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The recovery of 800 documents in the eleven caves on the northwest shores of the Dead Sea is one of the most sensational archeological discoveries in the Holy Land to date. These three volumes, the very best of critical scholarship, demonstrate in detail how the scrolls have revolutionized our knowledge of the text of the Bible, the character of Second Temple Judaism, and the Jewish beginnings of Christianity.
The legendary Akiva ben Yosef has fascinated Jews for centuries. Arguably the most important of the Tannaim, or early Jewish sages, Akiva lived during a crucial era in the development of Judaism as we know it today, and his theology played a major part in the development of Rabbinic Judaism. Reuven Hammer details Akiva's life as it led to a martyr's death and he delves into the rich legacy Akiva left us. That legacy played an extraordinarily important role in helping the Jewish people survive difficult challenges to forge a vibrant religious life anew, and it continues to influence Jewish law, ethics, and theology even today. Akiva's contribution to the development of Oral Torah cannot be overestimated, and in this first book written in English about the sage since 1936 Hammer reassesses Akiva's role from the period before the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE until the Bar Kokhba revolt in 135 CE. He also assesses new findings about the growth of early Judaism, the reasons why Akiva was so outspoken about "Christian Jews," the influence of Hellenism, the Septuagint, and the canonization of the Hebrew Bible. Ultimately Hammer shows that Judaism without Akiva would be a very different religion.
"The Sage in Jewish Society of Late Antiquity" explores the social position of rabbis in Palestinian (Roman) and Babylonian (Persian) society from the period of the fall of the Temple to late antiquity. Author Richard Kalmin argues that ancient rabbinic sources depict comparable differences between Palestinian and Babylonian rabbinic relationships with non-Rabbis." The Sage in Jewish Society of Late Antiquity" provides a cultured and stimulating analysis of the role of the sage in late antiquity and sheds new light on rabbinic comments on such diverse topics as biblical heroes and genealogy and lineage.
A few short words repeated with passion & intention can unlock treasure upon treasure of healing, wisdom & love
"Chant is a path for all of us who lead with our hearts, who are determined to seek out the truth that is buried deep beneath the ground of our lives, and who have made a commitment to live that truth, from moment to moment, breath to breath, 'one little bit at a time.'" from the Introduction
Chant is a meditative practice that fully engages the body, heart and mind, and facilitates healing and expansion of consciousness. Rabbi Shefa Gold, beloved teacher of chant, Jewish mysticism, prayer and spirituality, introduces you to this transformative spiritual practice as a way to unlock the power of sacred texts and take prayer and meditation into the delight of your life. She illuminates the usefulness, benefits and blessings of chant by: Teaching you the theory and foundations of chant its relation to beauty, pleasure and the deep wisdom buried in sacred textsProviding for the first time complete musical notations for many of her popular chants and practical instruction for how to use them to cultivate self-awareness and love."
Jewish law is a singular legal system that has been evolving for generations. Often conflated with Biblical law or Israeli law, Jewish law needs to be studied in its own right. An Introduction to Jewish Law expounds the general structure of Jewish law and presents the cardinal principles of this religious legal system. An introduction to modern Jewish law as it applies to the daily life of Jews around the world, this volume presents Jewish law in a way that answers all the questions that a student of comparative law would ask when encountering an unfamiliar legal system. Sources of Jewish law such as revelation, rabbinical and communal legislation, judicial decisions, and legal reasoning are defined and analyzed, and the authority of who decides what Jewish law is and why their decisions are binding is investigated.
Jewish women of all ages and backgrounds come together in Celebrating the Lives of Jewish Women to explore and rejoice in what they have in common--their heritage. They reveal in striking personal stories how their Jewishness has shaped their identities and informed their experiences in innumerable, meaningful ways. Survivors, witnesses, defenders, innovators, and healers, these women question, celebrate, and transmit Jewish and feminist values in hopes that they might bridge the differences among Jewish women. They invite both Jewish and non-Jewish readers to share in their discussions and stories that convey and celebrate the multiplicity of Jewish backgrounds, attitudes, and issues.In Celebrating the Lives of Jewish Women, you will read about cultural, religious, and gender choices, conversion to Judaism, family patterns, Jewish immigrant experiences, the complexities of Jewish secular identities, antisemitism, sexism, and domestic violence in the Jewish community. As the pages unfold in this wonderful book of personal odysseys, the colorful patterns of Jewish women's lives are laid before you. You will find much cause for rejoicing, as the authors weave together their compelling and unique stories about: midlife Bat mitzvah preparations the transmission of Jewish values by Sephardi and Ashkenazi grandmothers traditional Sephardi customs the sorrow and healing involved in coping with the Holocaust a lesbian's fascination with Kafka the external and internal obstacles Jewish women encounter in their efforts to study Jewish topics and participate in Jewish ritual becoming a Reconstructionist rabbi the difficulties and benefits of being the teenaged daughter of a rabbiA harmonious chorus of individual voices, Celebrating the Lives of Jewish Women will delight and inspire Jewish and non-Jewish readers alike. It reminds each of us how diverse and distinctive Jewish women's lives are, as well as how united they can be under the wonderful fold of Judaism. This book will be of great interest to all women, as well as to rabbis, Jewish community leaders and professionals, mental health workers, and those in Jewish studies, women's studies, and multicultural studies.
Universal equality is a treasured political concept in France, but recent anxiety over the country's Muslim minority has led to an emphasis on a new form of universalism, one promoting loyalty to the nation at the expense of all ethnic and religious affiliations. This timely book offers a fresh perspective on the debate by showing that French equality has not always demanded an erasure of differences. Through close and contextualized readings of the way that major novelists, philosophers, filmmakers, and political figures have struggled with the question of integrating Jews into French society, Maurice Samuels draws lessons about how the French have often understood the universal in relation to the particular. Samuels demonstrates that Jewish difference has always been essential to the elaboration of French universalism, whether as its foil or as proof of its reach. He traces the development of this discourse through key moments in French history, from debates over granting Jews civil rights during the Revolution, through the Dreyfus Affair and Vichy, and up to the rise of a "new antisemitism" in recent years. By recovering the forgotten history of a more open, pluralistic form of French universalism, Samuels points toward new ways of moving beyond current ethnic and religious dilemmas and argues for a more inclusive view of what constitutes political discourse in France.
In this innovative guidebook Julie Baretz takes readers to twenty-one off-the-beaten-path locations in Israel where Bible stories are said to have happened. At each site she sets the scene by relating the historical context of the event, then follows with the biblical text itself and her own lively commentary. Captivating and complex Bible characters bring the locations to life as they face social, ethical, and spiritual dilemmas not unlike our own today. Baretz's narratives draw on history, archaeology, academic scholarship, and rabbinic literature for interpretations that enhance the meaning of the biblical events. Each story is told in the voice of Baretz as the tour guide-knowledgeable yet informal and friendly. The Bible on Location traces the chronology and narrative arc of the historical books of Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, Ezra, and Nehemiah. The book begins with the Israelites' arrival in the land of Israel (following the exodus from Egypt and the forty years of wandering) and continues over more than six hundred years, until the return of the Jewish exiles from Babylon to their homeland. Baretz's descriptions are accompanied by colorful maps and photographs that put actual and armchair visitors in the middle of the action. Each location reveals a new episode in the biblical narrative and provides inspiration and commentary that will enhance visits to the various sites.
Illuminating the ethical legacy of the biblical prophets, Path of the Prophets identifies the prophetic moment in the lives of eighteen biblical figures and demonstrates their compelling relevance to us today. While the Bible almost exclusively names men as prophets, Rabbi Barry L. Schwartz celebrates heroic, largely unknown biblical women such as Shiphrah, Tirzah, and Hannah. He also deepens readers' interpretations of more familiar biblical figures not generally thought of as prophets, such as Joseph, Judah, and Caleb. Schwartz introduces the prophets with creative, first-person retellings of their decisive experiences, followed by key biblical narratives, context, and analysis. He weighs our heroes' and heroines' legacies-their obstacles and triumphs-and considers how their ethical examples live on; he guides us on how to integrate biblical-ethical values into our lives; and he challenges each of us to walk the prophetic path today.
Now a Netflix original series! Unorthodox is the bestselling memoir of a young Jewish woman's escape from a religious sect, in the tradition of Ayaan Hirsi Ali's Infidel and Carolyn Jessop's Escape, featuring a new epilogue by the author. As a member of the strictly religious Satmar sect of Hasidic Judaism, Deborah Feldman grew up under a code of relentlessly enforced customs governing everything from what she could wear and to whom she could speak to what she was allowed to read. Yet in spite of her repressive upbringing, Deborah grew into an independent-minded young woman whose stolen moments reading about the empowered literary characters of Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott helped her to imagine an alternative way of life among the skyscrapers of Manhattan. Trapped as a teenager in a sexually and emotionally dysfunctional marriage to a man she barely knew, the tension between Deborah's desires and her responsibilities as a good Satmar girl grew more explosive until she gave birth at nineteen and realized that, regardless of the obstacles, she would have to forge a path-for herself and her son-to happiness and freedom. Remarkable and fascinating, this "sensitive and memorable coming-of-age story" (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) is one you won't be able to put down.
Nathan A. Kurz charts the fraught relationship between Jewish internationalism and international rights protection in the second half of the twentieth century. For nearly a century, Jewish lawyers and advocacy groups in Western Europe and the United States had pioneered forms of international rights protection, tying the defense of Jews to norms and rules that aspired to curb the worst behavior of rapacious nation-states. In the wake of the Holocaust and the creation of the State of Israel, however, Jewish activists discovered they could no longer promote the same norms, laws and innovations without fear they could soon apply to the Jewish state. Using previously unexamined sources, Nathan Kurz examines the transformation of Jewish internationalism from an effort to constrain the power of nation-states to one focused on cementing Israel's legitimacy and its status as a haven for refugees from across the Jewish diaspora.
Isaiah 24-27 has been an enduring mystery and a hotly contested text for biblical scholars. Early scholarship linked its references to the dead rising to the New Testament. These theories have remained influential even as common opinion moderated over the course of the twentieth century. In this volume, Christopher B. Hays situates Isaiah 24-27 within its historical and cultural contexts. He methodically demonstrates that it is not apocalyptic; that its imagery of divine feasting and conquering death have ancient cognates; and that its Hebrew language does not reflect a late composition date. He also shows how the passage celebrates the receding of Assyrian power from Judah, and especially from the citadel at Ramat Rahel near Jerusalem, in the late seventh century. This was the time of King Josiah and his scribes, who saw a political opportunity and issued a peace overture to the former northern kingdom. Using comparative, archaeological, linguistic, and literary tools, Hays' volume changes the study of Isaiah, arguing for a different historical setting than that of traditional scholarship.
The most memorable prayer of the Jewish New Year what it means, why we sing it, and the secret of its magical appeal.
Through a series of lively commentaries, over thirty contributors men and women, scholars and rabbis, artists and poets, spanning three continents and all major Jewish denominations examine Kol Nidre's theology, usage, and deeply personal impact. They trace the actual history of the prayer and attempts through the ages to emend it, downplay it and even do away with it all in vain. They explore why Kol Nidre remains an annual liturgical highlight that is regularly attended even by Jews who disbelieve everything the prayer says.
Prayers of AweAn exciting new series that examines the High Holy Day liturgy to enrich the praying experience of everyone whether experienced worshipers or guests who encounter Jewish prayer for the very first time."
Complete your seder in 30 minutes or an hour-it's up to you.
Create your own meaningful seder with Simply Seder: A Passover Haggadah. Clear directions, explanations of time-honored rituals, and thought-provoking discussion starters will help you create a memorable experience for your guests.
Turn the book over for Planning Your Passover Seder, your guide to creating a memorable seder, including plan-ahead checklists, activities for children, ideas for encouraging participation, and more. Visit www.behrmanhouse.com/passover for additional Passover resources.
Clear directions for seder leaders
Transliterations of Hebrew passages
Optional readings and discussion questions
Modern additions, such as Miriam's Cup
Planning Your Passover Seder:
Preparing the seder plate
Seder table checklist
Activities for children
Personalizing your seder service
The Temple Scroll is the longest manuscript found in the Qumran Caves and perhaps the most important halakhic composition known from the Second Temple Period. The scroll presents itself as a rewritten Torah, which begins with the renewal of the Sinaitic covenant and then turns to the building of the Temple. This volume of the Dead Sea Scrolls series brings together for the first time all of the manuscript witnesses to the Temple Scroll.
The Princeton Dead Sea Scrolls Project provides a major landmark in general access to these documents. It is the first serious attempt to provide accurate transcriptions and translations with critical commentary to all the nonbiblical scrolls found at Qumran. These are important reference books for specialized studies in biblical fields.
In recent years, martyrdom and political violence have been conflated in the public imagination. Ruben Rosario Rodriguez argues that martyr narratives deserve consideration as resources for resisting political violence in contemporary theological reflection. Underlying the three Abrahamic monotheistic traditions is a shared belief that God requires liberation for the oppressed, justice for the victims and, most demanding of all, love for the political enemy. Christian, Jewish and Muslim martyr narratives that condone political violence - whether terrorist or state-sponsored - are examined alongside each religion's canon, in order to evaluate how central or marginalized these discourses are within their respective traditions. Primarily a work of Christian theology in conversation with Judaism and Islam, this book aims to model religious pluralism and cooperation by retrieving distinctly Christian sources that nurture tolerance and facilitate coexistence, while respecting religious difference.
There is a general understanding within religious and academic circles that the incarnate Christ of Christian belief lived and died a faithful Jew. This volume addresses Jesus in the context of Judaism. By emphasizing his Jewishness, the authors challenge today's Jews to reclaim the Nazarene as a proto-rebel rabbi and invite Christians to discover or rediscover the church's Jewish heritage. The essays in this volume cover historical, literary, liturgical, philosophical, religious, theological, and contemporary issues related to the Jewish Jesus. Several of them were originally presented at a three-day symposium on "Jesus in the Context of Judaism and the Challenge to the Church," hosted by the Samuel Rosenthal Center for Judaic Studies at Case Western Reserve University in 2009. In the context of pluralism, in the temper of growing interreligious dialogue, and in the spirit of reconciliation, encountering Jesus as living history for Christians and Jews is both necessary and proper. This book will be of particular interest to scholars of the New Testament and early church who are seeking new ways of understanding Jesus in his religious and cultural milieu, as well Jewish and Christian theologians and thinkers who are concerned with contemporary Jewish and Christian relationships.
In Hebrew and Arabic, the words Amen and Amin?the most frequent conclusions of prayers?derive from cognate consonantal roots. The Greek and other versions of the Hebrew Bible continue to use the word Amen; the New Testament follows suit. The basic meaning of Amen or Amin in all three scriptures is the same, a passionate address to God: 'I entrust myself to You; I put my faith in You, I keep faith with You.' It is the cry of a person struggling to grasp and be grasped by God. Amen: Jews, Christians, and Muslims Keep Faith with God examines faith as it is understood by Jews, Christians and Muslims; it does not aim to be a work of systematic theology or a lengthy explication of the contents of different faith traditions. It offers Jews, Christians and Muslims several approaches to faith as a category of human experience open to God: a faithful God who reaches out to grasp the faithful human being at the same time that the faithful human being reaches out to grasp a faithful God. This two-sided faith, divine and human, lies at the center of each faith tradition. The book examines faith as one might examine a gem, gazing at different facets in turn. In this process, Patrick Ryan, a Jesuit who has lived for decades in Africa as well as in the United States, shares the personal reflections of one who has tried to live a life of faith not only in the company of fellow Christians but also in the company of Jews and Muslims, friends for many years. The work as a whole, and each chapter within it, begins and ends with reflections shared with an anonymous but real person who has struggled with faith for all that time and who continues the struggle with faith even today.
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.
Volume 6 examines the history of Judaism during the second half of the Middle Ages. Through the first half of the Middle Ages, the Jewish communities of western Christendom lagged well behind those of eastern Christendom and the even more impressive Jewries of the Islamic world. As Western Christendom began its remarkable surge forward in the eleventh century, this progress had an impact on the Jewish minority as well. The older Jewries of southern Europe grew and became more productive in every sense. Even more strikingly, a new set of Jewries were created across northern Europe, when this undeveloped area was strengthened demographically, economically, militarily, and culturally. From the smallest and weakest of the world's Jewish centers in the year 1000, the Jewish communities of western Christendom emerged - despite considerable obstacles - as the world's dominant Jewish center by the end of the Middle Ages. This demographic, economic, cultural, and spiritual dominance was maintained down into modernity.
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