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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.
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.
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.
Thanks to these generous donors for making the publication of this book possible: Dr. and Mrs. Lawrence Deutsch.
The latest in the JPS Bible Commentary series, 2011 National Jewish Book Award Winner, Barbara Dobkin Award in Women's Studies
The moving story of Ruth, with its themes of loyalty, loving kindness ("hesed"), and redemption, is one of the great narratives of the Bible.
Socially, the Israelites were aware of their responsibility to protect the weak and unprotected among them. Redemption secures the life of the people as a community, not just as individuals. In this story, Boaz fills the familial obligation to marry the widow of a deceased relative who never was able to father children, both to continue the family line and protect an otherwise vulnerable woman.
The authors provide a critical, line-by-line commentary of the biblical text, presented in its original Hebrew, complete with vocalization and cantillation marks, as well as the 1985 JPS English translation. The extensive introduction places the book within its historical, literary, and critical context, discusses contemporary interpretations of the story of Ruth, and examines its major motifs and themes, among them: family, marriage and levirate marriage in biblical and ancient Israel, redemption and inheritance, hesed, and the book's connection with the Jewish holiday of Shavuot.
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.
How can we define "Judaism," and what are the common threads uniting ancient rabbis, Maimonides, the authors of the Zohar, and modern secular Jews in Israel? Michael L. Satlow offers a fresh perspective on Judaism that recognizes both its similarities and its immense diversity. Presenting snapshots of Judaism from around the globe and throughout history, Satlow explores the links between vastly different communities and their Jewish traditions. He studies the geonim, rabbinical scholars who lived in Iraq from the ninth to twelfth centuries; the intellectual flourishing of Jews in medieval Spain; how the Hasidim of nineteenth-century Eastern Europe confronted modernity; and the post-World War II development of distinct American and Israeli Jewish identities. Satlow pays close attention to how communities define themselves, their relationship to biblical and rabbinic texts, and their ritual practices. His fascinating portraits reveal the amazingly creative ways Jews have adapted over time to social and political challenges and continue to remain a "Jewish family."
A handy guide for anyone seeking knowledge about the Jewish faith and the Jewish people. Containing thousands of entries, it describes a vast number of features of the Jewish religion as well as Jewish figures from the past to the present. From angels to the Zohar, from Moses to Groucho Marx, from the Garden of Eden to the Babylonian Talmud, this dictionary contains a treasure house of information about Jews and Judaism as well as some typical Jewish jokes. Not only is A Dictionary of Jews and Jewish Life marvellously informative, its considerable scholarship is leavened by a wit that is both profoundly Jewish and inimitably Dan Cohn-Sherbok's. (Professor Melissa Raphael, Professor of History, Religion, Philosophy and Ethics, University of Gloucestershire) A very useful and easy-to -read dictionary for anyone interested in Jews and Judaism. Dan Cohn-Sherbok has produced an accessible and impressive one-volume dictionary which will help anyone who wants to turn to a single source for brief definitions of Jewish customs, practices, religion and history as well as Jewish biographies. (Ed Kessler, Founder Director of the Woolf Institute, and Fellow of St Edmund's College, Cambridge) A lively and informative source of information, very useful for anyone working in Jewish Studies. (Oliver Leaman, Professor of Philosophy, University of Kentucky) An invaluable, detailed but handy guide to the Jewish religion, history and major figures and events. Punctuated brilliantly by hilarious 'Jewish jokes', illustrating the famous community humour in poking fun at itself. (Imam Dr Usama Hasan, London, UK) This is an excellent dictionary of important concepts, events, and individuals in Jewish life and history. It provides cogent and concise information about the Jewish people, which will be very useful to scholars, students, and interested readers. (William D. Rubinstein, Emeritus Professor, University of Wales- Aberystwyth)
You spend one-third of your life sleeping. Is spirituality a
part of that time?
This inspiring, informative guide shows us how we can use the often overlooked time at the end of each day to enhance our spiritual, physical and psychological well-being.
Each chapter takes a new look at traditional Jewish prayers and what they have to teach us about the spiritual aspects of preparing for the end of the day, and about sleep itself. Drawing on Kabbalistic teachings, prayer, the Bible and midrash, the authors enrich our understanding of traditional bedtime preparations, and show how, by including them in our bedtime rituals, we can gain insight into our lives and access the spiritual enrichment the world of dreams has to offer.
Clear illustrations and diagrams, step-by-step meditations, visualization techniques and exercise suggestions for fully integrating body, mind and spirit show us the way to: "Hashkivenu" Creating a safe space for sleep "Hareni Mochel" Clearing our hearts through forgiveness "Shema" Connecting to God in Love "Bircat Cohanim" Experiencing the reality of blessing "Hamapil" Thanking God for sleep and the illumination that comes in sleeps
This perfect nighttime companion draws on the power of Jewish tradition to help us enhance our spiritual awareness in both our waking and sleeping hours.
Spiritual and ethical lessons for the workaday world: how to do well and do good.
How can I find greater satisfaction in my work?
How can I lead my employees through difficult times?
If you get up each morning to go to work, this guide contains the reminder you need to succeed: you can do well and, at the very same time, you can do good.
Rabbi Wayne Dosick gives us tools to solve both the major moral dilemmas and the day-to-day questions of life at work. He offers ten new commandments that can transform our work and work environment into places for accomplishment and satisfaction, honesty and integrity, decency and dignity and success.
Through stories, real-life business situations, and artfully chosen spiritual texts, "The Business Bible" reminds us that principles don t have to be sacrificed for profits, that value means more than net worth, and that spiritual ethics can lead to business excellence.
"The prayer book is our Jewish diary of the centuries, a collection of prayers composed by generations of those who came before us, as they endeavored to express the meaning of their lives and their relationship to God. The prayer book is the essence of the Jewish soul." This stunning work, an empowering entryway to the spiritual revival of our times, enables all of us to claim our connection to the heritage of the traditional Jewish prayer book. It helps rejuvenate Jewish worship in today's world, and makes its power accessible to all. Framed with beautifully designed Talmud-style pages, commentaries from 11 of today s most respected Jewish scholars from all movements of Judaism examine Seder K riat Hatorah from the perspectives of ancient Rabbis and modern theologians, as well as feminist, halakhic, Talmudic, linguistic, biblical, Chasidic, mystical, and historical perspectives. This fourth volume of the series unfolds the many layers of meaning in Seder K riat Hatorah, the ritual and prayers surrounding the communal reading of Torah. More than any other section of the prayer book, the Torah service reflects all of Jewish history. Vol. 4 helps us to understand how the reading of Torah is an affirmation, powerful and dramatic, of the continuing covenant between the community of Israel and God. Vol. 4 Seder K riat Hatorah (The Torah Service) features the authentic Hebrew text with a new translation designed to let people know exactly what the prayers say. Introductions tell the reader what to look for in the prayer service, as well as how to truly use the commentaries, to search for and find meaning in the prayer book. Even those not yet familiar with the prayer book can appreciate the spiritual richness of Seder K riat Hatorah. My People s Prayer Book enables all worshipers, of any denomination, to encounter their own connection to 3,000 years of Jewish experience with the world and with God."
As government by the people, democracy has always had its proponents as well as opponents. What forms of government have Jewish leaders, both with and without actual political power, favored? Not surprisingly, many options have been offered theoretically and in practice. Perhaps more surprisingly, democracy has been at the heart of most systems of governance. Biblical Israel was largely a monarchy, but many writers of the Bible were critical of the excesses that almost always arise when human kings take charge: the general populace loses its freedom. In rabbinic Judaism, the majority ruled, and many principles that support modern democratic institutions have their basis in interpretations offered by the classical rabbis. This is true even though rabbinic Jews did not govern democratically. When Jews did have some degree of self-governance, democratic principles and institutions were often upheld. At the same time, so most communal leaders insisted, God-the ultimate judge-ultimately judges everything and everyone. Modern Israel provides the first instance of an independent Jewish nation since the Hasmonean monarchy of the second and first centuries BCE. On an almost daily basis, common features uniting democracy and Judaism, as well as flash point of controversy, are highlighted there. The fourteen scholars whose work is collected here are mindful of all of these circumstances-and many more. In a style that is accessible, clear, and balanced, they allow readers to assess these issues based on the most current thinking. This volume is required reading for anyone interested in how religion and politics have interacted, and continue to interact, in Judaism and among Jews.
Is laughter essential to Jewish identity? Do Jews possess special radar for recognizing members of the tribe? Since Jews live longer and make love more often, why don't more people join the tribe? "More deli than deity" writer Nancy Kalikow Maxwell poses many such questions in eight chapters-"Worrying," "Kvelling," "Dying," "Noshing," "Laughing," "Detecting," "Dwelling," and "Joining"-exploring what it means to be "typically Jewish." While unearthing answers from rabbis, researchers, and her assembled Jury on Jewishness (Jewish friends she roped into conversation), she-and we-make a variety of discoveries. For example: Jews worry about continuity, even though Rabbi Mordechai of Lechovitz prohibited even that: "All worrying is forbidden, except to worry that one is worried." Kvell-worthy fact: About 75 percent of American Jews give to charity versus 63 percent of Americans as a whole. Since reciting Kaddish brought secular Jews to synagogue, the rabbis, aware of their captive audience, moved the prayer to the end of the service. Who's Jewish? About a quarter of Nobel Prize winners, an estimated 80 percent of comedians at one point, and the winner of Nazi Germany's Most Perfect Aryan Child Contest. Readers will enjoy learning about how Jews feel, think, act, love, and live. They'll also schmooze as they use the book's "Typically Jewish, Atypically Fun" discussion guide.
A must-read book for understanding this vibrant and influential modern Jewish movement Hasidism originated in southeastern Poland, in mystical circles centered on the figure of Israel Ba'al Shem Tov, but it was only after his death in 1760 that a movement began to spread. Today, Hasidism is witnessing a remarkable renaissance around the world. This book provides the first comprehensive history of the pietistic movement that shaped modern Judaism. Written by an international team of scholars, its unique blend of intellectual, religious, and social history demonstrates that, far from being a throwback to the Middle Ages, Hasidism is a product of modernity that forged its identity as a radical alternative to the secular world.
This book examines the emergence of self-knowledge as a determining legal consideration among the rabbis of Late Antiquity, from the third to the seventh centuries CE. Based on close readings of rabbinic texts from Palestine and Babylonia, Ayelet Hoffmann Libson highlights a unique and surprising development in Talmudic jurisprudence, whereby legal decision-making incorporated personal and subjective information. She examines the central legal role accorded to individuals' knowledge of their bodies and mental states in areas of law as diverse as purity laws, family law and the laws of Sabbath. By focusing on subjectivity and self-reflection, the Babylonian rabbis transformed earlier legal practices in a way that cohered with the cultural concerns of other religious groups in Late Antiquity. They developed sophisticated ideas about the inner self and incorporated these notions into their distinctive discourse of law.
The Holy Land is a focus for people of many different faiths, its historical and spiritual significance well documented. Israel Through My Eyes, however, written by a young Christian Ghanaian doctor, offers a new perspective on this unique country. On the one hand, it is an extremely personal account of life as a black man in Israel, staying in a student flat with Orthodox Jews. We learn of his growing understanding of the Jewish faith, others' reactions to his own faith, and the effects that such a diverse community has on the practices of the hospital at which he works. On the other, it is a detailed, informative and often humorous guide to the principal landmarks of Israel and will be of interest to anyone who wishes to get a greater insight into life in a place where religious devoutness and political upheaval so closely co-exist.
Drawing on the timeless wisdom of the torah.Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis reminds us of the principlesnecessary for living a better and more committed life.Inspirational and deeply moving. This book willtouch your heart like no other.
A two-volume hardcover set In The Heart of Torah, Rabbi Shai Held's Torah essays-two for each weekly portion-open new horizons in Jewish biblical commentary. Held probes the portions in bold, original, and provocative ways. He mines Talmud and midrashim, great writers of world literature, and astute commentators of other religious backgrounds to ponder fundamental questions about God, human nature, and what it means to be a religious person in the modern world. Along the way, he illuminates the centrality of empathy in Jewish ethics, the predominance of divine love in Jewish theology, the primacy of gratitude and generosity, and God's summoning of each of us-with all our limitations-into the dignity of a covenantal relationship.
Every area of Jewish life is filled with rich symbolism and special meaning. From meals, clothing, and figures of speech to worship, holidays, and weddings, we find hundreds of fascinating traditions that date as far back as two or three thousand years.
There's Bar Mitzvah, which Jewish boys celebrate at the age of accountability. In weddings, the groom breaks a wine glass with his foot. In the front doorway of Jewish homes you'll find a mezuza -- a small container with Scripture parchments. Prayer shawls are made with blue or black stripes.
How did customs such as these get started? What special meaning do they hold? And, what can they teach us?
Neo-Hasidism applies the Hasidic masters' spiritual insights-of God's presence everywhere, of seeking the magnificent within the everyday, in doing all things with love and joy, uplifting all of life to become a vehicle of God's service-to contemporary Judaism, as practiced by men and women who do not live within the strictly bounded world of the Hasidic community. This first-ever anthology of Neo-Hasidic philosophy brings together the writings of its progenitors: five great twentieth-century European and American Jewish thinkers-Hillel Zeitlin, Martin Buber, Abraham Joshua Heschel, Shlomo Carlebach, and Zalman Schachter-Shalomi-plus a young Arthur Green. The thinkers reflect on the inner life of the individual and their dreams of creating a Neo-Hasidic spiritual community. The editors' introductions and notes analyze each thinker's contributions to Neo-Hasidic thought and influence on the movement. Zeitlin and Buber initiated a renewal of Hasidism for the modern world; Heschel's work is quietly infused with Neo-Hasidic thought; Carlebach and Schachter-Shalomi re-created Neo-Hasidism for American Jews in the 1960s; and Green is the first American-born Jewish thinker fully identified with the movement. Previously unpublished materials by Carlebach and Schachter-Shalomi include an interview with Schachter-Shalomi about his decision to leave Chabad-Lubavitch and embark on his own Neo-Hasidic path.
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