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Magdala of Galilee for the first time unifies the results of various excavations of the Galilean city. Here, archaeologists and historians of the Second Temple Period work together to understand the site and its significance to profile Galilee and the region around the lake in the Early Roman period. After a comprehensive overview of the history and character of the city, the volume details the harbor, the domestic and mercantile sectors, the Jewish ritual baths, and the synagogue, with its unique and remarkable engraved stone. There is also a full study of Magdala's fishing industry, which dominated fishing on the lake, and the production of salted fish. The rabbinic traditions about Magdala are fully investigated for the first time, and a study of Josephus' account of the city's role in the Jewish revolt is also included. The in-depth archaeological, historical, and literary analyses are enriched by a wealth of on-site photographs, regional maps, and excavation plans. Edited by Richard Bauckham, this cutting-edge synthesis of international field work and scholarly study brings the City of Fish and its place in Jewish history and culture into sharp relief, providing both specialists and general readers with a richer understanding of the background of early Judaism and Christianity.
In 1965 the Second Vatican Council declared that God loves the Jews. Before that, the Church had taught for centuries that Jews were cursed by God and, in the 1940s, mostly kept silent as Jews were slaughtered by the Nazis. How did an institution whose wisdom is said to be unchanging undertake one of the most enormous, yet undiscussed, ideological swings in modern history? The radical shift of Vatican II grew out of a buried history, a theological struggle in Central Europe in the years just before the Holocaust, when a small group of Catholic converts (especially former Jew Johannes Oesterreicher and former Protestant Karl Thieme) fought to keep Nazi racism from entering their newfound church. Through decades of engagement, extending from debates in academic journals, to popular education, to lobbying in the corridors of the Vatican, this unlikely duo overcame the most problematic aspect of Catholic history. Their success came not through appeals to morality but rather from a rediscovery of neglected portions of scripture. From Enemy to Brother illuminates the baffling silence of the Catholic Church during the Holocaust, showing how the ancient teaching of deicide - according to which the Jews were condemned to suffer until they turned to Christ - constituted the Church's only language to talk about the Jews. As he explores the process of theological change, John Connelly moves from the speechless Vatican to those Catholics who endeavored to find a new language to speak to the Jews on the eve of, and in the shadow of, the Holocaust.
John Locke's treatises on government make frequent reference to the Hebrew Bible, while references to the New Testament are almost completely absent. To date, scholarship has not addressed this surprising characteristic of the treatises. In this book, Yechiel Leiter offers a Hebraic reading of Locke's fundamental political text. In doing so, he formulates a new school of thought in Lockean political interpretation and challenges existing ones. He shows how a grasp of the Hebraic underpinnings of Locke's political theory resolves many of the problems, as well as scholarly debates, that are inherent in reading Locke. More than a book about the political theory of John Locke, this volume is about the foundational ideas of western civilization. While focused on Locke's Hebraism, it demonstrates the persistent relevance of the biblical political narrative to modernity. It will generate interest among students of Locke and political theory; philosophy and early modern history; and within Bible study communities.
This carefully researched study on the tabernacle of the Old Testament draws from both Christian and Jewish sources. The author not only probes the nature of the construction of the tabernacle, but also explores its theological meaning in the Old and New Testaments.The unavoidable conclusion the author draws is that the divinely instructed building of the tabernacle was evidence of God's desire to dwell with his people and to lead them. 216 Pages.
Weaving together Jewish lore, the voices of Jewish foremothers, Yiddish fable, midrash and stories of her own imagining, Ellen Frankel has created in this book a breathtakingly vivid exploration into what the Torah means to women. Here are Miriam, Esther, Dinah, Lilith and many other women of the Torah in dialogue with Jewish daughters, mothers and grandmothers, past and present. Together these voices examine and debate every aspect of a Jewish woman's life -- work, sex, marriage, her connection to God and her place in the Jewish community and in the world. The Five Books of Miriam makes an invaluable contribution to Torah study and adds rich dimension to the ongoing conversation between Jewish women and Jewish tradition.
What did ancient Jews believe about demons and angels? This question has long been puzzling, not least because the Hebrew Bible says relatively little about such transmundane powers. In the centuries after the conquests of Alexander the Great, however, we find an explosion of explicit and systematic interest in, and detailed discussions of, demons and angels. In this book, Annette Yoshiko Reed considers the third century BCE as a critical moment for the beginnings of Jewish angelology and demonology. Drawing on early 'pseudepigrapha' and Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls, she reconstructs the scribal settings in which transmundane powers became a topic of concerted Jewish interest. Reed also situates this development in relation to shifting ideas about scribes and writing across the Hellenistic Near East. Her book opens a window onto a forgotten era of Jewish literary creativity that nevertheless deeply shaped the discussion of angels and demons in Judaism and Christianity.
In Because of Eva, an American Jewish woman travels to Eastern Europe and Israel to solve mysteries in her family's past by delving into World War II and Holocaust history. What began as a seemingly simple search for ""Eva,"" the elderly relative who had signed Gordon's grandfather's death certificate in New York long ago, became a journey of discovery when Gordon found her in Tel Aviv. There, she heard Eva's stories of survival during the Holocaust, especially in Nazi-occupied Budapest. Eventually, Gordon would retrace Eva's steps in Budapest and visit ancestral towns in Ukraine to bear witness to the slaughter of entire populations of Jews. Amid remnants of loss and destruction in the small town where her grandfather was born, Gordon also uncovered details of her family's world before relatives immigrated to America. Gordon's journey into her past provided the deep sense of connection and belonging she needed as an adult child of divorce and abuse. Gaining insight about her family's history, Gordon reconciles issues of betrayal and loyalty, and finally finds her place in Judaism. Part memoir, part detective story, Because of Eva is an intimate tale of one woman's history within the epic sweep of world events in the twentieth century.
For centuries, Jews have been known as the "people of the book." It is commonly thought that Judaism in the first several centuries CE found meaning exclusively in textual sources. But there is another approach to meaning to be found in ancient Judaism, one that sees it in the natural world and derives it from visual clues rather than textual ones. According to this conception, God embedded hidden signs in the world that could be read by human beings and interpreted according to complex systems. In exploring the diverse functions of signs outside of the realm of the written word, Swartz introduces unfamiliar sources and motifs from the formative age of Judaism, including magical and divination texts and new interpretations of legends and midrashim from classical rabbinic literature. He shows us how ancient Jews perceived these signs and read them, elaborating on their use of divination, symbolic interpretation of physical features and dress, and interpretations of historical events. As we learn how these ancient people read the world, we begin to see how ancient people found meaning in unexpected ways.
The enigmatic kabbalist Samuel Falk, known as the Ba'al Shem of London, has piqued the curiosity of scholars for enerations. Eighteenth-century London was fascinated by Jews, and as a miracle-worker and adventurer, well connected and well read, Falk had much to offer. Interest in the man was further aroused by rumours of his dealings with European aristocrats and other famous characters, as well as with scholars, Freemasons, and Shabbateans, but evidence was scanty. Michal Oron has now brought together all the known source material on the man, and her detailed annotations of his diary and that of his assistant give us rich insights into his activities over several years. We learn of his meetings and his travels; his finances; his disputes, his dreams, and his remedies; and lists of his books. We see London's social life and commerce, its landed gentry and its prisons, and what people ate, wore, and possessed. The burgeoning Jewish community of London and its religious practices, as well as its communal divisiveness, is depicted especially colourfully. The scholarly introductions by Oron and by Todd Endelman and the informative appendices help contextualize the diaries and offer an intriguing glimpse of Jewish involvement in little-known aspects of London life at the threshold of the modern era.
He demonstrates that Ashkenazic Jewish culture was profoundly shaped and conditioned by life in an overwhelmingly Christian society. Drawing on diverse Christian documents, he portrays Christian beliefs about medieval Jews and Judaism with a degree of detail seldom found in Jewish historics. Emphasizing social, political, and economic history, but also duscussing religious topics, Glick describes the evolution of a complex, inherently unequal relationship. Because the Ashkenazic Jews of medieval Europe were ancestral to almost the entire Jewish population of eastern Europe, their historical experience played a major role in the heritage of most Jewish Americans.
During the 1990s and early 2000s in Europe, more than fifty historical commissions were created to confront, discuss, and document the genocide of the Holocaust and to address some of its unresolved injustices.Amending the Past offers the first in-depth account of these commissions, examining the complexities of reckoning with past atrocities and large-scale human rights violations. Alexander Karn analyzes more than a dozen Holocaust commissions-in Germany, Switzerland, France, Poland, Austria, Latvia, Lithuania, and elsewhere- in a comparative framework, situating each in the context of past and present politics, to evaluate their potential for promoting justice and their capacity for bringing the perspectives of rival groups more closely together. Karn also evaluates the media coverage these commissions received and probes their public reception from multiple angles. Arguing that historical commissions have been underused as a tool for conflict management, Karn develops a program for historical mediation and moral reparation that can deepen democratic commitment and strengthen human rights in both transitional regimes and existing liberal states.
Thanks to these generous donors for making the publication of this book possible: Dr. and Mrs. Lawrence Deutsch.
The latest in the JPS Bible Commentary series, 2011 National Jewish Book Award Winner, Barbara Dobkin Award in Women's Studies
The moving story of Ruth, with its themes of loyalty, loving kindness ("hesed"), and redemption, is one of the great narratives of the Bible.
Socially, the Israelites were aware of their responsibility to protect the weak and unprotected among them. Redemption secures the life of the people as a community, not just as individuals. In this story, Boaz fills the familial obligation to marry the widow of a deceased relative who never was able to father children, both to continue the family line and protect an otherwise vulnerable woman.
The authors provide a critical, line-by-line commentary of the biblical text, presented in its original Hebrew, complete with vocalization and cantillation marks, as well as the 1985 JPS English translation. The extensive introduction places the book within its historical, literary, and critical context, discusses contemporary interpretations of the story of Ruth, and examines its major motifs and themes, among them: family, marriage and levirate marriage in biblical and ancient Israel, redemption and inheritance, hesed, and the book's connection with the Jewish holiday of Shavuot.
The Lieberman Open Orthodox Haggadah (the Orlofsky Edition) addresses some of the burning issues of our times through the lens of the rituals and texts of the Seder night. As we recognise that "in every generation" we are to seek liberation and freedom, this Haggadah demonstrates an activism that stems from -- rather than being stymied by -- our ancient traditions. Open Orthodoxy is a stream of Orthodoxy that combines a strict adherence to Jewish law with an openness and flexibility on certain contemporary issues. With contributions from prominent and original thinkers and an introduction to the term Open Orthodoxy from Rabbi Avi Weiss, this Haggadah discusses some of these cutting-edge concerns -- such as women as clergy within Orthodoxy (i.e., the Maharat phenomenon), the agunah crisis, and the interaction between Jews and Gentiles.
The book of Jeremiah poses a challenge to biblical scholarship in terms of its literary composition and textual fluidity. This study offers an innovative approach to the problem by focusing on an instructive case study. Building on the critical recognition that the prophecy contained in Jer 10:1-16 is a composite text, this study systematically discusses the various literary strands discernible in the prophecy: satirical depictions of idolatry, an Aramaic citation, and hymnic passages. A chapter is devoted to each strand, revealing its compositional development-from the earliest recoverable stages down to its late reception. A range of pertinent evidence-culled from the literary, text-critical, and linguistic realms-is examined and sets within broader perspectives, with an eye open to cultural history and the development of theological outlook.The investigation of a particular text has important implications for the textual and compositional history of Jeremiah as a whole. Rather than settling for the common opinion that Jeremiah developed in two main stages, reflected in the MT and LXX respectively, a nuanced supplementary model is advocated, which better accords with the complexity of the available evidence.
In The Jewish Dietary Laws in the Ancient World Jordan D. Rosenblum explores how cultures critique and defend their religious food practices. In particular he focuses on how ancient Jews defended the kosher laws, or kashrut, and how ancient Greeks, Romans, and early Christians critiqued these practices. As the kosher laws are first encountered in the Hebrew Bible, this study is rooted in ancient biblical interpretation. It explores how commentators in antiquity understood, applied, altered, innovated upon, and contemporized biblical dietary regulations. He shows that these differing interpretations do not exist within a vacuum; rather, they are informed by a variety of motives, including theological, moral, political, social, and financial considerations. In analyzing these ancient conversations about culture and cuisine, he dissects three rhetorical strategies deployed when justifying various interpretations of ancient Jewish dietary regulations: reason, revelation, and allegory. Finally, Rosenblum reflects upon wider, contemporary debates about food ethics.
Winner of the 2016 Goldstein-Goren Award for the best book in Jewish Thought At once a study of biblical theology and modern Jewish thought, this volume describes a "participatory theory of revelation" as it addresses the ways biblical authors and contemporary theologians alike understand the process of revelation and hence the authority of the law. Benjamin Sommer maintains that the Pentateuch's authors intend not only to convey God's will but to express Israel's interpretation of and response to that divine will. Thus Sommer's close readings of biblical texts bolster liberal theologies of modern Judaism, especially those of Abraham Joshua Heschel and Franz Rosenzweig. This bold view of revelation puts a premium on human agency and attests to the grandeur of a God who accomplishes a providential task through the free will of the human subjects under divine authority. Yet, even though the Pentateuch's authors hold diverse views of revelation, all of them regard the binding authority of the law as sacrosanct. Sommer's book demonstrates why a law-observant religious Jew can be open to discoveries about the Bible that seem nontraditional or even antireligious.
Christians, Muslims and Jews all stem from one man, Abraham, and yet relations between them are so often strained. Three men of faith - one Jew, one Muslim and one Christian - debate the differences between them. The result is a compelling discussion: What do their faiths teach on the big issues of life? What can be done to make for better relationships in the future? What can be done on the big global areas of conflict and tension? How can they get along? For hundreds of years, many of the biggest global conflicts have been fuelled by religious hatred and prejudice. It is evident, in the early part of the 21st century that not much has changed. Whether it is fundamentalist Muslims waging jihad in Afghanistan and Pakistan, or the perpetual low scale hostilities between Israel and the Palestinians, to the man in the street, religion seems to make people more likely to fight each other, not less. Why is this? Why Can't They Get Along? is a powerful and much needed account. Current, passionate and compelling it is essential reading.
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