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This book brings together some of the world's most exciting scholars from across a variety of disciplines to provide a concise and accessible guide to the Hebrew Bible. It covers every major genre of book in the Old Testament together with in-depth discussions of major themes such as human nature, covenant, creation, ethics, ritual and purity, sacred space, and monotheism. This authoritative overview sets each book within its historical and cultural context in the ancient Near East, paying special attention to its sociological setting. It provides new insights into the reception of the books and the different ways they have been studied, from historical-critical enquiry to modern advocacy approaches such as feminism and liberation theology. It also includes a guide to biblical translations and textual criticism and helpful suggestions for further reading. Featuring contributions from experts with backgrounds in the Jewish and Christian faith traditions as well as secular scholars in the humanities and social sciences, The Hebrew Bible is the perfect starting place for anyone seeking a user-friendly introduction to the Old Testament, and an invaluable reference book for students and teachers.
A leading expert provides an engaging firsthand portrait of American Judaism today American Judaism has been buffeted by massive social upheavals in recent decades. Like other religions in the United States, it has witnessed a decline in the number of participants over the past forty years, and many who remain active struggle to reconcile their hallowed traditions with new perspectives-from feminism and the LGBTQ movement to "do-it-yourself religion" and personally defined spirituality. Taking a fresh look at American Judaism today, Jack Wertheimer, a leading authority on the subject, sets out to discover how Jews of various orientations practice their religion in this radically altered landscape. Which observances still resonate, and which ones have been given new meaning? What options are available for seekers or those dissatisfied with conventional forms of Judaism? And how are synagogues responding? Wertheimer provides new and often-surprising answers to these questions by drawing on a wide range of sources, including survey data, visits to countless synagogues, and revealing interviews with more than two hundred rabbis and other informed observers. He finds that the majority of American Jews still identify with their faith but often practice it on their own terms. Meanwhile, gender barriers are loosening within religiously traditional communities, while some of the most progressive sectors are reappropriating long-discarded practices. Other recent developments include "start-ups" led by charismatic young rabbis, the explosive growth of Orthodox "outreach," and unconventional worship experiences often geared toward millennials. Wertheimer captures the remarkable, if at times jarring, tableaux on display when American Jews practice their religion, while also revealing possibilities for significant renewal in American Judaism. What emerges is a quintessentially American story of rash disruption and creative reinvention, religious illiteracy and dynamic experimentation.
When Ziske's klezmer band is invited to play at a wedding in Pinsk, they arrive to discover many of the people in the town very sick. But tradition says that if two orphans get married in a cemetery a miracle may happen, so Ziske sets his mind to finding the perfect couple.
It is generally accepted that Jews and evangelical Christians have little in common. Yet special alliances developed between the two groups in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Evangelicals viewed Jews as both the rightful heirs of Israel and as a group who failed to recognize their true savior. Consequently, they set out to influence the course of Jewish life by attempting to evangelize Jews and to facilitate their return to Palestine. Their double-edged perception caused unprecedented political, cultural, and theological meeting points that have revolutionized Christian-Jewish relationships. An Unusual Relationship explores the beliefs and political agendas that evangelicals have created in order to affect the future of the Jews. Additionally, it analyses Jewish opinions and reactions to those efforts, as well as those of other religious groups, such as Arab Christians. This volume offers a fascinating, comprehensive analysis of the roots, manifestations, and consequences of evangelical interest in the Jews, and the alternatives they provide to conventional historical Christian-Jewish interactions. It also provides a compelling understanding of Middle Eastern politics through a new lens.
From Madonna's music videos to the glossy pages of celebrity magazines and back to the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Jewish mysticism has stepped into the modern consciousness like never before. In this classic work, world-renowned scholar Adin Steinsaltz answers the major questions asked by modern Jews about the nature of existence in God's universe. The title "The Thirteen Petalled Rose" is taken from the opening of the classic Jewish text on mysticism, the Zohar, and refers to the "collective souls of the Jewish people," which scholars have likened to the fullness of a rose and its thirteen petals. Along with a new preface by the author, this edition contains a new chapter on prayer that provides the most up-to-date account of the Kabbalistic view of devotion. Another new chapter recounts and interprets the prophet Elijah's Introduction to the Zohar. "Steinsaltz possesses a mind of the quality that occurs perhaps once or twice in a generation, or several generations.... In ["The Thirteen Petalled Rose"] one can encounter the classical Jewish mystical view of reality, delineated lucidly, concisely, profoundly and, what is so rare, believingly. It is an utterly authentic expression of Judaism yet so unknown even among the well-informed and therefore so necessary, so welcome." (Herbert Weiner, Oxford University)
An inspiring introduction to the most important lesson for today's busy world: the take-away is to take away.
"All we can hope to accomplish by paying attention is to learn to live with the mystery, become more comfortable with not knowing and try to enjoy life s uncertainty. Every day is a gift, but we often squander it by missing what matters most." from the Introduction
Every day we are faced with choices that entail saying no and frankly we re not very good at it. Whether it s the desire to please, get ahead, accumulate or impress, our lives have become so full and so busy that it is hard to determine what we really need and what s really important to us.
The purpose of this book is to help you regain control of the things that matter most in your life. It taps timeless Jewish wisdom that teaches how to hold on tightly to the things that matter most while learning to let go lightly of the demands, worries, activities and conflicts that do not ultimately matter. Drawing insights from ancient and modern sources, it helps you identify your core values as well as the opportunities that do not reflect those values, and that you can learn to pass up. It also shows you how to establish a disciplined practice to help you adhere to your choices.
Whether it s letting go of resentment, learning to say no at work or to your loved ones, downsizing your diet or asking less of the earth, this book will help you distinguish between the trivial and the profound."
Most people understand Judaism to be the Torah and the Torah to be Judaism. However, in The Invention of Judaism, John J. Collins persuasively argues this was not always the case. The Torah became the touchstone for most of Judaism's adherents only in the hands of the rabbis of late antiquity. For 600 years prior, from the Babylonian Exile to the Roman destruction of the Second Temple, there was enormous variation in the way the Torah was understood. Collins provides a comprehensive account of the role of the Torah in ancient Judaism, exploring key moments in its history, beginning with the formation of Deuteronomy and continuing through the Maccabean revolt and the rise of Jewish sectarianism and early Christianity.
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 question isn't whether grace is there for you in Judaism.The question is, do you have the courage to accept it?
"Chesed isn't a reward; it is reality. God s grace isn t limited to what we want to happen or might like to happen. God s grace is what is happening whether we like it or not. In short, God s grace is the giving of all to all." from the Introduction
Ask almost any Jew whether grace is a central concept in Judaism and an essential element in living Jewishly and, chances are, their answer will be no. But that s the wrong answer. This fascinating foray into God s love freely given offers you regardless of your level of Jewish involvement a way to answer that question in the affirmative.
Drawing from ancient and contemporary, traditional and non-traditional Jewish wisdom, this book reclaims the idea of grace in Judaism in three ways: It offers a view of God that helps you understand what grace is, why grace is, and how grace manifests in the world.It sets forth a reading of Judaism that is grace-filled: an understanding of creation, Shabbat and other Jewish practices from a grace-filled perspective.It challenges you to be embraced and transformed by grace, and to live life as a vehicle for God s grace, thereby fulfilling the promise of being created in God s image and likeness.
In late February 2007, Leah Fishbane's life was flourishing. A promising young graduate student in Jewish history, she was an adoring mother to her nearly four-year-old daughter and two months into a new pregnancy. In an instant, all this was gone: Leah was struck down suddenly with a previously undiagnosed brain tumor--her life ended, her family in despair. In this deeply evocative memoir, written during the dark time of the first year following Leah's death, her husband Eitan gives voice to the overwhelming nature of mourning, and to the uplifting power of memory. He tells the story of his efforts to be a good father to his grieving child and of his self-discovery as a parent in ways he had not known before. Along this path, Fishbane asks fundamental questions about the meaning of death and life, about the place of God and faith in the experience of tragedy, about what it means to live with loss. The result is a poetic testament that will resonate with anyone who has known the depths of grief, anyone who seeks to console a loved one in pain. In giving honest expression to emotions that are at once particular and universal, Shadows in Winter offers a luminous window of comfort and hope to those battling the devastation of loss.
This is a sweeping and powerful narrative history of the Jewish people from biblical times to today. Based on the latest scholarship and richly illustrated, it is the most authoritative and accessible chronicle of the Jewish experience available. Michael Brenner tells a dramatic story of change and migration deeply rooted in tradition, taking readers from the mythic wanderings of Moses to the unspeakable atrocities of the Holocaust; from the Babylonian exile to the founding of the modern state of Israel; and from the Sephardic communities under medieval Islam to the shtetls of eastern Europe and the Hasidic enclaves of modern-day Brooklyn. The book is full of fascinating personal stories of exodus and return, from that told about Abraham, who brought his newfound faith into Canaan, to that of Holocaust survivor Esther Barkai, who lived on a kibbutz established on a German estate seized from the Nazi Julius Streicher as she awaited resettlement in Israel. Describing the events and people that have shaped Jewish history, and highlighting the important contributions Jews have made to the arts, politics, religion, and science, "A Short History of the Jews" is a compelling blend of storytelling and scholarship that brings the Jewish past marvelously to life.
Authentic and simple, this retelling of the Passover story in the Haggadah is designed to guide Passover participants through the Seder while educating them about the practice. Detailing the meaning of the ceremony in the past and present, the book also discusses the authenticity of the ceremony and the story, allowing those with little or no experience conducting a Seder to do so with confidence. A phonetic version of the Hebrew text is also included to aid those unfamiliar with Hebrew pronunciation.
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.
The Koren Talmud Bavli is a groundbreaking edition of the Talmud that fuses the innovative design of Koren Publishers Jerusalem with the incomparable scholarship of Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz. The Koren Talmud Bavli Standard Edition is a full-size, full-color edition that presents an enhanced Vilna page, a side-by-side English translation, photographs and illustrations, a brilliant commentary, and a multitude of learning aids to help the beginning and advanced student alike actively participate in the dynamic process of Talmud study.
Based on extensive scrutiny of primary sources from Nazi and Jihadist ideologues, David Patterson argues that Jihadist anti-Semitism stems from Nazi ideology. This book challenges the idea that Jihadist anti-Semitism has medieval roots, identifying its distinctively modern characteristics and tracing interconnections that link the Nazis to the Muslim Brotherhood to the PLO, Fatah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, Al-Qaeda, the Sudan, the Iranian Islamic Republic, and other groups with an anti-Semitic worldview. Based on his close reading of numerous Jihadist texts, Patterson critiques their antisemitic teachings and affirms the importance of Jewish teaching, concluding that humanity needs the very Jewish teaching and testimony that the Jihadists advocate destroying.
Combining the mystical tools of the Kabbalah with energy medicine and physical movement, this remarkable guide presents many unique and userfriendly practices. Energy Healing with the Kabbalah helps you to achieve personal growth as you explore universal ideas of oneness, healing, and holding opposites in balance. Discover new meaning in the holy name of God and how to engage more fully with the Sabbath. Explore the special relationship between the Shechina (the divine feminine), the Kadosh Baruch Hu (the divine masculine), and the in-dwelling God-presence in each of us.
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