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The German language holds an ambivalent and controversial place in the modern history of European Jews, representing different-often conflicting-historical currents. It was the language of the German classics, of German Jewish writers and scientists, of Central European Jewish culture, and of Herzl and the Zionist movement. But it was also the language of Hitler, Goebbels, and the German guards in Nazi concentration camps. The crucial role of German in the formation of Jewish national culture and politics in the late nineteenth century has been largely overshadowed by the catastrophic events that befell Jews under Nazi rule. German as a Jewish Problem tells the Jewish history of the German language, focusing on Jewish national movements in Central and Eastern Europe and Palestine/Israel. Marc Volovici considers key writers and activists whose work reflected the multilingual nature of the Jewish national sphere and the centrality of the German language within it, and argues that it is impossible to understand the histories of modern Hebrew and Yiddish without situating them in relation to German. This book offers a new understanding of the language problem in modern Jewish history, turning to German to illuminate the questions and dilemmas that largely defined the experience of European Jews in the age of nationalism.
Michael Levi Rodkinson (1845-1904) was a journalist, author, and publisher whose literary projects spanned numerous countries and continents. Hero to some and scoundrel to others, Rodkinson was a polemical figure whose beliefs underwent many transformations over the course of his life, most significantly from Hasidism to combative Haskalah to eventually anticipating the neo-Romantic trends of the early twentieth century. Throughout his career, Rodkinson's writing challenged the familiar genres of the literature of Hasidism and the Haskalah, shaping the religious realities of his readers and articulating a spiritual and community life among Jews, who took his ideas to heart in surprising ways. Today, Rodkinson is frequently referred to as a minor Hasidic author and publisher, a characterization based on the criticism of his opponents rather than on his writings. In Literary Hasidism, Meir draws upon those writings and their reception to present a completely different picture of this colorful and influential writer. Examining Rodkinson's lifelong role as a catalyzing agent of different cultural phenomena, his diverse publishing activities, and his writings in their respective stages, Meir grants readers a provocative new vantage point from which to consider this divisive, enigmatic figure.
In this historical and theological study, John G. Gager undermines the myth of the Apostle Paul's rejection of Judaism, conversion to Christianity, and founding of Christian anti-Judaism. He finds that the rise of Christianity occurred well after Paul's death and attributes the distortion of the Apostle's views to early and later Christians. Though Christian clerical elites ascribed a rejection-replacement theology to Paul's legend, Gager shows that the Apostle was considered a loyal Jew by many of his Jesus-believing contemporaries and that later Jewish and Muslim thinkers held the same view. He holds that one of the earliest misinterpretations of Paul was to name him the founder of Christianity, and in recent times numerous Jewish and Christian readers of Paul have moved beyond this understanding. Gager also finds that Judaism did not fade away after Paul's death but continued to appeal to both Christians and pagans for centuries. Jewish synagogues remained important religious and social institutions throughout the Mediterranean world. Making use of all possible literary and archaeological sources, including Muslim texts, Gager helps recover the long pre-history of a Jewish Paul, obscured by recent, negative portrayals of the Apostle, and recognizes the enduring bond between Jews and Christians that has influenced all aspects of Christianity.
A Jewish Lights classic reprint. Written in a non-technical way for the layperson, this candid and forthright look at the what and why of the Jewish attitude toward Jesus is a clear and forceful exposition that guides both Christians and Jews in timely and relevant discussion and action. Examining the Jewish perspective throughout history and today, Sandmel introduces fresh discussion on the subject from the standpoint of a rabbi of the liberal wing of Judaism, and presents the scholarship of the last century and a half as pursued by both Christians and Jews. Filled with warm sympathy for Christianity but at the same time with sturdy intellectual honesty and loyalty to Judaism, it explains why Jesus is of cultural and historical interest to Jews, though not of direct religious interest. Without prejudice but admittedly partisan, this book drives home one of the most important lessons of our time?that Christians and Jews can be worlds apart theologically but yet very close in mutual understanding and in cooperation toward desirable human goals. Previously published by Oxford University Press, 1965.
With diverse and robust voices, women are reclaiming their place at the seder table. This complete sourcebook and guide shows you how to do it, too. For the first time, contemporary Jewish women's writings on the Passover seder are gathered in one comprehensive and compelling sourcebook an unprecedented and powerful resource for those planning a women s seder and those seeking to infuse their Passover celebration with the creative and courageous voices of Jewish women. Arranged according to the order of the seder, this practical guide gathers the voices of more than one hundred women in readings, personal and creative reflections, commentaries, blessings and ritual suggestions that can be incorporated into your Passover celebration as supplements to or substitutes for traditional passages of the haggadah. It also includes a detailed guide to planning a women s seder, based on information from successful seder organizers around the world. Whether you are organizing a women s seder in your community or planning a family seder in your home, this inspiring and accessible resource will help you take an active role in re-creating the educational and spiritual experience of Passover and in shaping Judaism s future. Contributors include: Dr. Rachel Adler Dr. Rebecca T. Alpert Rabbi Renni S. Altman Zoe Baird Dr. Evelyn Torton Beck Susan Berrin Senator Barbara Boxer Dr. Esther Broner Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin Tamara Cohen Anita Diamant Dr. Carol Diament Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell, PhD Eve Ensler Dr. Marcia Falk Merle Feld Rabbi Susan P. Fendrick Rabbi Tirzah Firestone Dr. Ellen Frankel Nan Fink Gefen Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb Dr. Susannah Heschel Rabbi Karyn D. Kedar Rabbi Naamah Kelman Naomi Klein Irena Klepfisz Maxine Kumin Rabbi Noa Rachel Kushner Rabbi Joy Levitt Hadassah Lieberman Ruth W. Messinger Dr. Faye Moskowitz Joan Nathan Dr. Alicia Suskin Ostriker Dr. Judith Plaskow Marge Piercy Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen Anne Roiphe Danya Ruttenberg Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso The Honorable Jan Schakowsky Rabbi Susan Schnur Rabbi Susan Silverman Dr. Ellen M. Umansky Rabbi Sheila Peltz Weinberg Dr. Chava Weissler Cantor Lorel Zar-Kessler"
First published in 2004, The Jewish Study Bible is a landmark,
one-volume resource tailored especially for the needs of students
of the Hebrew Bible. It has won acclaim from readers in all
How did a Jewish teacher, healer, sage and mystic become the vehicle for so much hatred and harm directed against his own people?
Dialogue is demanding and difficult. It is often painful. It entails deep listening, letting others define themselves and being willing to confront and transform deep-rooted prejudices in ourselves. It requires the courage to re-envision absolutely everything we tend to cherish and protect, and to relinquish our entrenched vainglorious ego attachments, our inflated sense of I, me and mine. This challenge to grow beyond tribalism, to approach others in a fair and reasonable way, is an essential step in our human evolution. from the Invitation to the Reader
Judaism and Christianity have had a volatile relationship in their two-thousand-year history. Anger, rivalry, insensitivity, bloodshed and murder have marred the special connection these two Abrahamic faiths share. In the last several decades, scholars, activists, laypeople and clergy have attempted to expose and eliminate the struggles between Jews and Christians.
This collaborative effort brings together the voices of Christian scholar Ron Miller and Jewish scholar Laura Bernstein to further explore the roots of anti-Semitism in Christian faith and scripture. In a probing interfaith dialogue, Miller and Bernstein trace the Jewish-Christian schism to its very source in the first book of the New Testament, the Gospel of Matthew. Illuminating the often misunderstood context of Matthew s gospel a persecuted Christian minority writing some sixty years after Jesus s death this examination of a foundational Christian text discerns the ways in which the Jewishness of Jesus was forgotten and Jews and Judaism became Christianity s foil. More important, it takes a renewed look at Matthew with contemporary retellings that present a new and better future of conciliation and compassion between the two faith traditions.
Solomon's image as a wise king and the founder of Jerusalem Temple has become a fixture of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic literature. Yet, there are essential differences between the portraits of Solomon that are presented in the Hebrew Bible. In this volume, Isaac Kalimi explores these differences, which reflect divergent historical contexts, theological and didactic concepts, stylistic and literary techniques, and compositional methods among the biblical historians. He highlights the uniqueness of each portrayal of Solomon - his character, birth, early life, ascension, and temple-building - through a close comparison of the early and late biblical historiographies. Whereas the authors of Samuel-Kings stay closely to their sources and offer an apology for Solomon's kingship, including its more questionable aspects, the Chronicler freely rewrites his sources in order to present the life of Solomon as he wished it to be. The volume will serve scholars and students seeking to understand biblical texts within their ancient Near Eastern contexts.
In This Hour offers the first English translations of selected German writings by Abraham Joshua Heschel from his tumultuous years in Nazi-ruled Germany and months in London exile, before he found refuge in the United States. Moreover, several of the works have never been published in any language. Composed during a time of intense crisis for European Jewry, these writings both argue for and exemplify a powerful vision of spiritually rich Jewish learning and its redemptive role in the past and the future of the Jewish people. The collection opens with the text of a speech in which Heschel laid out with passion his vision for Jewish education. Then it goes on to present his teachings: a set of essays about the rabbis of the Mishnaic period, whose struggles paralleled those of his own time; the biography of the medieval Jewish scholar and leader Don Yitzhak Abravanel; reflections on the power and meaning of repentance, written for the High Holidays in 1936; and a short story on Jewish exile, written for Hanukkah 1937. The collection closes with a set of four recently discovered meditations-on suffering, prayer, spirituality, and God-in which Heschel grapples with the horrors unfolding around him. Taken together, these essays and story fill a significant void in Heschel's bibliography: his Nazi Germany and London exile years. These translations convey the spare elegance of Heschel's prose, and the introduction and detailed notes make the volume accessible to readers of all knowledge levels. As Heschel teaches history, his voice is more than that of a historian: the old becomes new, and the struggles of one era shed light on another. Even as Heschel quotes ancient sources, his words address the issues of his own time and speak urgently to ours.
A free ebook version of this title is available through Luminos, University of California Press's Open Access publishing program. Visit www.luminosoa.org to learn more. The Eternal Dissident offers rare insight into one of the most inspiring and controversial Reform rabbis of the twentieth century, Leonard Beerman, who was renowned both for his eloquent and challenging sermons and for his unrelenting commitment to social action. Beerman was a man of powerful word and action-a probing intellectual and stirring orator, as well as a nationally known opponent of McCarthyism, racial injustice, and Israeli policy in the occupied territories. The shared source of Beerman's thought and activism was the moral imperative of the Hebrew prophets, which he believed bestowed upon the Jewish people their role as the "eternal dissident." This volume brings Beerman to life through a selection of his most powerful writings, followed by commentaries from notable scholars, rabbis, and public personalities that speak to the quality and ongoing relevance of Beerman's work.
Presents a new understanding of the laws of cosmic manifestation through the sacred geometry of the Sabbath Star diagram
- Explores three higher levels of consciousness above the four worlds of the classical Kabbalah
- Reveals the mathematical code of the laws of all cosmic manifestation
This landmark work by an innovative modern Kabbalist develops a scientific model for kabbalistic cosmology and soul psychology derived from the kabbalistic diagram of the Tree of Life and the author's own Sabbath Star diagram--a configuration of seven Star of David hexagrams. This geometric model begins with the four worlds of the classical Kabbalah, which bring us to the present time and birthright level of the soul, and is then expanded to three higher enclosing worlds or levels of evolving consciousness. The Sabbath Star diagram therefore accommodates both the emanationist cosmology of the earlier Zoharic Kabbalah and the future orientation of the later Kabbalah of Isaac Luria. The hexagram elements that construct each expansion of the Sabbath Star diagram configure the cosmic stages of each of its "worlds." The matrix that is produced by these construction elements configures the level of the multi-dimensional soul that is correlated with each cosmic world. In its final stage, this model unites the finite and infinite halves of the Sabbatical world in a way that exemplifies the secret doctrine of the Kabbalah.
Not only does this work offer a new, inclusive model for the Kabbalah but it also provides a basis for complexity theory, with its final extrapolation to infinity. The universality of this model is further shown by its applicability to such other domains as physics, sociology, linguistics, and human history. This universal model encodes the laws of all cosmic manifestation in terms that are particularly coherent with the formulations of the Kabbalah, giving a mathematical basis to many aspects of this mystical tradition and providing a new synthesis of science and spirituality for our time that may well write a new chapter to the Kabbalah.
Find Inspiration and Spiritual Understanding in Judaism's
This engaging, entertaining, and informative bedside companion will help you open up your dreams and discover the meanings they may hold for you.
"The Jewish Dream Book "invites you to integrate the spiritual wisdom of Judaism s past into your life today by honoring your dreams and striving to uncover their hidden messages. Exploring the Bible, Talmud, and other ancient sources, it will introduce you to inspiring, easy-to-use rituals and practices.
Included are diverse topics covering everything you ve ever wondered about dreams and dreaming: Uniquely Jewish ways to bless and honor your dreams Transforming a bad dream into a good one How and why to keep a dream journal How to encourage enlightening, productive, and healing dreams Guidelines for being a dream interpreter Historical dream interpretations Dream symbols and their meanings How to link your dreams to Torah
This guide provides a vocabulary list of Hebrew and Aramaic words for students of the Old Testament language. Lists are based on frequency. Includes pronunciation guide.
The intellectual legacy of one of the twentieth century s greatest religious thinkers explained by a leading theologian of our day.
It is only through experiencing the contradictions in human existence, through being overwhelmed by the divine presence, through the finite human being feeling terror-stricken by the infinite majesty of God that one can develop an authentic religious personality. David Hartman (From Chapter 6)
Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik (1903 1993) profoundly influenced modern Orthodox Judaism in the United States and Judaism as a whole by opening up a discourse between the tradition of Torah study and Western philosophical thought. The future of both religious Zionism in Israel and of Orthodoxy in America hangs to a great extent on how we interpret his intellectual legacy. Dr. David Hartman s penetrating analysis of Rabbi Soloveitchik s work reveals a Judaism committed to intellectual courage, integrity, and openness.
A renowned theologian and philosopher, Hartman meticulously explores the subtlety and complexity of Rabbi Soloveitchik s theological thought, exposing a surprising intersection of halakhic tradition and modern Western theology a confrontation that deepens and expands our spiritual understanding. Hartman s provocative interpretation bears witness to the legitimacy of remaining loyal to the Judaic tradition without sacrificing one s intellectual freedom and honesty.
An accessible introduction to the concepts of Jewish mysticism,
"The Way Into Jewish Mystical Tradition" allows us to experience and understand mysticism s inexpressible reverence before the awe and mystery of creation, and celebrate this rich tradition s quest to transform our ordinary reality into holiness.
Originally published in English in 1949, The Prophetic Faith features Martin Buber's readings of select biblical prophets--especially Isaiah and Deborah, the only female prophet and judge in the Hebrew Bible. In an approach that combines insights from biblical prophecy with a concern for events in the here and now, Buber outlines his interpretation of biblical revelation. Infused with an anti-institutional--some have said anarchic--sensibility, Buber discusses the notion of kingship as portrayed in the Bible and provides an account of human suffering in an extended discussion of the Book of Job. Anticipating those today who describe themselves as "spiritual but not religious," Buber gives pride of place to a personal God outside of formal religious and legal strictures. Featuring a new introduction by Jon D. Levenson, The Prophetic Faith encourages a renewed appreciation for the Hebrew Bible and its relevance to the practical challenges of the present day.
Jewish and Christian apocalypses have captivated theologians, writers, artists, and the general public for centuries, and have had a profound influence on world history from their initial production by persecuted Jews during the second century BCE, to the birth of Christianity - through the demise of the Western Roman Empire and the medieval period, and continuing into modernity. Far from being an outlier concern, or an academic one that may be relegated to the dustbin of history, apocalyptic thinking is ubiquitous and continues to inform nearly all aspects of modern-day life. It addresses universal human concerns: the search for identity and belonging, speculation about the future, and (for some) a blueprint that provides meaning and structure to a seemingly chaotic world. The Cambridge Companion to Apocalyptic Literature brings together a field of leading experts to provide a comprehensive overview of the subject.
Mystical and practical wisdom for daily life.
The least known of the Hasidic masters teachings the "hanhagot, " or spiritual practices are at the heart of this book. These short lists of instructions were created for their followers, inspirational treasures intended to be carried with you at all times. They were to be read again and again providing spiritual guidance, centering, and aid in bringing joy and God s presence into daily life.
Practical, personal, and wise, these brief teachings range from straightforward instructions to visualization exercises, meditations, and mantras. Also included are the "hanhagot" of two neo-Hasidic thinkers: the modern journalist and mystic Hillel Zeitlin (1871 1942), and the contemporary theologian Arthur Green.
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