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Empire-critical and postcolonial readings of Revelation are now commonplace, but scholars have not yet put these views into conversation with Jewish trauma and cultural survival strategies. In this book, Sarah Emanuel positions Revelation within its ancient Jewish context. Proposing a new reading of Revelation, she demonstrates how the text's author, a first century CE Jewish Christ-follower, used humor as a means of resisting Roman power. Emanuel uses multiple critical lenses, including humor, trauma, and postcolonial theory, together with historical-critical methods. These approaches enable a deeper understanding of the Jewishness of the early Christ-centered movement, and how Jews in antiquity related to their cultural and religious identity. Emanuel's volume offers new insights and fills a gap in contemporary scholarship on Revelation and biblical scholarship more broadly.
Authentic and simple, this retelling of the Passover story in the Haggadah is designed to guide Passover participants through the Seder while educating them about the practice. Detailing the meaning of the ceremony in the past and present, the book also discusses the authenticity of the ceremony and the story, allowing those with little or no experience conducting a Seder to do so with confidence. A phonetic version of the Hebrew text is also included to aid those unfamiliar with Hebrew pronunciation.
Making the rich narrative world of Talmud tales fully accessible to modern readers, renowned Talmud scholar Jeffrey L. Rubenstein turns his spotlight on both famous and little-known stories, analyzing the tales in their original contexts, exploring their cultural meanings and literary artistry, and illuminating their relevance. Delving into both rabbinic life (the academy, master-disciple relationships) and Jewish life under Roman and Persian rule (persecution, taxation, marketplaces), Rubenstein explains how storytellers used irony, wordplay, figurative language, and other art forms to communicate their intended messages. Each close reading demonstrates the story's continuing relevance through the generations into modernity. For example, the story "Showdown in Court," a confrontation between King Yannai and the Rabbinic judges, provides insights into controversial struggles in U.S. history to balance governmental power; the story of Honi's seventy-year sleep becomes a window into the indignities of aging. Through the prism of Talmud tales, Rubenstein also offers timeless insights into suffering, beauty, disgust, heroism, humor, love, sex, truth, and falsehood. By connecting twenty-first-century readers to past generations, The Land of Truth helps to bridge the divide between modern Jews and the traditional narrative worlds of their ancestors.
Introducing Judaism is the ideal starting point for students beginning their studies of this fascinating religion. Eliezer Segal takes a historical approach, focusing on religious aspects of Judaism, and introducing themes as they emerge from authentic Jewish documents. Students will gain an understanding of how Judaism is lived by its adherents and the historical and geographical diversity of Jewish beliefs and practices. The book has a clear and accessible structure. Part One presents the historical context of Judaism, from the Biblical era, through the Medieval period and on to modern Judaism. Part Two surveys the distinctive values and beliefs of Judaism, including attitudes to God, Covenant, Israel, exile and homeland, the Torah, and its commandments, while Part Three presents Jewish Practices and Institutions, engaging with topics such as daily life, worship, temple and synagogue, law, ethics and education, the afterlife, and resurrection. Throughout the book, Eliezer Segal stresses the diversity of interpretations that have been generated by historical circumstances, differing theological and ideological outlooks, and the spiritual creativity of the religious community. Attention is paid to various models of piety, mysticism, scholasticism and folk religion, including the impact of Judaism on the daily life of believers and the experiences of Jewish women. Illustrated throughout, Introducing Judaism includes text boxes, a glossary, and a list of further reading to aid students' understanding and revision, providing a thorough overview of one of the first recorded monotheistic faiths and one of the oldest religions still practiced today. The accompanying website for this book can be found at www.routledge.com/textbooks/9780415440097.
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.
A practical approach to creating wealth-based on the established principles of ancient Jewish wisdom-made accessible to people of all backgrounds
The ups and downs of the economy prove Rabbi Daniel Lapin's famous principle that the more things change, the more we need to depend upon the things that never change. There's no better source for both practical and spiritual financial wisdom than the time-tested knowledge found in the ancient Jewish faith and its culture. In the "Second Edition" of "Thou Shall Prosper, " Lapin offers a practical approach to creating wealth based on the established principles of ancient Jewish wisdom. This book details the ten permanent principles that never change, the ten commandments of making money if you will, and explores the economic and philosophic vision of business that has been part of Jewish culture for centuries. The book's focus is on making accessible to individuals of all backgrounds, the timeless truths that Jews have used for centuries to excel in business.Outlines ten fundamental "commandments" relating to business and moneyIncludes insights that will increase your potential for creating wealth, no matter what your faith or background may beBlends contemporary business stories and Lapin's own business experiences with the wisdom of the Torah and Talmudic prescriptions
This "Second Edition" provides new examples, especially of Internet related business opportunities. In addition, each chapter highlights specific action steps that can lead to wealth opportunities in both difficult economic times and periods of prosperity.
How the rabbis of the Talmud transformed everything into a legal question-and Jewish law into a way of thinking and talking about everything Though typically translated as "Jewish law," the term halakhah is not an easy match for what is usually thought of as law. This is because the rabbinic legal system has rarely wielded the political power to enforce its many detailed rules, nor has it ever been the law of any state. Even more idiosyncratically, the talmudic rabbis claim that the study of halakhah is a holy endeavor that brings a person closer to God-a claim no country makes of its law. In this panoramic book, Chaim Saiman traces how generations of rabbis have used concepts forged in talmudic disputation to do the work that other societies assign not only to philosophy, political theory, theology, and ethics but also to art, drama, and literature. In the multifaceted world of halakhah where everything is law, law is also everything, and even laws that serve no practical purpose can, when properly studied, provide surprising insights into timeless questions about the very nature of human existence. What does it mean for legal analysis to connect humans to God? Can spiritual teachings remain meaningful and at the same time rigidly codified? Can a modern state be governed by such law? Guiding readers across two millennia of richly illuminating perspectives, this book shows how halakhah is not just "law" but an entire way of thinking, being, and knowing.
In "Together Forever", Michael Laitman tells us that if we are patient and endure the trials we encounter along our life's path, we will become stronger, braver, and wiser. Instead of growing weaker, we will learn to create our own magic and our own wonders as only a magician can. In this warm, tender tale, the author shares with children and parents alike some of the gems and charms of the spiritual world.The storyline introduces a kind magician who wishes to have a friend, and to teach his friend all the magic that he knows. He creates all kinds of objects and animals, but his best friend and student is the man that he creates. The story describes how the magician teaches the man to be like him - a great and kind magician - and explains that every one of us can become like the magician, if it is our wish. The wisdom of Kabbalah is filled with spellbinding stories. "Together Forever" is yet another gift from this ageless source of wisdom, whose lessons make our lives richer, easier, and far more fulfilling.
For millennia, two biblical verses have been understood to condemn
sex between men as an act so abhorrent that it is punishable by
death. Traditionally Orthodox Jews, believing the scripture to be
the word of God, have rejected homosexuality in accordance with
this interpretation. In 1999, Rabbi Steven Greenberg challenged
this tradition when he became the first Orthodox rabbi ever to
openly declare his homosexuality.
View the Table of Contents. Read the Introduction.
aMasterfully weaving together stories of adolescent girls based
on an analysis of their diaries, personal letters, and memoirs,
Klapper illuminates the ways these young women grappled with
contradictory feelings about their friends, family, and
future...This compelling narrative deeply enriches our
understanding of the intertwined roles played by gender, ethnicity,
religion, and education in fostering American identity at the turn
of the century.a
aMelissa R. Klapper has succeeded handsomely in surmounting the
hurdles of her topic to create a coherent narrative of cultural
change. She brings to her subject sensitivity to the stress of
adolescence, mastery of her materials, and genuine affection for
the experience of growing up female, Jewish, and American.a
aDrawing on diaries and magazines, historian Klapper recreates the world of Jewish girls in late 19th- and early 20th-century America. . . . This book's charm lies in its innovative and engaging focus on girlhood. Klapper . . . offers grace notes to a familiar narrative about the tensions between assimilation and tradition.a--"Publishers Weekly"
"Provides a revealing glimpse into the lives of adolescent girls
at the turn of the century. Klapper's exhaustive search for the
diaries of young Jewish women has produced a harvest of insights
into their relationships to religion, to education, to domestic
lives, and to girl culture."
"Melissa Klapper's pioneering volume, based on an astonishing
wealth of primary sources, uncovers more than wehave ever known
about the upbringing and education of Jewish girls in America from
the Civil War to World War I. Covering everything from religious
education to sex education, it explores what it meant to be a
Jewish girl aged 12-20 during one of the most tumultuous eras in
"Brings to life the lives of the 'ordinary' young women whom we
encounter in these pages. By exploring the diaries of Jewish girls
who used these private and personal sources to think about their
conflicting ideas about identities, families, and futures, Melissa
Klapper has shown them to be historical actors, and as such
anything but ordinary. By combining intellectual matters of several
literatures-the history of education, women's history, American
Jewish history, the history of the United States over the course of
a crucial six decade period-Klapper has made a substantial
contribution to our understanding of the past and those who peopled
"Klapper offers a thoughtful book on subjects too often ignored
in both the literature of Jewish-Americans and of American
Jewish Girls Coming of Age in America, 1860-1920 draws on a wealth of archival material, much of which has never been published--or even read--to illuminate the ways in which Jewish girls' adolescent experiences reflected larger issues relating to gender, ethnicity, religion, and education.
Klapper explores the dual roles girls played as agents ofacculturation and guardians of tradition. Their search for an identity as American girls that would not require the abandonment of Jewish tradition and culture mirrored the struggle of their families and communities for integration into American society.
While focusing on their lives as girls, not the adults they would later become, Klapper draws on the papers of such figures as Henrietta Szold, founder of Hadassah; Edna Ferber, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Showboat; and Marie Syrkin, literary critic and Zionist. Klapper also analyzes the diaries, memoirs, and letters of hundreds of other girls whose later lives and experiences have been lost to history.
Told in an engaging style and filled with colorful quotes, the book brings to life a neglected group of fascinating historical figures during a pivotal moment in the development of gender roles, adolescence, and the modern American Jewish community.
The life and thought of a forceful figure in Israel's religious and political life Rav Abraham Isaac Kook (1865-1935) was one of the most influential-and controversial-rabbis of the twentieth century. A visionary writer and outstanding rabbinic leader, Kook was a philosopher, mystic, poet, jurist, communal leader, and veritable saint. The first chief rabbi of Jewish Palestine and the founding theologian of religious Zionism, he struggled to understand and shape his revolutionary times. His life and writings resonate with the defining tensions of Jewish life and thought. A powerfully original thinker, Rav Kook combined strict traditionalism and an embrace of modernity, Orthodoxy and tolerance, piety and audacity, scholasticism and ecstasy, and passionate nationalism with profound universalism. Though little known in the English-speaking world, his life and teachings are essential to understanding current Israeli politics, contemporary Jewish spirituality, and modern Jewish thought. This biography, the first in English in more than half a century, offers a rich and insightful portrait of the man and his complex legacy. Yehudah Mirsky clears away widespread misunderstandings of Kook's ideas and provides fresh insights into his personality and worldview. Mirsky demonstrates how Kook's richly erudite, dazzlingly poetic writings convey a breathtaking vision in which "the old will become new, and the new will become holy."
This book tells the story of Judaism from the medieval ghettos through the Enlightenment to the tragedy of the Holocaust and the birth of modern Israel, with over 250 illustrations. It is a rich visual account of one of the world's great religions, following Judaism through centuries of persecution to the establishment of a global civilization. It offers special focus on Jewish culture and society in recent times, including medicine, science, art, literature and music. This in-depth history of the Jewish faith explores how Jews have lived under Christianity and Islamic rule, survived centuries of anti-Semitism, life in the Diaspora, the Holocaust and the revival of Judaism today. In the 19th century, mass migration to America coincided with the rise of Zionism. Today, most Jews live in Israel and the USA, yet France and Britain maintain vibrant Jewish populations, and Germany, once the birthplace of Nazism, is Europe's fastest-growing community. With over 250 illustrations, this is a fascinating history of one of the world's most influential religions, forming a perfect study aid for anyone with an interest in the story of the Jews.
The first cartographic reference book on one of today's most important religious movements Historical Atlas of Hasidism is the very first cartographic reference book on one of the modern era's most vibrant and important mystical movements. Featuring seventy-four large-format maps and a wealth of illustrations, charts, and tables, this one-of-a-kind atlas charts Hasidism's emergence and expansion; its dynasties, courts, and prayer houses; its spread to the New World; the crisis of the two world wars and the Holocaust; and Hasidism's remarkable postwar rebirth. Historical Atlas of Hasidism demonstrates how geography has influenced not only the social organization of Hasidism but also its spiritual life, types of religious leadership, and cultural articulation. It focuses not only on Hasidic leaders but also on their thousands of followers living far from Hasidic centers. It examines Hasidism in its historical entirety, from its beginnings in the eighteenth century until today, and draws on extensive GIS-processed databases of historical and contemporary records to present the most complete picture yet of this thriving and diverse religious movement. Historical Atlas of Hasidism is visually stunning and easy to use, a magnificent resource for anyone seeking to understand Hasidism's spatial and spiritual dimensions, or indeed anybody interested in geographies of religious movements past and present. Provides the first cartographic interpretation of Hasidism Features seventy-four maps and numerous illustrations Covers Hasidism in its historical entirety, from its eighteenth-century origins to today Charts Hasidism's emergence and expansion, courts and prayer houses, modern resurgence, and much more Offers the first in-depth analysis of Hasidism's egalitarian-not elitist-dimensions Draws on extensive GIS-processed databases of historical and contemporary records
"The Bedside Torah" guides you into the wisdom, counsel, and holiness of the sacred text that is the center of Jewish spirituality. Rabbi Bradley Artson, one of the truly inspirational and knowledgeable teachers of Torah of our time, weaves together the insights of ancient rabbis and sages, medieval commentators and philosophers, and modern scholars and religious leaders. The reflections in this collection offer three different commentaries on each of the 50 Torah portions, enlightening you into the Torah's infinite layers of meaning and offering opportunities to discover interpretations of your own..
""The Bedside Torah" is an introduction to Jewish text study
that is both learned and engaging . . . The language is
conversational, the insights provocative, and the chapters are just
the right length for reading before an inspired night's
"Bradley Artson is one of the most insightful and articulate
rabbis of his generation, as this volume clearly attests."
"In "The Bedside Torah," Rabbi Artson combines wisdom garnered
from traditional Jewish sources and commentaries with anecdotes and
insights drawn from his own life as well as the lives of all those
he has served. In so doing, he has turned each weekly Torah portion
into a series of revelations for the reader. "The Bedside Torah" is
a treasure that will surely enrich the religious life of Jews as
well as all those who seek comfort and guidance from Jewish
In Biblical Theology, Ben Witherington, III, examines the theology of the Old and New Testaments as a totality. Going beyond an account of carefully crafted Old and New Testament theologies, he demonstrates the ideas that make the Bible a sacred book with a unified theology. Witherington brings a distinctive methodology to this study. Taking a constructive approach, he first examines the foundations of the writers' symbolic universe - what they thought and presupposed about God - and how they revealed those thoughts through the narratives of the Old and New Testaments. He also shows how the historical contexts and intellectual worlds of the Old and New Testaments conditioned their narratives, and, in the process, created a large coherent Biblical world view, one that progressively reveals the character and action of God. Thus, the Yahweh of the Old Testament, the Son in the Gospels, and the Father, Son, and Spirit in the New Testament writings are viewed as persons who are part of the singular divine identity. Witherington's progressive revelation approach allows each part of the canon to be read in its original context and with its original meaning.
This new series presents innovative titles pertaining to human origins, evolution, and behavior from a multi-disciplinary perspective. Subject areas include but are not limited to biological and physical anthropology, prehistoric archaeology, evolutionary psychology, behavioral ecology, and evolutionary biology. The series volumes will be of interest primarily to students and scholars in these fields.
Human bodily existence is at the core of the Torah and the rest of the Hebrew Scriptures -- from birth to death. From God's creation of Adam out of clay, to the narratives of priests and kings whose regulations governed bodily practices, the Hebrew Bible focuses on the human body. Moreover, ancient Israel's understanding of the human body has greatly influenced both Judaism and Christianity. Despite this pervasive influence, ancient Israel's view of the human body has rarely been studied and, until now, has been poorly understood.
In this beautifully written book, Jon L. Berquist guides the reader through the Hebrew Bible, examining ancient Israel's ideas of the body, the unstable roles of gender, the deployment of sexuality, and the cultural practices of the time. Conducting his analysis with reference to contemporary theories of the body, power, and social control, Berquist offers not only a description and clarification of ancient Israelite views of the body, but also an analysis of how these views belong to the complex logic of ancient social meanings. When this logic is understood, the familiar Bible becomes strange and opens itself to a wide range of new interpretations.
The office of rabbi is the most visible symbol of power and prestige in Jewish communities. Rabbis both interpret to their congregations the requirements of Jewish life and instruct congregants in how best to live this life. Lesbian Rabbis: The First Generation documents a monumental change in Jewish life as eighteen lesbian rabbis reflect on their experiences as trailblazers in Judaism's journey into an increasingly multicultural world. In frank and revealing essays, the contributors discuss their decisions to become rabbis and describe their experiences both at the seminaries and in their rabbinical positions. They also reflect on the dilemma whether to conceal or reveal their sexual identities to their congregants and superiors, or to serve specifically gay and lesbian congregations. The contributors consider the tensions between lesbian identity and Jewish identity, and inquire whether there are particularly ""lesbian"" readings of traditional texts. These essays also ask how the language of Jewish tradition touches the lives of lesbians and how lesbianism challenges traditional notions of the Jewish family. ""'Today I am completely 'out' personally and professionally, and yet I have learned that the 'coming out' process never ends. Even today, I find myself in professional situations in which yet again I must reveal that I am a lesbian, yet again I must prove myself worthy of functioning professionally in the 'straight' world. I still encounter moments of awkwardness, some hostility, and some sense of exclusion as I negotiate the pathways of my professional life.""-Rabbi Leila Gal Berner, from Lesbian Rabbis: The First Generation
We think of the Hebrew Bible as the Book--and yet it was produced by a largely nonliterate culture in which writing, editing, copying, interpretation, and public reading were the work of a professional elite. The scribes of ancient Israel are indeed the main figures behind the Hebrew Bible, and in this book Karel van der Toorn tells their story for the first time. His book considers the Bible in very specific historical terms, as the output of the scribal workshop of the Second Temple active in the period 500-200 BCE. Drawing comparisons with the scribal practices of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, van der Toorn clearly details the methods, the assumptions, and the material means of production that gave rise to biblical texts; then he brings his observations to bear on two important texts, Deuteronomy and Jeremiah.
Traditionally seen as the copycats of antiquity, the scribes emerge here as the literate elite who held the key to the production as well as the transmission of texts. Van der Toorn's account of scribal culture opens a new perspective on the origins of the Hebrew Bible, revealing how the individual books of the Bible and the authors associated with them were products of the social and intellectual world of the scribes. By taking us inside that world, this book yields a new and arresting appreciation of the Hebrew Scriptures.
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