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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.
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.
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.
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.
On the murderous road to "racial purity" Hitler encountered unexpected detours, largely due to his own crazed views and inconsistent policies regarding Jewish identity. After centuries of Jewish assimilation and intermarriage in German society, he discovered that eliminating Jews from the rest of the population was more difficult than he'd anticipated. As Bryan Rigg shows in this provocative new study, nowhere was that heinous process more fraught with contradiction and confusion than in the German military.
Contrary to conventional views, Rigg reveals that a startlingly large number of German military men were classified by the Nazis as Jews or "partial-Jews" (Mischlinge), in the wake of racial laws first enacted in the mid-1930s. Rigg demonstrates that the actual number was much higher than previously thought-perhaps as many as 150,000 men, including decorated veterans and high-ranking officers, even generals and admirals.
As Rigg fully documents for the first time, a great many of these men did not even consider themselves Jewish and had embraced the military as a way of life and as devoted patriots eager to serve a revived German nation. In turn, they had been embraced by the Wehrmacht, which prior to Hitler had given little thought to the "race" of these men but which was now forced to look deeply into the ancestry of its soldiers.
The process of investigation and removal, however, was marred by a highly inconsistent application of Nazi law. Numerous "exemptions" were made in order to allow a soldier to stay within the ranks or to spare a soldier's parent, spouse, or other relative from incarceration or far worse. (Hitler's own signature can be found on many of these "exemption" orders.) But as the war dragged on, Nazi politics came to trump military logic, even in the face of the Wehrmacht's growing manpower needs, closing legal loopholes and making it virtually impossible for these soldiers to escape the fate of millions of other victims of the Third Reich.
Based on a deep and wide-ranging research in archival and secondary sources, as well as extensive interviews with more than four hundred Mischlinge and their relatives, Rigg's study breaks truly new ground in a crowded field and shows from yet another angle the extremely flawed, dishonest, demeaning, and tragic essence of Hitler's rule.
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.
This is a light and reader-friendly guide to beginners in Kabbalah, covering everything from the history of Kabbalah to how this wisdom can help resolve the world crisis. The book is set up in three parts. Part 1 covers the history, facts and fallacies about Kabbalah plus introduces its key concepts. Part 2 explains all about the spiritual worlds and other neat stuff like the meaning of letters and the power of music. Part 3 covers the implementation of Kabbalah at a time of world crisis.
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
This compendium examines the origins of the God Yahweh, his place in the Syrian-Palestinian and Northern Arabian pantheon during the bronze and iron ages, and the beginnings of the cultic veneration of Yahweh. Contributors analyze the epigraphic and archeological evidence, apply fundamental considerations from the cultural and religious sciences, and analyze the relevant Old Testament texts.
The greatest contemporary Kabbalists, Rav Yehuda Ashlag, and his son and successor, Rav Baruch Ashlag provide an eye-opening answers to life's most fundamental question: "What is the meaning of my life?" Based on their interpretations of 'The Book of Zohar', and 'The Tree of Life', we can now learn how to benefit from the wisdom of Kabbalah on a day-to-day basis. In addition to authentic texts by these great Kabbalists, this book offers illustrations that accurately depict the evolution of the Upper Worlds as Kabbalists experience them, as well as several helpful essays to enhance our understanding of the texts. Rav Michael Laitman, Ph.D., Rav Baruch Ashlag's personal assistant and prime student, compiled all the texts a Kabbalah student would need to attain the spiritual worlds. In his daily lessons, Rav Laitman bases his teaching on these inspiring texts, thus helping novices and veterans alike to better understand the spiritual path we undertake on our fascinating journey to the Higher Realms. If you truly seek the meaning of life, your heart will lead you through the writings of these great Kabbalists, who wrote them from their hearts to yours. Through their words, you will discover lifes essence and power, and your own eternal existence.
Leading Israeli, American, and European scholars address the world of Jewish art, archaeology and history. These fully illustrated essays constitute an important resource for collectors and scholars of Jewish art as well as for students of comparative religion and culture.
The American Jewish Year Book, now in its 118th year, is the annual record of the North American Jewish communities and provides insight into their major trends. The first two chapters of Part I include a special forum on "Contemporary American Jewry: Grounds for Optimism or Pessimism?" with assessments from more than 20 experts in the field. The third chapter examines antisemitism in Contemporary America. Chapters on "The Domestic Arena" and "The International Arena" analyze the year's events as they affect American Jewish communal and political affairs. Three chapters analyze the demography and geography of the US, Canada, and world Jewish populations. Part II provides lists of Jewish institutions, including federations, community centers, social service agencies, national organizations, synagogues, Hillels, day schools, camps, museums, and Israeli consulates. The final chapters present national and local Jewish periodicals and broadcast media; academic resources, including Jewish Studies programs, books, journals, articles, websites, and research libraries; and lists of major events in the past year, Jewish honorees, and obituaries. Today, as it has for over a century, the American Jewish Year Book remains the single most useful source of information and analysis on Jewish demography, social and political trends, culture, and religion. For anyone interested in Jewish life, it is simply indispensable. David Harris, CEO, American Jewish Committee (AJC), Edward and Sandra Meyer Office of the CEO The American Jewish Year Book stands as an unparalleled resource for scholars, policy makers, Jewish community professionals and thought leaders. This authoritative and comprehensive compendium of facts and figures, trends and key issues, observations and essays, is the essential guide to contemporary American Jewish life in all its dynamic multi-dimensionality. Christine Hayes, President, Association for Jewish Studies (AJS)and Robert F. and Patricia R. Weis Professor of Religious Studies in Classical Judaica at Yale University
Though considered one of the most important informants about Judaism in the first century CE, the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus's testimony is often overlooked or downplayed. Jonathan Klawans's Josephus and the Theologies of Ancient Judaism reexamines Josephus's descriptions of sectarian disagreements concerning determinism and free will, the afterlife, and scriptural authority. In each case, Josephus's testimony is analyzed in light of his works' general concerns as well as relevant biblical, rabbinic, and Dead Sea texts. Many scholars today argue that ancient Jewish sectarian disputes revolved primarily or even exclusively around matters of ritual law, such as calendar, cultic practices, or priestly succession. Josephus, however, indicates that the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes disagreed about matters of theology, such as afterlife and determinism. Similarly, many scholars today argue that ancient Judaism was thrust into a theological crisis in the wake of the destruction of the second temple in 70 CE, yet Josephus's works indicate that Jews were readily able to make sense of the catastrophe in light of biblical precedents and contemporary beliefs. Without denying the importance of Jewish law-and recognizing Josephus's embellishments and exaggerations-Josephus and the Theologies of Ancient Judaism calls for a renewed focus on Josephus's testimony, and models an approach to ancient Judaism that gives theological questions a deserved place alongside matters of legal concern. Ancient Jewish theology was indeed significant, diverse, and sufficiently robust to respond to the crisis of its day.
The life of a congregational rabbi is often seen as an ivory-tower existence - full of prayers and piety - but Jonathan Romain's has radically departed from that image. Virtually no one has ever asked him about their spiritual life and instead he has dealt with a rollercoaster of crises, emotional traumas, moral dilemmas, attempts at seduction, multiple murders, Machiavellian families, funerals that go wrong, weddings that are hijacked, and fighting his way through a maze of other people's sexual fantasies. Nothing in rabbinic training ever hinted that this catalogue of human misery would become part of his calling, nor gave any clues as to how to handle it. Luckily, his previous careers - as a radio agony aunt, prison chaplain, postman and nightclub bouncer - gave him insights that proved very useful in navigating through the human jungle, and hopefully helping some of those he has met on the way. Candid, poignant and often hilarious, this highly original and very readable book offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse into an extraordinary job dealing with timeless human scenarios.
This book is designed to cover one year's work in Hebrew leading up to a full understanding of the language. It has been used by the author with his students for many years and the published text is the result of testing and refining over these years. Every attempt has been made to make the grammar clear and simple. For example, all Hebrew words are transliterated, as well as being given in the original for the first three-quarters of the book. The grammatical discussion is made as unsophisticated as possible for it is the author's intention that this book should also be of use to those who study Hebrew without a teacher.
It is commonly asserted that heresy is a Christian invention that emerged in late antiquity as Christianity distinguished itself from Judaism. Heresy, Forgery, Novelty probes ancient Jewish disputes regarding religious innovation and argues that Christianity's heresiological impulse is in fact indebted to Jewish precedents. In this book, Jonathan Klawans demonstrates that ancient Jewish literature displays a profound unease regarding religious innovation. The historian Josephus condemned religious innovation outright, and later rabbis valorize the antiquity of their traditions. The Dead Sea sectarians spoke occasionally-and perhaps secretly-of a "new covenant," but more frequently masked newer ideas in rhetorics of renewal or recovery. Other ancient Jews engaged in pseudepigraphy-the false attribution of recent works to prophets of old. The flourishing of such religious forgeries further underscores the dangers associated with religious innovation. As Christianity emerged, the discourse surrounding religious novelty shifted dramatically. On the one hand, Christians came to believe that Jesus had inaugurated a "new covenant," replacing what came prior. On the other hand, Christian writers followed their Jewish predecessors in condemning heretics as dangerous innovators, and concealing new works in pseudepigraphic garb. In its open, unabashed embrace of new things, Christianity parts from Judaism. Christianity's heresiological condemnation of novelty, however, displays continuity with prior Jewish traditions. Heresy, Forgery, Novelty reconsiders and offers a new interpretation of the dynamics of the split between Judaism and Christianity.
Religions of a Single God is like no other introductory textbook on the Western monotheistic religions. As expected, it teaches both the basics of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, presenting the trajectories of their development over time, their main theological debates and claims, sacred writings, and their common practices and holy days. But rather than claiming to show the "essence" of Judaism, Christianity, or Islam, Religions of a Single God shows the diversity within Jewish, Christian, and Islamic experience, theological dispute, and practice. Rather than relying solely on the traditional theorists of religion, this book also introduces the approaches of contemporary critical thinkers to questions of defining, classifying, and studying religion. Rather than presenting Mormonism and the Baha'i Religion as "New Religious Movements", this book treats them as part of the continuing history of religion, growing out of and within Christianity and Islam respectively. Religion, in other words, is not a thing of the past. It's happening right now, all around us.
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