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The Special Times of the Jewish Year Can Be
Through the holiday cycle we have seen that life is a complex weave of light and darkness, bitter and sweet, striving and surrendering. The twisted candle reminds us that as a couple our two lives have become intertwined as one. Two souls enter a partnership, interwoven yet always distinct, joined by a third strand, the Divine Presence. As we perform the ritual of Havdalah, we hold our hands up to the flame and catch the reflection of the last light on our fingertips. We pray that the light will continue to shine through our words and deeds, in our homes and in the world. from Chapter 9
More than just calendar commitments, the Jewish holidays carry with them a view of what is important in life, a set of assumptions that can challenge and deepen the way we think about relationships.
This inspiring and practical guidebook helps you to understand your life as a couple in the context of the themes of Jewish holidays ("Yom Kippur, Purim, Pesah, Sukkot, Shabbat"): Forgiving and Growing Playing, Laughing and Taking Risks Coming Home, Finding Freedom Blessing Bounty, Facing Impermanence Pausing to Bless What Is and more
Drawing from ancient and contemporary texts, Jewish tradition and personal stories, Rabbi Nancy Fuchs-Kreimer and Rabbi Nancy H. Wiener provide creative exercises, rituals and guided discussions that help you make connections to tradition, community and each other. By experiencing the Jewish holidays as times to focus on your relationship, you ll find renewed meaning in these holy celebrations and new opportunities for spiritual growth all year long.
The relationships, past and present, between Jews and the political left remain of abiding interest to both the academic community and the public. Jews and Leftist Politics contains new and insightful chapters from world-renowned scholars and considers such matters as the political implications of Judaism; the relationships of leftists and Jews; the histories of Jews on the left in Europe, the United States, and Israel; contemporary anti-Zionism; the associations between specific Jews and Communist parties; and the importance of gendered perspectives. It also contains fresh studies of canonical figures, including Gershom Scholem, Gustav Landauer, and Martin Buber, and examines the affiliations of Jews to prominent institutions, calling into question previous widely held assumptions. The volume is characterized by judicious appraisals made by respected authorities, and sheds considerable light on contentious themes.
In this magisterial history, David Nirenberg explores anti-Judaism from antiquity to the present, from the Ancient Egyptians who resented their Jewish neighbours to the ideas of Voltaire and Marx, thereby revealing it to be a mode of thought deeply embedded in the Western tradition. With intolerance and racism on the rise across the West, the central argument of David Nirenberg's groundbreaking study - that to imagine anti-Judaism to be confined to the margins of our society is to be dangerously complacent - is as urgent and as timely as it has ever been.
An internationally recognized scholar and theologian shares a Jewish mysticism for our times Judaism, one of the world's great spiritual traditions, is not addressed to Jews alone. In this masterful book, Arthur Green calls out to seekers of all sorts, offering a universal response to the eternal human questions of who we are, why we exist, where we are going, and how to live. Drawing on over half a century as a Jewish seeker and teacher, he shows us a Judaism that cultivates the life of the spirit, that inspires an inward journey leading precisely toward self-transcendence, to an awareness of the universal Self in whose presence we exist. As a neo-hasidic seeker, he is both devotional and boldly questioning in his understanding of God and tradition. Engaging with the mystical sources, he translates the insights of the Hasidic masters into a new religious language accessible to all those eager to build an inner life and a human society that treasures the divine spark in each person and throughout Creation.
Maimonides was the greatest Jewish philosopher and legal scholar of the medieval period, a towering figure who has had a profound and lasting influence on Jewish law, philosophy, and religious consciousness. This book provides a comprehensive and accessible introduction to his life and work, revealing how his philosophical sensibility and outlook informed his interpretation of Jewish tradition.
Moshe Halbertal vividly describes Maimonides's childhood in Muslim Spain, his family's flight to North Africa to escape persecution, and their eventual resettling in Egypt. He draws on Maimonides's letters and the testimonies of his contemporaries, both Muslims and Jews, to offer new insights into his personality and the circumstances that shaped his thinking. Halbertal then turns to Maimonides's legal and philosophical work, analyzing his three great books--"Commentary on the Mishnah," the "Mishneh Torah," and the "Guide of the Perplexed." He discusses Maimonides's battle against all attempts to personify God, his conviction that God's presence in the world is mediated through the natural order rather than through miracles, and his locating of philosophy and science at the summit of the religious life of Torah. Halbertal examines Maimonides's philosophical positions on fundamental questions such as the nature and limits of religious language, creation and nature, prophecy, providence, the problem of evil, and the meaning of the commandments.
A stunning achievement, "Maimonides" offers an unparalleled look at the life and thought of this important Jewish philosopher, scholar, and theologian.
Could a religiously observant Jew, in good conscience, run as a Libertarian candidate, promoting a Libertarian platform? Or, would doing so betray fundamental Jewish values? Running in Good Faith? Observant Judaism and Libertarian Politics considers the seemingly irreconcilable values and political commitments of Judaism and Libertarianism. The latter prizes individualism, self-ownership, private property, and freedom, whereas the former emphasizes community, charity, and service of God. This book seeks to determine if we find here an essential clash, or merely an apparent one. This book stimulates a broad discussion of Judaism, values, politics, and political philosophy and calls into question what people think they know, about both Judaism and Libertarianism.
Song of Songs is a wondrous collection of love lyrics nestled in the heart of the Hebrew Bible-songs of passion and praise between a young maiden and her beloved. It is religious lyric par excellence. But what is its true meaning? Is it an expression of human love and passion, pure and simple? A celebration of the covenant between God and Israel? Or something else? The latest volume in the Jewish Publication Society's highly acclaimed Bible Commentary series, Song of Songs provides a line-by-line commentary of the original Hebrew Bible text, complete with vocalization and cantillation marks, alongside the JPS English translation. Unique to this volume are four layers of commentary: the traditional PaRDeS of peshat (literal meaning), derash (midrashic and religious-traditional sense), remez (allegorical level), and sod (mystical and spiritual intimations). Michael Fishbane skillfully draws from them all to reveal the extraordinary range of interpretations and ideas perceived in this beloved biblical book. A comprehensive introduction, extensive endnotes, a full bibliography (traditional and modern), and additional explanatory materials are included to enhance the reader's appreciation of the work. This original, comprehensive commentary on the Song of Songs interprets historical, critical, and traditional sources drawn from the ancient Near East, the entire spectrum of Jewish sources and commentaries, and modern critical studies.
This study takes a fresh look at the influential French philosopher, arguing that Jaques Derrida cannot be fully understood without considering the Jewish dimension of his thought, and offering a re-appraisal of his work.
An invaluable key to understanding the intersection of ecology and Judaism.
Gershom Scholem (1897-1982) was ostensibly a scholar of Jewish mysticism, yet he occupies a powerful role in today's intellectual imagination, having an influential contact with an extraordinary cast of thinkers, including Hans Jonas, Martin Buber, Walter Benjamin, Hannah Arendt, and Theodor Adorno. In this first biography of Scholem, Amir Engel shows how Scholem grew from a scholar of an esoteric discipline to a thinker wrestling with problems that reach to the very foundations of the modern human experience. As Engel shows, in his search for the truth of Jewish mysticism Scholem molded the vast literature of Jewish mystical lore into a rich assortment of stories that unveiled new truths about the modern condition. Positioning Scholem's work and life within early twentieth-century Germany, Palestine, and later the state of Israel, Engel intertwines Scholem's biography with his historiographical work, which stretches back to the Spanish expulsion of Jews in 1492, through the lives of Rabbi Isaac Luria and Sabbatai Zevi, and up to Hasidism and the dawn of the Zionist movement. Through parallel narratives, Engel touches on a wide array of important topics including immigration, exile, Zionism, World War One, and the creation of the state of Israel, ultimately telling the story of the realizations--and failures--of a dream for a modern Jewish existence.
In "Together Forever", Michael Laitman tells us that if we are patient and endure the trials we encounter along our life's path, we will become stronger, braver, and wiser. Instead of growing weaker, we will learn to create our own magic and our own wonders as only a magician can. In this warm, tender tale, the author shares with children and parents alike some of the gems and charms of the spiritual world.The storyline introduces a kind magician who wishes to have a friend, and to teach his friend all the magic that he knows. He creates all kinds of objects and animals, but his best friend and student is the man that he creates. The story describes how the magician teaches the man to be like him - a great and kind magician - and explains that every one of us can become like the magician, if it is our wish. The wisdom of Kabbalah is filled with spellbinding stories. "Together Forever" is yet another gift from this ageless source of wisdom, whose lessons make our lives richer, easier, and far more fulfilling.
As a college student Martin Buber was a leader in the early Zionist movement. During the period between 1898 and 1902 he published a series of Zionist writings that were clearly meant to be confrontational and challenge those who embraced traditional Judaism. These essays, poems and speeches have been translated and collected here in this text. For Buber Zionism was not primarily a political issue. it implied a reorientation of the entire being, on overcoming of a Diaspora mentality, a catharsis and a readiness to build in the land of Israel a new, just, free and creative community.
Approaching the Bible in an original way-comparing biblical heroes to heroes in world literature-Elliott Rabin addresses a core biblical question: What is the Bible telling us about what it means to be a hero? Focusing on the lives of six major biblical characters-Moses, Samson, David, Esther, Abraham, and Jacob-Rabin examines their resemblance to hero types found in (and perhaps drawn from) other literatures and analyzes why the Bible depicts its heroes less gloriously than do the texts of other cultures: * Moses founds the nation of Israel-and is short-tempered and weak-armed. * Samson, arrogant and unhinged, can kill a thousand enemies with his bare hands. * David establishes a centralized, unified, triumphal government-through pretense and self-deception. * Esther saves her people but marries a murderous, misogynist king. * Abraham's relationships are wracked with tension. * Jacob fathers twelve tribes-and wins his inheritance through deceit. In the end, is God the real hero? Or is God too removed from human constraints to even be called a "hero"? Ultimately, Rabin excavates how the Bible's unique perspective on heroism can address our own deep-seated need for human-scale heroes.
How can we turn our religion into our lives? Wrestle with it. The sequel to his 1978 classic that helped pioneer the Jewish Renewal movement.
What is spirituality anyway? Isn't spirituality about emotion?And isn't work about the rational mind?
"Too often, we divorce our 'work life from our 'real life, from our innermost beliefs and convictions. But work can be as much a part of our life and as much a vehicle for spiritual growth and personal understanding as going to synagogue or church on Saturday or Sunday or taking a walk in the woods or reading quietly to our kids at bedtime. In fact work may be among the most potent vehicles for fulfilling our spiritual life because, for many of us, it presents the best opportunities to meld community and social and economic productivity with personal belief and individual talent." from the Introduction by Norman Lear
Being God s Partner will help people of every faith reconcile the cares of their work and the strivings of their souls and restore the hidden link between them.
By exploding our assumptions that work and spirituality are irreconcilable, Salkin explores how spirituality can enhance our 9-to-5 lives. "It is time to be as rich internally as we are externally," he writes, offering soul-stirring ways to smuggle religion into our workplace.
Thought-provoking, practical and exhilarating, Being God s Partner goes beyond just talking about the subject to give you specific actions to take and connections to make right now to help infuse our lives with greater meaning, purpose and satisfaction and invigorate all that we do."
This volume of the Jerusalem Talmud publishes four tractates of the Second Order, Seqalim, Sukkah, Ros Hassanah, and Yom Tov. These tractates deal with financial issues concerning the Temple service, with the festival of Tabernacles, the observations at New Year, as well as with holiday observation in general. The tractates are vocalized by the rules of Rabbinic Hebrew accompanied by an English translation and an extensive commentary.
Hybrid Hate is the first book to study the conflation of anti-Semitism and anti-Black racism. As objects of racism, Jews and Blacks have been linked together for centuries as peoples apart from the general run of humanity. In this book, Tudor Parfitt investigates the development of anti-Semitism, anti-Black racism, and race theory in the West from the Renaissance to the Second World War. Parfitt explains how Jews were often perceived as Black in medieval Europe, and the conflation of Jews and Blacks continued throughout the period of the Enlightenment. With the discovery of a community of Black Jews in Loango in West Africa in 1777, and later of Black Jews in India, the Middle East, and other parts of Africa, the notion of multiracial Jews was born. Over the following centuries, the figure of the hybrid Black Jew was drawn into the maelstrom of evolving theories about race hierarchies and taxonomies. Parfitt analyses how Jews and Blacks were increasingly conflated in a racist discourse from the mid-nineteenth century to the period of the Third Reich, as the two fundamental prejudices of the West were combined. Hybrid Hate offers a new interpretation of the rise of anti-Semitism and anti-Black racism in Europe, and casts light on contemporary racist discourses in the United States and Europe.
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