking about religious and moral education. Cosmic Education illustrates a new, sometimes radical, model of "theosocial" education.
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