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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.
Celebrating one of the greatest Jewish scholars of our time, Radical Responsibility brings together thirteen luminaries of Jewish and Western thought to explore the intellectual legacy of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks. Centered on the fundamental themes of his work, ethics, justice, religion, and leadership, this collection advances Rabbi Sacks's lifelong quest to bridge Torah
and secular wisdom, highlighting the relevance of the Jewish tradition to the challenges of the twenty-first century.
When Ziske's klezmer band is invited to play at a wedding in Pinsk, they arrive to discover many of the people in the town very sick. But tradition says that if two orphans get married in a cemetery a miracle may happen, so Ziske sets his mind to finding the perfect couple.
"Living a Jewish Life" describes Judaism as not just a contemplative or abstract system of thought but as a blueprint for living fully and honorably. This new edition builds on the classic guide, which has been a favorite among Jewish educators and students for years. Enriched with additional resources, including online resources, this updated guide also references recent changes in the modern Jewish community, and has served as a resource and guide for non-Jews as well as Jews.
Addressing the choices posed by the modern world, "Living a Jewish Life" explains the traditions and beliefs of Judaism in the context of real life. It explores the spectrum of liberal Jewish thought, from Conservative to Reconstructionist to Reform, as well as unaffiliated, new age, and secular. Celebrating the diversity of Jewish beliefs, this guide provides information in ways that readers can choose how to incorporate Judaism into their lives.
Readers will learn how to choose the right synagogue, and discover the meaning and significance of lighting Sabbath candles. "Shabbat," "Torah," "kosher," "mitzvah" and other key words are all defined in all of their complex and potent meanings.
On the most basic level, this book explains the essential Jewish vocabulary, but more importantly, "LIVING A JEWISH LIFE" is a sensitive and comprehensive introduction that reveals the timeless nature of Jewish tradition, rich with history and relevant in the modern world.
"This book is nothing less than the definitive study of a text long considered central to understanding the Renaissance and its place in Western culture." -James Hankins, Harvard University Pico della Mirandola died in 1494 at the age of thirty-one. During his brief and extraordinary life, he invented Christian Kabbalah in a book that was banned by the Catholic Church after he offered to debate his ideas on religion and philosophy with anyone who challenged him. Today he is best known for a short speech, the Oration on the Dignity of Man, written in 1486 but never delivered. Sometimes called a "Manifesto of the Renaissance," this text has been regarded as the foundation of humanism and a triumph of secular rationality over medieval mysticism. Brian Copenhaver upends our understanding of Pico's masterwork by re-examining this key document of modernity. An eminent historian of philosophy, Copenhaver shows that the Oration is not about human dignity. In fact, Pico never wrote an Oration on the Dignity of Man and never heard of that title. Instead he promoted ascetic mysticism, insisting that Christians need help from Jews to find the path to heaven-a journey whose final stages are magic and Kabbalah. Through a rigorous philological reading of this much-studied text, Copenhaver transforms the history of the idea of dignity and reveals how Pico came to be misunderstood over the course of five centuries. Magic and the Dignity of Man is a seismic shift in the study of one of the most remarkable thinkers of the Renaissance.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Neo-Hasidism applies the Hasidic masters' spiritual insights-of God's presence everywhere, of seeking the magnificent within the everyday, in doing all things with love and joy, uplifting all of life to become a vehicle of God's service-to contemporary Judaism, as practiced by men and women who do not live within the strictly bounded world of the Hasidic community. This first-ever anthology of Neo-Hasidic philosophy brings together the writings of its progenitors: five great twentieth-century European and American Jewish thinkers-Hillel Zeitlin, Martin Buber, Abraham Joshua Heschel, Shlomo Carlebach, and Zalman Schachter-Shalomi-plus a young Arthur Green. The thinkers reflect on the inner life of the individual and their dreams of creating a Neo-Hasidic spiritual community. The editors' introductions and notes analyze each thinker's contributions to Neo-Hasidic thought and influence on the movement. Zeitlin and Buber initiated a renewal of Hasidism for the modern world; Heschel's work is quietly infused with Neo-Hasidic thought; Carlebach and Schachter-Shalomi re-created Neo-Hasidism for American Jews in the 1960s; and Green is the first American-born Jewish thinker fully identified with the movement. Previously unpublished materials by Carlebach and Schachter-Shalomi include an interview with Schachter-Shalomi about his decision to leave Chabad-Lubavitch and embark on his own Neo-Hasidic path.
Justice for All demonstrates that the Jewish Bible, by radically changing the course of ethical thought, came to exercise enormous influence on Jewish thought and law and also laid the basis for Christian ethics and the broader development of modern Western civilization. Jeremiah Unterman shows us persuasively that the ethics of the Jewish Bible represent a significant moral advance over Ancient Near East cultures. Moreover, he elucidates how the Bible's unique conception of ethical monotheism, innovative understanding of covenantal law, and revolutionary messages from the prophets form the foundation of many Western civilization ideals. Justice for All connects these timeless biblical texts to the persistent themes of our times: immigration policy, forgiveness and reconciliation, care for the less privileged, and attaining hope for the future despite destruction and exile in this world.
Most people understand Judaism to be the Torah and the Torah to be Judaism. However, in The Invention of Judaism, John J. Collins persuasively argues this was not always the case. The Torah became the touchstone for most of Judaism's adherents only in the hands of the rabbis of late antiquity. For 600 years prior, from the Babylonian Exile to the Roman destruction of the Second Temple, there was enormous variation in the way the Torah was understood. Collins provides a comprehensive account of the role of the Torah in ancient Judaism, exploring key moments in its history, beginning with the formation of Deuteronomy and continuing through the Maccabean revolt and the rise of Jewish sectarianism and early Christianity.
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.
How can I lead others with authority and kindness? How can I strengthen my self-control? How can I balance work and family? How can I get along with difficult coworkers? How can I best relate to people in need? Enter the Talmudic study house with innovative teacher Rabbi Amy Scheinerman and continue the Jewish values-based conversations that began two thousand years ago. The Talmud of Relationships, Volume 2 shows how the ancient Jewish texts of Talmud can facilitate modern relationship building-with family members, colleagues, strangers, the broader Jewish community, and ourselves. Scheinerman devotes each chapter to a different Talmud text exploring relationships-and many of the selections are fresh, largely unknown passages. Overcoming the roadblocks of language and style that can keep even the curious from diving into Talmud, she walks readers through the logic of each passage, offering full textual translations and expanding on these richly complex conversations, so that each of us can weigh multiple perspectives and draw our own conclusions. Scheinerman provides grounding in why the selected passage matters, its historical background, a gripping narrative of the rabbis' evolving commentary, insightful anecdotes and questions for thought and discussion, and a cogent synopsis. Through this firsthand encounter with the core text of Judaism, readers of all levels-Jews and non-Jews, newcomers and veterans, students and teachers, individuals and chevruta partners and families alike-will discover the treasure of the oral Torah.
This book provides an in-depth journey into the Torah portion through a series of studies on each parsha. Each study opens with a brief summary of the narrative and then presents probing questions designed to strike to the core of the text. These questions are addressed through a review of traditional commentaries spanning the ages, combined with original approaches. Deep philosophical issues and perplexing textual questions are carefully examined and discussed in clear and incisive fashion. The actions and motivations of the patriarchs, matriarchs and other biblical figures are probed with an eye towards determining the lessons to be learned from the lives of these great personalities. Clear distinction is made between pshat (straightforward literal meaning) and Midrash (rabbinical exegesis) as both of these approaches to biblical text are carefully defined and applied. Finally, thought-provoking connections are raised between the eternal Torah narrative and critical issues of our time. Each study is thus constructed to encourage continued discussion and study of the Torah narrative. With the publication of this final volume, Devarim (Deuteronomy), the five-volume series is complete.
Tom Segev's page-turning book casts the history of Israel and its founder in a bracing new light. Using previously unrevealed archival material, Segev demonstrates Ben-Gurion's power, skills and achievements, as well as his limitations and failures. He reveals for the first time Ben-Gurion's secret negotiations with the British on the eve of Israel's independence, his willingess to countenance the forced transfer of Arab neighbours, his relative indifference to the status of Jerusalem and Israel's nuclear programme, and his occassional nutty moments from UFO sightings to a plan for Israel to acquire territory in South America.
Many admired Ben-Gurion in his day, and many now miss his vision and inspiration, his boldness and integrity. Others have vilified him as an aggressive, divisive, dour, and often capricious politician. But only a few have really grasped the most intimate and guarded aspects of his complex character, the man behind the myth.
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