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Read our customer guide The Torah is the essence of Jewish tradition; it inspires each successive generation. The current JPS translation, based on classical and modern sources, is acclaimed for its fidelity to the ancient Hebrew.
NATIONAL BESTSELLER "Dennis Prager has put together one of the most stunning commentaries in modern times on the most profound document in human history. It's a must-read that every person, religious and non-religious, should buy and peruse every night before bed. It'll make you think harder, pray more ardently, and understand your civilization better." - Ben Shapiro, host of "The Ben Shapiro Show" "Dennis Prager's commentary on Exodus will rank among the greatest modern Torah commentaries. That is how important I think it is. And I am clearly not alone... It might well be on its way to becoming the most widely read Torah commentary of our time-and by non-Jews as well as by Jews." - Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, bestselling author of Jewish Literacy Why do so many people think the Bible, the most influential book in world history, is outdated? Why do our friends and neighbors - and sometimes we ourselves - dismiss the Bible as irrelevant, irrational, immoral, or all of these things? This explanation of the Book of Exodus, the second book of the Bible, will demonstrate that the Bible is not only powerfully relevant to today's issues, but completely consistent with rational thought. Do you think the Bible permitted the trans-Atlantic slave trade? You won't after reading this book. Do you struggle to love your parents? If you do, you need this book. Do you doubt the existence of God because belief in God is "irrational?" This book will give you reason after reason to rethink your doubts. The title of this commentary is, "The Rational Bible" because its approach is entirely reason-based. The reader is never asked to accept anything on faith alone. As Prager says, "If something I write does not make rational sense, I have not done my job." The Rational Bible is the fruit of Dennis Prager's forty years of teaching the Bible to people of every faith, and no faith. On virtually every page, you will discover how the text relates to the contemporary world and to your life. His goal: to change your mind - and then change your life.
The nature and reliability of the ancient sources are among the most important issues in the scholarship on the Dead Sea Scrolls. It is noteworthy, therefore, that scholars have grown increasingly skeptical about the value of these materials for reconstructing the life of the Teacher of Righteousness. Travis B. Williams' study is designed to address this new perspective and its implications for historical inquiry. He offers an important corrective to popular conceptions of history and memory by introducing memory theory as a means of informing historical investigation. Charting a new methodological course in Dead Sea Scrolls research, Williams reveals that properly representing the past requires an explanation of how the mnemonic evidence found in the relevant sources could have developed from a historical progression that began with the Teacher. His book represents the first attempt in Dead Sea Scrolls scholarship to integrate history and memory in a comprehensive way.
Natan Sznaider offers a highly original account of Jewish memory and politics before and after the Holocaust. It seeks to recover an aspect of Jewish identity that has been almost completely lost today - namely, that throughout much of their history Jews were both a nation and cosmopolitan, they lived in a constant tension between particularism and universalism. And it is precisely this tension, which Sznaider seeks to capture in his innovative conception of rooted cosmopolitanism', that is increasingly the destiny of all peoples today. The book pays special attention to Jewish intellectuals who played an important role in advancing universal ideas out of their particular identities. The central figure in this respect is Hannah Arendt and her concern to build a better world out of the ashes of the Jewish catastrophe. The book demonstrates how particular Jewish affairs are connected to current concerns about cosmopolitan politics like human rights, genocide, international law and politics. Jewish identity and universalist human rights were born together, developed together and are still fundamentally connected. This book will appeal both to readers interested in Jewish history and memory and to anyone concerned with current debates about citizenship and cosmopolitanism in the modern world.
The first exhaustive treatment of Eastern European Jewish music tracing its roots from biblical times through its zenith in the nineteenth century to its decline in the late twentieth century. Sholom Kalib has taken on the crucial task of collecting, analyzing, and systematically presenting in over 160 examples a magnificent tradition to future generations of cantors, scholars of Jewish music, and music enthusiasts worldwide. Traditionally, this body of music was a source of great strength, stability, and inspiration to Eastern European Jews amid the uncertainties and upheavals of their everyday lives. With this volume the author reacquaints acculturated Jews with a vital and largely unknown part of their heritage. Comprehensive in breadth and scope, the book will serve as a standard scholarly reference for musicians, cantors, and musicologists.
In Jewish Justice David Novak explores the continuing role of Judaism for crafting ethics, politics, and theology. Drawing on sources as diverse as the Bible, the Talmud, and ancient, medieval, and modern philosophy, Novak asserts Judaism's integral place incommunaldiscourse of the public square. According to Novak, biblical revelation has universal implicationsathat it is ultimately God's law to humanity because humans made in God's image are capable of making intelligent moral choices. The universality of this claim, however,stands in tension with the particularities of Jewish monotheism (one God, one people, one law). Novak'schallenge isforJudaism to capitalize on the way God's law transcends particularity without destroying difference. Thus it is as Jews that Jews arecalledto join communitiesacross the faithful denominations, as well assecular ones,to engage in debates about the common good. Jewish Justice follows a logical progression from grounded ethical quandaries to larger philosophicaldebates.Novak begins by considering the practical issues of capital punishment, mutilation and torture, corporate crime, the landed status of communities and nations, civil marriage,and religious marriage. He next moves to a consideration of theoretical concerns: God's universal justice, the universal aim of particular Jewish ethics, human rights andthe image of God, the relation of post-Enlightenment social contract theory to the recently enfranchised Jewish community, andthe voicesof Jewish citizens in secular politics andthe public sphere. Novak also explores the intersection of universality and particularity by examining the practice ofinterfaith dialogue among Jews, Christians, and Muslims.
Scattered throughout the Talmud, the founding document of rabbinic Judaism in late antiquity, can be found quite a few references to Jesus--and they're not flattering. In this lucid, richly detailed, and accessible book, Peter Schafer examines how the rabbis of the Talmud read, understood, and used the New Testament Jesus narrative to assert, ultimately, Judaism's superiority over Christianity.
The Talmudic stories make fun of Jesus' birth from a virgin, fervently contest his claim to be the Messiah and Son of God, and maintain that he was rightfully executed as a blasphemer and idolater. They subvert the Christian idea of Jesus' resurrection and insist he got the punishment he deserved in hell--and that a similar fate awaits his followers.
Schafer contends that these stories betray a remarkable familiarity with the Gospels--especially Matthew and John--and represent a deliberate and sophisticated anti-Christian polemic that parodies the New Testament narratives. He carefully distinguishes between Babylonian and Palestinian sources, arguing that the rabbis' proud and self-confident countermessage to that of the evangelists was possible only in the unique historical setting of Persian Babylonia, in a Jewish community that lived in relative freedom. The same could not be said of Roman and Byzantine Palestine, where the Christians aggressively consolidated their political power and the Jews therefore suffered.
A departure from past scholarship, which has played down the stories as unreliable distortions of the historical Jesus, "Jesus in the Talmud" posits a much more deliberate agenda behind these narratives."
Moses Maimonides's Guide of the Perplexed is the greatest philosophical text in the history of Jewish thought and a major work of the Middle Ages. For almost all of its history, however, the Guide has been read and commented upon in translation--in Hebrew, Latin, Spanish, French, English, and other modern languages--rather than in its original Judeo-Arabic. This volume is the first to tell the story of the translations and translators of Maimonides' Guide and its impact in translation on philosophy from the Middle Ages to the present day. A collection of essays by scholars from a range of disciplines, the book unfolds in two parts. The first traces the history of the translations of the Guide, from medieval to modern renditions. The second surveys its influence in translation on Latin scholastic, early modern, and contemporary Anglo-American philosophy, as well as its impact in translation on current scholarship. Interdisciplinary in approach, this book will be essential reading for philosophers, historians, and religious studies scholars alike.
An essential history of the greatest love poem ever written The Song of Songs has been embraced for centuries as the ultimate song of love. But the kind of love readers have found in this ancient poem is strikingly varied. Ilana Pardes invites us to explore the dramatic shift from readings of the Song as a poem on divine love to celebrations of its exuberant account of human love. With a refreshingly nuanced approach, she reveals how allegorical and literal interpretations are inextricably intertwined in the Song's tumultuous life. The body in all its aspects-pleasure and pain, even erotic fervor-is key to many allegorical commentaries. And although the literal, sensual Song thrives in modernity, allegory has not disappeared. New modes of allegory have emerged in modern settings, from the literary and the scholarly to the communal. Offering rare insights into the story of this remarkable poem, Pardes traces a diverse line of passionate readers. She looks at Jewish and Christian interpreters of late antiquity who were engaged in disputes over the Song's allegorical meaning, at medieval Hebrew poets who introduced it into the opulent world of courtly banquets, and at kabbalists who used it as a springboard to the celestial spheres. She shows how feminist critics have marveled at the Song's egalitarian representation of courtship, and how it became a song of America for Walt Whitman, Herman Melville, and Toni Morrison. Throughout these explorations of the Song's reception, Pardes highlights the unparalleled beauty of its audacious language of love.
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.
Learn how to actively read and understand the Hebrew Bible and its significant literary, historical, and thematic meanings with the help of this bestselling introduction to the Old Testament and its companion website. READING THE OLD TESTAMENT: INTRODUCTION TO THE HEBREW BIBLE, Fourth Edition uses a wide selection of maps, charts, timelines, and artwork to ensure your understanding. Chapter-opening summaries and reading guides direct your attention to key concepts, historical contexts, and relevant Biblical passages. The accompanying website provides the entire text of the Bible, the entire text of the textbook, and an interactive study guide with numerous study tools for your convenience.
The Bible is the most influential book in Western history. As the foundational text of Judaism and Christianity, the Bible has been interpreted and reinterpreted over millennia, utilized to promote a seemingly endless run of theological and political positions. Adherents and detractors alike point to different passages throughout to justify wildly disparate behaviors and beliefs. Translated and retranslated, these texts lead both to unity and intense conflict. Influential books on any topic are typically called "bibles." What is the Bible? As a text considered sacred by some, its stories and language appear throughout the fine arts and popular culture, from Shakespeare to Saturday Night Live. In Michael Coogan's eagerly awaited addition to Oxford's What Everyone Needs to Know (R) series, conflicts and controversies surrounding the world's bestselling book are addressed in a straightforward Q&A format. This book provides an unbiased look at biblical authority and authorship, the Bible's influence in Western culture, the disputes over meaning and interpretation, and the state of biblical scholarship today. Brimming with information for the student and the expert alike, The Bible: What Everyone Needs to Know (R) is a dependable introduction to a most contentious holy book.
From the recipient of the National Jewish Book Award for Lifetime Achievement, a "hugely entertaining and irreverent" (Adam Gopnik, New Yorker) account of the art of translating the Hebrew Bible into English In this brief book, award-winning biblical translator Robert Alter offers a personal and passionate account of what he learned about the art of Bible translation during the two decades he spent completing his own English version of the Hebrew Bible. Showing why the Bible and its meaning can be brought to life in English only by re-creating the subtle and powerful literary style of the original text, Alter discusses the principal aspects of biblical Hebrew that any translator should try to reproduce: word choice, syntax, word play and sound play, rhythm, and dialogue. In the process, he provides an illuminating and accessible introduction to biblical style that also offers insights about the art of translation far beyond the Bible.
"This book features a CD of rarely performed music, including a specially commissioned rap by Erik Weiner of Walter Benjamin's "Thesis on the Philosophy of History." "
Theodor W. Adorno was the prototypical German Jewish non-Jew, Walter Benjamin vacillated between German Jew and Jewish German, Gershom Scholem was a committed Zionist, and Arnold Sch?nberg converted to Protestantism for professional reasons but later returned to Judaism. Carl Djerassi, himself a refugee from Hitler's Austria, dramatizes a dialogue between these four men in which they discuss fraternity, religious identity, and legacy as well as reveal aspects of their lives-notably their relations with their wives-that many have ignored, underemphasized, or misrepresented.
The desire for canonization and the process by which it is obtained are the underlying themes of this dialogue, with emphasis on Paul Klee's "Angelus Novus "(1920), a canonized work that resonated deeply with Benjamin, Adorno, and Scholem (and for which Djerassi and Gabrielle Seethaler present a revisionist and richly illustrated interpretation). Basing his dialogue on extensive archival research and interviews, Djerassi concludes with a daring speculation on the putative contents of Benjamin's famous briefcase, which disappeared upon his suicide.
A wide-ranging look at the history of Western thinking since the seventeenth century on the purpose of the Jewish people in the past, present, and future What is the purpose of Jews in the world? The Bible singles out the Jews as God's "chosen people," but the significance of this special status has been understood in many different ways over the centuries. What Are Jews For? traces the history of the idea of Jewish purpose from its ancient and medieval foundations to the modern era, showing how it has been central to Western thinking on the meanings of peoplehood for everybody. Adam Sutcliffe delves into the links between Jewish and Christian messianism and the association of Jews with universalist and transformative ideals in modern philosophy, politics, literature, and social thought. The Jews have been accorded a crucial role in both Jewish and Christian conceptions of the end of history, when they will usher the world into a new epoch of unity and harmony. Since the seventeenth century this messianic underlay to the idea of Jewish purpose has been repeatedly reconfigured in new forms. From the political theology of the early modern era to almost all domains of modern thought-religious, social, economic, nationalist, radical, assimilationist, satirical, and psychoanalytical-Jews have retained a close association with positive transformation for all. Sutcliffe reveals the persistent importance of the "Jewish Purpose Question" in the attempts of Jews and non-Jews alike to connect the collective purpose of particular communities to the broader betterment of humanity. Shedding light on questions of exceptionalism, pluralism, and universalism, What Are Jews For? explores an intricate question that remains widely resonant in contemporary culture and political debate.
The late twentieth century has witnessed the emergence in every religious tradition of a strain of threatening and militant fundamentalism, yet, significantly, fundamentalists remain beyond the comprehension of the rest of the world. In 'The Battle for God' Karen Armstrong explains brilliantly and perceptively how and why their understanding of religion and society differs so starkly from that of their contemporaries.
"The quality of this remarkable book lies as much in its detail as in its sweeping vision… Fundamentalism cannot be put down by force. If it is to be defeated, it must first be understood. This wise and balanced book makes a significant contribution to such an understanding."
"The spectre of religious fundamentalism haunts our world, and most of us are not merely terrified, but puzzled by it… We need a patient guide… Karen Armstrong is this guide. Her new book is just what Westerners need at this junction in history."
"Armstrong displays all her usual talents: she has an eye for colourful evidence, a wonderful gift for clarity of exposition and an unerring sense of pace and voice in narrative… In her account of the late nineteenth century and the twentieth every line counts and every story grips."
"A remarkable book… the self-evidence of religious fundamentalism's role in recent history gives this book a power and relevance which make for truly compulsive reading… for the reader with even a marginal interest in religion or politics, it is an essential purchase"
"Her book should do so much to de-demonize fundamentalism and thus allow us to take it seriously and devise strategies for coping with it… humane and thoughtful"
Is there life after death? What is the nature of our existence?To know the answers is to nd greater purpose, understanding and comfort in our lives and in our deaths. Updated!With candor, questioning and sharp-eyed scholarship, Rabbi Elie Kaplan Spitz recounts his own experiences and the rsthand accounts others have shared with him, propelling his own journey from skeptic to believer that, indeed, the soul does survive bodily death.An inexplicable "mistake" he makes while conducting a funeral; his neurologist wife's startling experience during a channeling session with a medium; the awesome moments Rabbi Spitz encounters at the deathbed of a dying friend these events and others punctuate his quest to uncover the Jewish tradition s answers about what happens to our souls after death.In this updated second edition, Rabbi Spitz looks squarely at both sides of the issues (addressing, for example, the discrepancies in afterlife and reincarnation accounts).
Unlike earlier generations, Jewish American artists born between the 1930s and the early 1960s were among the first to overtly embrace and challenge religious themes in their work. These Jewish artists felt comfortable as assimilated Americans yet developed an overwhelming desire to explore their cultural and religious heritage. They became the first generation willing to take risks with their material and to discover new ways to create art with Jewish religious content. In his most recent book, Baigell explores the art and influences of eleven artists who enlarged the parameters of Jewish American art through their varied approaches to subject matter, to feminist concerns, and to finding contemporary relevance in the ancient texts. Along with detailed essays on each artist, the book includes nearly one hundred stunning illustrations that testify to the beauty, depth, and importance of the paintings and sculptures produced by this groundbreaking generation of artists.
In this second volume of his long-anticipated five-volume collection of parashat hashavua commentaries, Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks explores these intersections as they relate to universal concerns of freedom, love, responsibility, identity, and destiny.
Chief Rabbi Sacks fuses Jewish tradition, Western philosophy, and literature to present a highly developed understanding of the human condition under Gods sovereignty.
Erudite and eloquent, Covenant & Conversation allows us to experience Chief Rabbi Sacks sophisticated approach to life lived in an ongoing dialogue with the Torah.
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