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German Reparations and the Jewish World" has become a standard reference work since it was first published. Based extensively on archival sources, the author examines the difficult debate within the Jewish world whether it was possible to reach a material settlement with Germany so soon after Auschwitz. Concentrating on how the money was spent in rebuilding Jewish life, he also analyzes how the reparations payments transformed the relations bteween Israel and the diaspora, and between different Jewish political and ideological groups. This revised and expanded edition includes material on sensitive relief programmes from archives that have only recently been opened to researchers. In a new, extensive introductory essay the author reexamines the reparations, restitution and indemnification processes from the perspective of 50 years later.
Hasidism, a movement many believed had passed its golden age, has had an extraordinary revival since it was nearly decimated in the Holocaust and repressed in the Soviet Union. Hasidic communities, now settled primarily in North America and Israel, have reversed the losses they suffered and are growing exponentially. With powerful attachments to the past, mysticism, community, tradition, and charismatic leadership, Hasidism seems the opposite of contemporary Western culture, yet it has thrived in the democratic countries and culture of the West. How? Who Will Lead Us? finds the answers to this question in the fascinating story of five contemporary Hasidic dynasties and their handling of the delicate issue of leadership and succession. Revolving around the central figure of the rebbe, the book explores two dynasties with too few successors, two with too many successors, and one that believes their last rebbe continues to lead them even after his death. Samuel C. Heilman, recognized as a foremost expert on modern Jewish Orthodoxy, here provides outsiders with the essential guide to continuity in the Hasidic world.
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.
Introduces Christians to the Jewish roots of their faith. Explains how the Jews and the Church are God's people.
A revealing look at Jewish men and women who secretly explore the outside world, in person and online, while remaining in their ultra-Orthodox religious communities What would you do if you questioned your religious faith, but revealing that would cause you to lose your family and the only way of life you had ever known? Hidden Heretics tells the fascinating, often heart-wrenching stories of married ultra-Orthodox Jewish men and women in twenty-first-century New York who lead "double lives" in order to protect those they love. While they no longer believe that God gave the Torah to Jews at Mount Sinai, these hidden heretics continue to live in their families and religious communities, even as they surreptitiously break Jewish commandments and explore forbidden secular worlds in person and online. Drawing on five years of fieldwork with those living double lives and the rabbis, life coaches, and religious therapists who minister to, advise, and sometimes excommunicate them, Ayala Fader investigates religious doubt and social change in the digital age. The internet, which some ultra-Orthodox rabbis call more threatening than the Holocaust, offers new possibilities for the age-old problem of religious uncertainty. Fader shows how digital media has become a lightning rod for contemporary struggles over authority and truth. She reveals the stresses and strains that hidden heretics experience, including the difficulties their choices pose for their wives, husbands, children, and, sometimes, lovers. In following those living double lives, who range from the religiously observant but open-minded on one end to atheists on the other, Fader delves into universal quandaries of faith and skepticism, the ways digital media can change us, and family frictions that arise when a person radically transforms who they are and what they believe. In stories of conflicts between faith and self-fulfillment, Hidden Heretics explores the moral compromises and divided loyalties of individuals facing life-altering crossroads.
In Kabbalah: A Very Short Introduction, Joseph Dan, one of the world's leading authorities on Jewish mysticism, offers a concise and highly accurate look at the history and character of the various systems developed by the adherents of the Kabbalah. Dan sheds light on the many misconceptions about what Kabbalah is and isn't-including its connections to magic, astronomy, alchemy, and numerology-and he illuminates the relationship between Kaballah and Christianity on the one hand and New Age religion on the other. The book provides fascinating historical background, ranging from the mystical groups that flourished in ancient Judaism in the East, and the medieval schools of Kabbalah in Northern Spain and Southern France, to the widening growth of Kabbalah through the school of Isaac Luria of Safed in the sixteenth century, to the most potent and influential modern Jewish religious movement, Hasidism, and its use of kabbalistic language in its preaching. The book examines the key ancient texts of this tradition, including the Sefer Yezira or "Book of Creation," The Book of Bahir, and the Zohar. Dan explains Midrash, the classical Jewish exegesis of scriptures, which assumes an infinity of meanings for every biblical verse, and he concludes with a brief survey of scholarship in the field and a list of books for further reading. Embraced by celebrities and integrated in many contemporary spiritual phenomena, Kabbalah has reaped a wealth of attention in the press. But many critics argue that the form of Kabbalah practiced in Hollywood is more New Age pabulum than authentic tradition. Can there be a positive role for the Kabbalah in the contemporary quest for spirituality? In Kabbalah, Joseph Dan debunks the myths surrounding modern Kabbalistic practice, offering an engaging and dependable account of this traditional Jewish religious phenomenon and its impact outside of Judaism. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
The Sabbath ends with this short, yet equally sweet ceremony called havdalah (separation). This ceremony reminds us to be a light and a sweet fragrance in this world of darkness as we carry the peace, rest, joy, and love of the Sabbath into the work week.
A philosophical case against religious violence We live in an age beset by religiously inspired violence. Terms such as "holy war" are the stock-in-trade of the evening news. But what is the relationship between holiness and violence? Can acts such as murder ever truly be described as holy? In Does Judaism Condone Violence?, Alan Mittleman offers a searching philosophical investigation of such questions in the Jewish tradition. Jewish texts feature episodes of divinely inspired violence, and the position of the Jews as God's chosen people has been invoked to justify violent acts today. Are these justifications valid? Or does our understanding of the holy entail an ethic that argues against violence? Reconstructing the concept of the holy through a philosophical examination of biblical texts, Mittleman finds that the holy and the good are inextricably linked, and that our experience of holiness is authenticated through its moral consequences. Our understanding of the holy develops through reflection on God's creation of the natural world, and our values emerge through our relations with that world. Ultimately, Mittleman concludes, religious justifications for violence cannot be sustained. Lucid and incisive, Does Judaism Condone Violence? is a powerful counterargument to those who claim that the holy is irrational and amoral. With philosophical implications that extend far beyond the Jewish tradition, this book should be read by anyone concerned about the troubling connection between holiness and violence.
The recovery of 800 documents in the eleven caves on the northwest shores of the Dead Sea is one of the most sensational archaeological discoveries in the Holy Land to date. These three volumes, the very best of critical scholarship, demonstrate in detail how the scrolls have revolutionized our knowledge of the text of the Bible, the character of Second Temple Judaism, and the Jewish beginnings of Christianity.
Hanukkah is the holiday that lights up our lives every winter. The glow of the menorah reminds us of the light that shines brightly within us and the power we have to make the world a better place. HANUKKAH STORIES is filled with over 101 stories of personal memories, anecdotes, and tales from celebrities to people like you and me. Here you'll find heartwarming reminiscences about Hanukkah experiences across the globe from an RV campground in California, on the ice in Finland, even aboard Spaceship Hubble. There's also a chapter just for latkes, including the new chocolate chip ones. Hanukkah is a joyful holiday. Whatever one's religion, it's a testament to the universal human values of dedication, perseverance, generosity, and remembrance. Whether it's sharing stories with our families today or passing on traditions for tomorrow's generation, Hanukkah is a festival of family, celebration, and joy.
Finalist: 2014 National Jewish Book Award, Modern Jewish Thought and Experience This study seeks to examine the relationship between the two major categories of commandments (mitzvot): ritual commands (between man and his Maker) and social interpersonal commands (between man and his neighbor). It is argued here that when there is a clash between these two categories, and one cannot carry out both, the interpersonal mitzvot almost always override those of a ritual nature. Different scenarios from a broad spectrum of Jewish law are cited to prove this contention, and the conclusion is underscored through the examination of the behavior and rulings of several leading Jewish legal authorities. Finally, the implications of this conclusion and their impact on religious educational direction and rationale are also discussed.
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.
Women rabbis are changing the face of Judaism.
The Haftarah is a potent tool for understanding the values, ethics, and moral lessons contained in the Torah readings. In this first-of-its-kind volume, more than eighty women rabbis from the Reform, Conservative, and Reconstructionist movements offer fresh perspectives on the beloved texts that make up the Haftarah the Prophets and Writings and the Five Megillot.
Based on readings that are rich in imagery some poetic, some narrative, some dark and brooding their commentaries include surprising insights on the stories of Deborah and Yael, David and Goliath, David and Bathsheva, and the witch of Endor, among many others. Themes such as Jerusalem as woman, the story of Jonah and the fish, and other prophetic images are informed and challenged by this groundbreaking work.
A rich resource, a major contribution to modern biblical commentary, and the ideal companion to The Women s Torah Commentary, The Women s Haftarah Commentary will inspire all of us to gain deeper meaning from the Hebrew scriptures and a heightened appreciation of Judaism.
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