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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.
This revelatory new translation of Job by one of the world's leading biblical scholars will reshape the way we read this canonical text The book of Job has often been called the greatest poem ever written. The book, in Edward Greenstein's characterization, is "a Wunderkind, a genius emerging out of the confluence of two literary streams" which "dazzles like Shakespeare with unrivaled vocabulary and a penchant for linguistic innovation." Despite the text's literary prestige and cultural prominence, no English translation has come close to conveying the proper sense of the original. The book has consequently been misunderstood in innumerable details and in its main themes. Edward Greenstein's new translation of Job is the culmination of decades of intensive research and painstaking philological and literary analysis, offering a major reinterpretation of this canonical text. Through his beautifully rendered translation and insightful introduction and commentary, Greenstein presents a new perspective: Job, he shows, was defiant of God until the end. The book is more about speaking truth to power than the problem of unjust suffering.
Biography: Neusner is a social commentator, a post-Holocaust theologian, and an outspoken political figure. Jacob Neusner (born 1932) is one of the most important figures in the shaping of modern American Judaism. He was pivotal in transforming the study of Judaism from an insular project only conducted by-and of interest to-religious adherents to one which now flourishes in the secular setting of the university. He is also one of the most colorful, creative, and difficult figures in the American academy. But even those who disagree with Neusner's academic approach to ancient rabbinic texts have to engage with his pioneering methods. In this comprehensive biography, Aaron Hughes shows Neusner to be much more than a scholar of rabbinics. He is a social commentator, a post-Holocaust theologian, and was an outspoken political figure during the height of the cultural wars of the 1980s. Neusner's life reflects the story of what happened as Jews migrated to the suburbs in the late 1940s, daring to imagine new lives for themselves as they successfully integrated into the fabric of American society. It is also the story of how American Jews tried to make sense of the world in the aftermath of the extermination of European Jewry and the subsequent creation of the State of Israel in 1948, and how they sought to define what it meant to be an American Jew. Unlike other great American Jewish thinkers, Neusner was born in the U.S., and his Judaism was informed by an American ethos. His Judaism is open, informed by and informing the world. It is an American Judaism, one that has enabled American Jews-the freest in history-to be fully American and fully Jewish.
What makes Israeli law Israeli? Why is the word 'Jewish' almost entirely absent from Israeli legislation? How did Israel succeed in eluding a futile and dangerous debate over identity, and construct a progressive, independent, original and sophisticated legal system? Law and Identity in Israel attempts to answer these questions by looking at the complex bond between Zionism and the Jewish culture. Forging an original and 'authentic' Israeli law that would be an expression and encapsulation of Israeli-Jewish identity has been the goal of many Jewish and Zionist jurists as well as public leaders for the past century. This book chronicles and analyzes these efforts, and in the process tackles the complex meaning of Judaism in modern times as a religion, a culture, and a nationality. Nir Kedar examines the challenges and difficulties of expressing Judaism, or transplanting it into, the laws of the state of Israel.
What is the role of scripture in illuminating the lives of the faithful today? In this book, three experts in Judaism, Christianity and Islam respectively discuss and debate this question, by exploring the core messages of the Torah, Bible and Qu'ran. Taking a deeper look at the wide range of theological, political and social issues that divide (and sometimes unite) their religions, they reveal how inspiration and guidance can be drawn not only on life's big questions such as sin and the afterlife, but also on societal issues including war, suffering, marriage and justice.
Find hope and renewal in life's natural cycle of ordinary losses and new beginnings.
"When we intentionally enter into our everyday walk through small losses, the terrain of larger losses, the valley of the shadow of death, is not totally unknown. It is not completely unfamiliar, alien, terrifying, for we have walked some of this way before with our lesser losses. We can journey through this valley of loss, for journey through it we must. And we can emerge markedly changed, but alive, on the other side." from the Prologue
Going beyond loss as a problem to be resolved, a grief to be worked through, Dr. Nancy Copeland-Payton, a spiritual director and ordained clergywoman, reframes loss from the perspective that our everyday losses help us learn what we need to handle the major losses. Weaving in spiritual and classical themes, personal and scriptural story, Dr. Copeland-Payton shows us that by becoming aware of what our lesser losses have to teach us, the larger losses of our lives become less terrifying. Each chapter includes a spiritual practice and questions for reflection to help you: Mine the hidden depths of painful losses of things and placesTraverse the devastating loss of relationships and the heart-wrenching death of people we love.Overcome the steep, dark slopes of loss of beliefs and faith.Venture past our fear of the losses of aging and our own death."
A JPS classic reissue of the critical volume, based on manuscript and early editions. Mekhilta de-Rabbi Ishmael is a classic collection of midrash. It contains commentary on a large part of the Book of Exodus (chapters 12 to 23) and represents the two main modes of interpretation: the halakhah (legal doctrine), and the aggadah (moral and religious teachings). The work also contains allusions to historical events and ancient legends not found elsewhere. A new introduction by noted scholar David Stern highlights the work, now published in a convenient two-volume set. It retains the original text from the JPS 1933 edition, reset in a modern, readable typeface, with Hebrew and English on facing pages and the original indexes. This classic work is widely recognized as a model of meticulous and thorough scholarship. Its translation is accurate, straightforward, and usable by scholars, students, and lay readers. Out of print for many years, it will be heralded as an important reissue that should belong to every rabbi, rabbinical school, and Jewish Studies professor, and will be an important addition to synagogue libraries and public libraries with Judaica collections.
Over a span of thirty years, twentieth-century French philosophers Emmanuel Levinas and Jacques Derrida held a conversation across texts. Sharing a Jewish heritage and a background in phenomenology, both came to situate their work at the margins of philosophy, articulating this placement through religion and literature. Chronicling the interactions between these thinkers, Sarah Hammerschlag argues that the stakes in their respective positions were more than philosophical. They were also political. Levinas's investments were born out in his writings on Judaism and ultimately in an evolving conviction that the young state of Israel held the best possibility for achieving such an ideal. For Derrida, the Jewish question was literary. The stakes of Jewish survival could only be approached through reflections on modern literature's religious legacy, a line of thinking that provided him the means to reconceive democracy. Hammerschlag's reexamination of Derrida and Levinas's textual exchange not only produces a new account of this friendship but also has significant ramifications for debates within Continental philosophy, the study of religion, and political theology.
Jacob loves his autistic brother, Nathan, but when Hanukkah comes, Jacob worries that Nathan might embarrass him in front of his new friend. What if Nathan blows out the Hanukkah candles?!
This is a commentary and guide to reading the Book of Psalms as literature. After an introduction, each psalm is interpreted in light of biblical scholarship, ancient and modern, with an emphasis on the poetic presentation. The commentary elucidates the spiritual quests, insights, and struggles of generations of men and women confronting their world and their place in that world, with no subject, be it faith or non-belief, good or evil, hope or despair, God or man, the individual or the society, the nation or the nations, left unexplored. Sophisticated poets who knew how to speak to both their peers and the masses, the psalmists used words creatively to allow their readers to search their own hearts. The words are ancient, but the questions are immediate and modern. The Psalms has contributed to the thinking and search of people across the millennia. It is truly poetry of the heart. In this commentary, modern research and insight allow the poems to sing once again. No other commentary brings a combination of classical and modern interpretations to the Book of Psalms, along with a real appreciation for the poetic skills of the poets and an acknowledgement of their own struggles and strivings. Uniquely identifying the literary techniques used by the psalmist, the author opens the psalms to the reader through an integrated appreciation of form and content.
What's the problem with Messianic Judaism? Stan Telchin, a Messianic Jew and former pastor, explores in depth the heart and soul of Messianic Judaism. He exposes the motive behind its creation, its controversial doctrines, and its ineffectiveness in Jewish evangelism. Messianic Judaism has grown significantly in fewer than four decades. While intended originally to appeal to Jewish people, unexpectedly it appeals also to Gentiles. Telchin, in following the teaching of the apostle Paul, sees Messianic Judaism as divisive. With a firm and loving approach, he addresses the dangers of this movement, reiterates God's intention for his church to serve as "one new man" and, most importantly, advocates unity among the body of believers. Perhaps you're a pastor concerned with the enticing pull of Messianic Judaism on your congregation. Perhaps you've merely wondered about the validity of this movement. Or maybe you're a Gentile who has been made to feel less than worthy. Whatever the reason, if you believe that God sees a difference between Jews and Gentiles in the Body of Christ, then this book will help you think again. "It took courage for Stan to write so pointedly from his broad and insightful experiences within the Messianic movement. Forthright and comprehensive, these chapters deal with a problem all followers of Jesus face-the desire to be accepted by those who have yet to experience God's transforming love."-Arthur F. Glasser, Ph.D., dean emeritus, School of World Mission, Fuller Theological Seminary "What Stan tells you in this book may come as a revelation. Certainly it will be controversial. Questions should arise, and much discussion should be the result."-Moishe Rosen, founder, Jews for Jesus "Whether you agree with everything he says or not, you will find the book interesting and enlightening."-D. James Kennedy, Ph.D., senior minister, Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church
The first comprehensive study of friendship in the Hebrew Bible Friendship, though a topic of considerable humanistic and cross disciplinary interest in contemporary scholarship, has been largely ignored by scholars of the Hebrew Bible, possibly because of its complexity and elusiveness. Filling a significant gap in our knowledge and understanding of biblical texts, Saul M. Olyan provides this original, accessible analysis of a key form of social relationship. In this thorough and compelling assessment, Olyan analyzes a wide range of texts, including prose narratives, prophetic materials, psalms, pre-Hellenistic wisdom collections, and the Hellenistic-era wisdom book Ben Sira. This in-depth, contextually sensitive, and theoretically engaged study explores how the expectations of friends and family members overlap and differ, examining, among other things, characteristics that make the friend a distinct social actor; failed friendship; and friendships in narratives such as those of Ruth and Naomi, and Jonathan and David. Olyan presents a comprehensive look at what constitutes friendship in the Hebrew Bible.
The second volume of The Cambridge History of Jewish Philosophy provides a comprehensive overview of Jewish philosophy from the seventeenth century to the present day. Written by a distinguished group of experts in the field, its essays examine how Jewish thinking was modified in its encounter with modern Europe and America and challenge longstanding assumptions about the nature and purpose of modern Jewish philosophy. The volume also treats modern Jewish philosophy's continuities with premodern texts and thinkers, the relationship between philosophy and theology, the ritual and political life of the people of Israel and the ways in which classic modern philosophical categories help or hinder Jewish self-articulation. These essays offer readers a multi-faceted understanding of the Jewish philosophical enterprise in the modern period.
In the Spring of 2015, a post-modern version of the Salem witchcraft trials took place at Connecticut College on the Thames River. Only this time instead of sorcery it was Zionism; instead of punishing in the name of God's law it was in the name of anti-hate speech and inclusive excellence; instead of young teenage girls leading the hysteria it was college-aged social warriors stampeding 200 professors into sacrificing one of their colleagues, and thereby contributing to a wave of administration-promoted hate-speech at their college.The Pessin affair offers us a case study in a tendency towards "public shaming" that not only deeply compromises the integrity of academia, but increasingly spreads to many aspects of our society, so susceptible to media-driven feeding frenzies.
"Multiculturalism has run its course, and it is time to move on." So begins Jonathan Sacks' new book on the future of British society and the dangers facing liberal democracy.
Arguing that global communications have fragmented national cultures and that multiculturalism, intended to reduce social frictions, is today reinforcing them, Sacks argues for a new approach to national identity. We cannot stay with current policies that are producing a society of conflicting ghettoes and non-intersecting lives, turning religious bodies into pressure groups rather than society-building forces. Britain, he argues, will have to construct a national narrative as a basis for identity, reinvigorate the concept of the common good, and identify shared interests among currently conflicting groups. It must restore a culture of civility, protect "neutral spaces" from politicization, and find ways of moving beyond an adversarial culture in which the loudest voice wins. He argues for a responsibility- rather than rights-based model of citizenship that connects the ideas of giving and belonging.Offering a new paradigm to replace previous models of assimilation on the one hand, multiculturalism on the other, he argues that we should see society as "the home we build together," bringing the distinctive gifts of different groups to the common good. Sacks warns of the hazards free and open societies face in the twenty-first century, and offers an unusual religious defence of liberal democracy and the nation state.
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.
This is the first full-scale, verse-by-verse commentary on 4 Baruch. The pseudepigraphon, written in the second century, is in large measure an attempt to address the situation following the destruction of the temple in 70 CE by recounting legends about the first destruction of the temple, the Babylonian captivity, and the return from exile. 4 Bruch is notable for its tale about Jeremiah's companion, Abimelech, who sleeps through the entire exilic period. This tale lies behind the famous Christian legend of the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus and is part of the genealogy of Washington Irving's "Rip Van Winkle." Allison's commentary draws upon an exceptionally broad range of ancient sources in an attempt to clarify 4 Baruch's original setting, compositional history, and meaning.
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