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Samuel Bak's recent collection considers the hidden dialogue of generations, with the secret entanglement of different ages. It is indeed a playful cycle, whose playfulness, and even parody, becomes apparent to the beholder literate in Jewish memory and religious imagination. Bak's images are replete with allusions, citations, intimate references, playing with themes that are as intuitive as they are rooted in Jewish learning and tradition. In his illuminating essay, Lawrence Langer reminds us that Bak thinks of his work as `learned paintings' disclosing themselves, like sacred texts, in layers of meaning corresponding to the layers of learning. Langer beautifully unravels some of their themes, taking us through the worlds of Torah and Chassidism, to the `elsewhere' of the modern age."-Asher D. Biemann, professor of religious studies, University of Virginia
The Jewish community has lost some of the most sensitive spiritual souls of this generation. They are Jews who were looking for God and found spiritual homes outside of Judaism. Their journeys traversed the Jewish community, but nothing there beckoned them. The creation of synagogue-communities in which the voices of seekers can be heard and their questions can be asked will challenge many loyalist Jews. It will upset and enrage them. But it would also enrich them. from Chapter 18
In this fresh look at the spiritual possibilities of American Jewish life, Rabbi Sidney Schwarz presents the framework for a new synagogue model the synagogue community and its promise to transform our understanding of the synagogue and its potential for modern Judaism.
Schwarz profiles four innovative synagogues one from each of the major movements of Judaism that have had extraordinary success with their approach to congregational life and presents practical ways to replicate their success.
Includes a discussion guide for study groups and book clubs as well as a new afterword by the author describing developments in synagogue change projects since the book was first published.
Rabbi Dr. Binyamin Lau examines the sages' unique contributions and lasting philosophical messages in this three-volume series. Based on Rabbi Lau's popular weekly Jerusalem shiurim and translated into English for the first time, The Sages offers fresh perspectives on the sages' individual characters, the historical contexts in which they lived, and the creativity they brought to the pursuit of Jewish wisdom.
WINNER OF THE NATIONAL JEWISH BOOK AWARD--BIOGRAPHY Elie Wiesel was a towering presence on the world stage--a Nobel laureate, activist, adviser to world leaders, and the author of more than forty books, including the Oprah's Book Club selection Night. But when asked, Wiesel always said, "I am a teacher first." In fact, he taught at Boston University for nearly four decades, and with this book, Ariel Burger--devoted protege, apprentice, and friend--takes us into the sacred space of Wiesel's classroom. There, Wiesel challenged his students to explore moral complexity and to resist the dangerous lure of absolutes. In bringing together never-before-recounted moments between Wiesel and his students, Witness serves as a moral education in and of itself--a primer on educating against indifference, on the urgency of memory and individual responsibility, and on the role of literature, music, and art in making the world a more compassionate place. Burger first met Wiesel at age fifteen; he became his student in his twenties, and his teaching assistant in his thirties. In this profoundly thought-provoking and inspiring book, Burger gives us a front-row seat to Wiesel's remarkable exchanges in and out of the classroom, and chronicles the intimate conversations between these two men over the decades as Burger sought counsel on matters of intellect, spirituality, and faith, while navigating his own personal journey from boyhood to manhood, from student and assistant, to rabbi and, in time, teacher. "Listening to a witness makes you a witness," said Wiesel. Ariel Burger's book is an invitation to every reader to become Wiesel's student, and witness.
The religious buildings of the Jewish community in Britain have never been explored in print. Lavishly illustrated with previously unpublished images and photographs taken specially by English Heritage, this book traces the architecture of the synagogue in Britain and Ireland from its discreet Georgian- and Regency-era beginnings to the golden age of the grand "cathedral synagogues" of the High Victorian period. Sharman Kadish sheds light on obscure and sometimes underappreciated architects who designed synagogues for all types of worshipers--from Orthodox and Reform congregations to Yiddish-speaking immigrants in the 1900s. She examines the relationship between architectural style and minority identity in British society and looks at design issues in the contemporary synagogue.
Sometimes we must look into the past in order to face the future.
After growing up as a fully assimilated Jew, Paul Cowan embarked in his mid-thirties upon a journey to discover and appreciate his true identity and heritage. This orphan in history relates his search for these roots, detailing the path he took from his Park Avenue home to nineteenth-century Lithuania to a contemporary Israeli kibbutz, leading to remarkable personal discoveries that will move everyone who has yearned to know more about their past.
"An Orphan in History" is a classically beautiful, inspiring story of how one man evolved from describing himself as an American Jew to an American and a Jew.
This story will inspire you to journey in search of your true self. "
From the 1950s until his death in 1994, Menachem Mendel Schneerson--revered by his followers worldwide simply as the Rebbe--built the Lubavitcher movement from a relatively small sect within Hasidic Judaism into the powerful force in Jewish life that it is today. Swept away by his expectation that the Messiah was coming, he came to believe that he could deny death and change history.
Samuel Heilman and Menachem Friedman paint an unforgettable portrait of Schneerson, showing how he reinvented himself from an aspiring French-trained electrical engineer into a charismatic leader who believed that he and his Lubavitcher Hasidic emissaries could transform the world. They reveal how his messianic convictions ripened and how he attempted to bring the ancient idea of a day of redemption onto the modern world's agenda. Heilman and Friedman also trace what happened after the Rebbe's death, by which time many of his followers had come to think of him as the Messiah himself.
"The Rebbe" tracks Schneerson's remarkable life from his birth in Russia, to his student days in Berlin and Paris, to his rise to global renown in New York, where he developed and preached his powerful spiritual message from the group's gothic mansion in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. This compelling book demonstrates how Schneerson's embrace of traditionalism and American-style modernity made him uniquely suited to his messianic mission.
Rabbis and other Jewish leaders discuss Jesus Christ as a Jew. Their thoughtful responses can help Jews and Christians alike to more deeply understand one another as well as renew and deepen our understanding of Christ.
From a new generation of Dead Sea Scrolls scholars comes this landmark work. Michael Wise, Martin Abegg, Jr. and Edward Cook bring the long-inaccessible ancient scrolls of Qumran vividly to life, translating and deciphering virtually every legible portion of the fragmented scrolls, with startling results. For the first time since their discovery, this historic volume reveals:
Intriguing revelations about biblical history and the roots of Christianity.
Never-before-seen stories about Abraham, Jacob, and Enoch-- including a text explaining why God demanded the sacrifice of Isaac.
Twelve texts not included in the Bible that claim Moses as their author.
New psalms attributed to King David and to Joshua.
Texts illuminating ancient doctrines about angels and writings claiming to be revelations of angels themselves-- including the Archangel Michael.
The translators provide pointed commentary throughout that places the scrolls in their true historical context. Their compelling, insightful introduction not only presents an overview of the often surprising contents of the scrolls, it discusses what are perhaps their greatest mysteries--who authored them and why.
A disciplined study that reveals the many contributions of Jews throughout the history of rock 'n' roll.
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.
Throughout history, the relationship between Jews and their land has been a vibrant, much-debated topic within the Jewish world and in international political discourse. Identity and Territory explores how ancient conceptions of Israel-of both the land itself and its shifting frontiers and borders-have played a decisive role in forming national and religious identities across the millennia. Through the works of Second Temple period Jews and rabbinic literature, Eyal Ben-Eliyahu examines the role of territorial status, boundaries, mental maps, and holy sites, drawing comparisons to popular Jewish and Christian perceptions of space. Showing how space defines nationhood and how Jewish identity influences perceptions of space, Ben-Eliyahu uncovers varied understandings of the land that resonate with contemporary views of the relationship between territory and ideology.
Providing a unique anthropological perspective on Jewish mysticism and magic, this book is a study of Jewish rites and rituals and how the analysis of early literature provides the roots for understanding religious practices. It includes analysis on the importance of sacrifice, amulets, and names, and their underlying cultural constructs and the persistence of their symbolic significance.
Providing an excellent overview of the latest thinking in Maimonides studies, this book uses a novel philosophical approach to examine whether Maimonides' Guide for the Perplexed contains a naturalistic doctrine of salvation after death. The author examines the apparent tensions and contradictions in the Guide and explains them in terms of a modern philosophical interpretation rather than as evidence of some esoteric meaning hidden in the text.
T. M. Rudavsky presents a new account of the development of Jewish philosophy from the tenth century to Spinoza in the seventeenth, viewed as part of an ongoing dialogue with medieval Christian and Islamic thought. Her aim is to provide a broad historical survey of major figures and schools within the medieval Jewish tradition, focusing on the tensions between Judaism and rational thought. This is reflected in particular philosophical controversies across a wide range of issues in metaphysics, language, cosmology, and philosophical theology. The book illuminates our understanding of medieval thought by offering a much richer view of the Jewish philosophical tradition, informed by the considerable recent research that has been done in this area.
Over the last few decades, vibrant debates regarding post-secularism have found inspiration and provocation in the works of Sigmund Freud. A new interest in the interconnection of psychoanalysis, religion and political theory has emerged, allowing Freud's illuminating examination of the religious and mystical practices in "Obsessive Neurosis and Religious Practices," and the exegesis of the origins of ethics in religion in Totem and Taboo, to gain currency in recent debates on modernity. In that context, the pivotal role of Freud's masterpiece, Moses and Monotheism, is widely recognized. Freud and Monotheism brings together fundamental new contributions to discourses on Freud and Moses, as well as new research at the intersections of theology, political theory, and history in Freud's psychoanalytic work. Highlighting the broad impact of Moses and Monotheism across the humanities, the contributors hail from such diverse disciplines as philosophy, comparative literature, cultural studies, German studies, Jewish studies and psychoanalysis. Jan Assmann and Richard Bernstein, whose books pioneered the earlier debate that initiated the Freud and Moses discourse, seize the opportunity to revisit and revise their groundbreaking work. Gabriele Schwab, Gilad Sharvit, Karen Feldman, and Yael Segalovitz engage with the idiosyncratic, eccentric and fertile nature of the book as a Sp tstil, and explore radical interpretations of Freud's literary practice, theory of religion and therapeutic practice. Ronald Hendel offers an alternative history for the Mosaic discourse within the biblical text, Catherine Malabou reconnects Freud's theory of psychic phylogenesis in Moses and Monotheism to new findings in modern biology and Willi Goetschel relocates Freud in the tradition of works on history that begins with Heine, while Joel Whitebook offers important criticisms of Freud's main argument about the advance in intellectuality that Freud attributes to Judaism.
The urban origins of American Judaism began with daily experiences
of Jews, their responses to opportunities for social and physical
mobility as well as constraints of discrimination and prejudice.
Deborah Dash Moore explores Jewish participation in American cities
and considers the implications of urban living for American Jews
across three centuries. Looking at synagogues, streets, and
snapshots, she contends that key features of American Judaism can
be understood as an imaginative product grounded in urban
Passover is a joyous festival celebrated yearly by Jewry around the world. From the telling of the story of Israel's redemption from Egyptian bondage, to the sumptuous banquet feast served, to the joyous songs that are sung, Jewish hearts are united as one.
This Haggadah has been put together for two purposes. For the Christian its purpose is to shed light on his roots and to help him better understand the Jewish Passover and the debt of love that is due the Jewish people. For the Jewish people it is offered in the hope that they might see their promised Passover Lamb, the Messiah of Israel, even Jesus, and the message of Him that is contained in modern Jewry's Passover seder.
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