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You are invited to enter the new-old pathway of Neo-Hasidism-a movement that uplifts key elements of Hasidism's Jewish revival of two centuries ago to reexamine the meaning of existence, see everything anew, and bring the world as it is and as it can be closer together. This volume brings this discussion into the twenty-first century, highlighting Neo-Hasidic approaches to key issues of our time. Eighteen contributions by leading Neo-Hasidic thinkers open with the credos of Zalman Schachter-Shalomi and Arthur Green. Or Rose wrestles with reinterpreting the rebbes' harsh teachings concerning non-Jews. Ebn Leader assesses the perils of trusting one's whole being to a single personality: can Neo-Hasidism endure as a living tradition without a rebbe? Shaul Magid candidly calibrates Shlomo Carlebach: how "the singing rabbi" transformed him and why Magid eventually walked away. Other contributors engage questions such as: How might women enter this hitherto gendered sphere created by and for men? How can we honor and draw nourishment from other religions' teachings? Can the rebbes' radiant wisdom guide those who struggle with self-diminishment to reclaim wholeness? Together these intellectually honest and spiritually robust conversations inspire us to grapple anew with Judaism's legacy and future.
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.
Like any classic, the Torah appears in different guises with each
rereading. Its infinite layers of meaning and depth offer the
opportunity to harvest anew, without any fear of exhausting its
supply of wisdom, counsel, and "kedushah" (holiness). To encounter
Torah is to encounter God.
In this inspiring collection, Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson illuminates the sacred text at the heart of Jewish spirituality. Enlightening and original, "The Everyday Torah" brings the ancient text to life with poignant reflections that will guide to you to a deeper understanding of the Torah, of Judaism, of yourself. . .
"Torah goes its weekly way, and we go ours, and do the two paths
ever cross? They cross often in many minds and hearts, but when it
is Bradley Shavit Artson who provides their point of intersection,
the crossroads widens into a town square."
"Every page is a joy to read. Many, many readers will treasure
"Rabbi Bradley Artson remains one of the most inviting of modern
day teachers of Torah. This book will offer needed guidance and
inspiration to all who turn its pages."
aCohen breaks new ground by drawing from relatively unstudied
sources: the sermons delivered in nineteenth-century synagogues.a
What the Rabbis Said examines a relatively unexplored facet of the rich social history of nineteenth-century American Jews. Based on sources that have heretofore been largely neglected, it traces the sermons and other public statements of rabbis, both Traditionalists and Reformers, on a host of matters that engaged the Jewish community before 1900.
Reminding the reader of the complexities and diversity that characterized the religious congregations in nineteenth-century America, Cohen offers insight into the primary concerns of both the religious leaders and the laity--full acculturation to American society, modernization of the Jewish religious tradition, and insistence on the recognized equality of a non-Christian minority. She also discusses the evolution of denominationalism with the split between Traditionalism and Reform, the threat of antisemitism, the origins of American Zionism, and interreligious dialogue. The book concludes with a chapter on the professionalization of the rabbinate and the legacy bequeathed to the next century. On all those key issues rabbis spoke out individually or in debates with other rabbis. From the evidence presented, the congregational rabbi emerges as a pioneer, the leader of a congregation, as well as spokesman for the Jews in the larger society, forging an independence from his European counterparts, and laboring for the preservation of the Jewish faith and heritage in an unfamiliar environment.
This superb abridgement and annotated translation of Maimonides' monumental work includes discussions of divine language, the scope and limits of human knowledge, cosmological doctrines concerning the creation or eternity of the world, prophecy and providence, the nature and purpose of divine law, and moral and political philosophy.
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.
Magdala of Galilee for the first time unifies the results of various excavations of the Galilean city. Here, archaeologists and historians of the Second Temple Period work together to understand the site and its significance to profile Galilee and the region around the lake in the Early Roman period. After a comprehensive overview of the history and character of the city, the volume details the harbor, the domestic and mercantile sectors, the Jewish ritual baths, and the synagogue, with its unique and remarkable engraved stone. There is also a full study of Magdala's fishing industry, which dominated fishing on the lake, and the production of salted fish. The rabbinic traditions about Magdala are fully investigated for the first time, and a study of Josephus' account of the city's role in the Jewish revolt is also included. The in-depth archaeological, historical, and literary analyses are enriched by a wealth of on-site photographs, regional maps, and excavation plans. Edited by Richard Bauckham, this cutting-edge synthesis of international field work and scholarly study brings the City of Fish and its place in Jewish history and culture into sharp relief, providing both specialists and general readers with a richer understanding of the background of early Judaism and Christianity.
Jacob Neusner was a prolific and innovative contributor to the study of religion for over fifty years. A scholar of rabbinic Judaism, Neusner regarded Jewish texts as data to address larger questions in the academic study of religion that he helped to formulate. Jacob Neusner on Religion offers the first full critical assessment of his thought on the subject of religion. Aaron W. Hughes delineates the stages of Neusner's career and provides an overview of Neusner's personal biography and critical reception. This book is essential reading for students and scholars interested in Neusner specifically, or in the history of Religious Studies, Jewish Studies, and philosophy of religion more broadly.
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.
This book is the first Haggadah that brings together the teachings of three of the most influential and brilliant Rabbinic personalities of the 20th century: Rabbi Kook, Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, and Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik. The Night That Unites also offers a special section of contemporary readings and stories related to the Land of Israel and the Holocaust. Suggested questions are offered as a way of encouraging and guiding discussion at the Seder that will enhance the Passover night experience, and illustrations depicting all 15 steps of the Seder are featured throughout.
A panoramic view of the evolution of the Passover Haggadah, from the beginnings of Hebrew printing into modern times Nominated for the Pulitzer Prize when it was first published in 1975, Haggadah & History is much more than a history of the Passover story. It is also a mirror of the last five centuries in Jewish history?as reflected in the haggadah itself. In an updated preface to the book, Yerushalmi recounts the story of the discovery of the Sarajevo Haggadah, which he says is ?arguably the most renowned illuminated haggadah manuscript from the Middle Ages to have survived.? Two hundred facsimile plates reproduce representative pages from rare printed haggadot in two of the world's outstanding Judaica collections: the libraries of Harvard University and The Jewish Theological Seminary. This visual history is complemented by Professor Yerushalmi's fascinating historical introduction and richly detailed place descriptions. The result is a rare blend of scholarship and art.
For millennia, two biblical verses have been understood to condemn
sex between men as an act so abhorrent that it is punishable by
death. Traditionally Orthodox Jews, believing the scripture to be
the word of God, have rejected homosexuality in accordance with
this interpretation. In 1999, Rabbi Steven Greenberg challenged
this tradition when he became the first Orthodox rabbi ever to
openly declare his homosexuality.
View the Table of Contents. Read the Introduction.
aMasterfully weaving together stories of adolescent girls based
on an analysis of their diaries, personal letters, and memoirs,
Klapper illuminates the ways these young women grappled with
contradictory feelings about their friends, family, and
future...This compelling narrative deeply enriches our
understanding of the intertwined roles played by gender, ethnicity,
religion, and education in fostering American identity at the turn
of the century.a
aMelissa R. Klapper has succeeded handsomely in surmounting the
hurdles of her topic to create a coherent narrative of cultural
change. She brings to her subject sensitivity to the stress of
adolescence, mastery of her materials, and genuine affection for
the experience of growing up female, Jewish, and American.a
aDrawing on diaries and magazines, historian Klapper recreates the world of Jewish girls in late 19th- and early 20th-century America. . . . This book's charm lies in its innovative and engaging focus on girlhood. Klapper . . . offers grace notes to a familiar narrative about the tensions between assimilation and tradition.a--"Publishers Weekly"
"Provides a revealing glimpse into the lives of adolescent girls
at the turn of the century. Klapper's exhaustive search for the
diaries of young Jewish women has produced a harvest of insights
into their relationships to religion, to education, to domestic
lives, and to girl culture."
"Melissa Klapper's pioneering volume, based on an astonishing
wealth of primary sources, uncovers more than wehave ever known
about the upbringing and education of Jewish girls in America from
the Civil War to World War I. Covering everything from religious
education to sex education, it explores what it meant to be a
Jewish girl aged 12-20 during one of the most tumultuous eras in
"Brings to life the lives of the 'ordinary' young women whom we
encounter in these pages. By exploring the diaries of Jewish girls
who used these private and personal sources to think about their
conflicting ideas about identities, families, and futures, Melissa
Klapper has shown them to be historical actors, and as such
anything but ordinary. By combining intellectual matters of several
literatures-the history of education, women's history, American
Jewish history, the history of the United States over the course of
a crucial six decade period-Klapper has made a substantial
contribution to our understanding of the past and those who peopled
"Klapper offers a thoughtful book on subjects too often ignored
in both the literature of Jewish-Americans and of American
Jewish Girls Coming of Age in America, 1860-1920 draws on a wealth of archival material, much of which has never been published--or even read--to illuminate the ways in which Jewish girls' adolescent experiences reflected larger issues relating to gender, ethnicity, religion, and education.
Klapper explores the dual roles girls played as agents ofacculturation and guardians of tradition. Their search for an identity as American girls that would not require the abandonment of Jewish tradition and culture mirrored the struggle of their families and communities for integration into American society.
While focusing on their lives as girls, not the adults they would later become, Klapper draws on the papers of such figures as Henrietta Szold, founder of Hadassah; Edna Ferber, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Showboat; and Marie Syrkin, literary critic and Zionist. Klapper also analyzes the diaries, memoirs, and letters of hundreds of other girls whose later lives and experiences have been lost to history.
Told in an engaging style and filled with colorful quotes, the book brings to life a neglected group of fascinating historical figures during a pivotal moment in the development of gender roles, adolescence, and the modern American Jewish community.
Making the rich narrative world of Talmud tales fully accessible to modern readers, renowned Talmud scholar Jeffrey L. Rubenstein turns his spotlight on both famous and little-known stories, analyzing the tales in their original contexts, exploring their cultural meanings and literary artistry, and illuminating their relevance. Delving into both rabbinic life (the academy, master-disciple relationships) and Jewish life under Roman and Persian rule (persecution, taxation, marketplaces), Rubenstein explains how storytellers used irony, wordplay, figurative language, and other art forms to communicate their intended messages. Each close reading demonstrates the story's continuing relevance through the generations into modernity. For example, the story "Showdown in Court," a confrontation between King Yannai and the Rabbinic judges, provides insights into controversial struggles in U.S. history to balance governmental power; the story of Honi's seventy-year sleep becomes a window into the indignities of aging. Through the prism of Talmud tales, Rubenstein also offers timeless insights into suffering, beauty, disgust, heroism, humor, love, sex, truth, and falsehood. By connecting twenty-first-century readers to past generations, The Land of Truth helps to bridge the divide between modern Jews and the traditional narrative worlds of their ancestors.
In this volume, Douglas Yoder uses the tools of modern and postmodern philosophy and biblical criticism to elucidate the epistemology of the Tanakh, the collection of writings that comprise the Hebrew Bible. Despite the conceptual sophistication of the Tanakh, its epistemology has been overlooked in both religious and secular hermeneutics. The concept of revelation, the genre of apocalypse, and critiques of ideology and theory are all found within or derive from epistemic texts of the Tanakh. Yoder examines how philosophers such as Spinoza, Hume, and Kant interacted with such matters. He also explores how the motifs of writing, reading, interpretation, image, and animals, topics that figure prominently in the work of Derrida, Foucault, and Nietzsche, appear also in the Tanakh. An understanding of Tanakh epistemology, he concludes, can lead to new appraisals of religious and secular life throughout the modern world.
While many scholars have noted Martin Heidegger's indebtedness to Christian mystical sources, as well as his affinity with Taoism and Buddhism, Elliot R. Wolfson expands connections between Heidegger's thought and kabbalistic material. By arguing that the Jewish esoteric tradition impacted Heidegger, Wolfson presents an alternative way of understanding the history of Western philosophy. Wolfson's comparison between Heidegger and kabbalah sheds light on key concepts such as hermeneutics, temporality, language, and being and nothingness, while yielding surprising reflections on their common philosophical ground. Given Heidegger's involvement with National Socialism and his use of antisemitic language, these innovative readings are all the more remarkable for their juxtaposition of incongruent fields of discourse. Wolfson's entanglement with Heidegger and kabbalah not only enhances understandings of both but, more profoundly, serves as an ethical corrective to their respective ethnocentrism and essentialism. Wolfson masterfully illustrates the redemptive capacity of thought to illuminate common ground in seemingly disparate philosophical traditions.
"The Bedside Torah" guides you into the wisdom, counsel, and holiness of the sacred text that is the center of Jewish spirituality. Rabbi Bradley Artson, one of the truly inspirational and knowledgeable teachers of Torah of our time, weaves together the insights of ancient rabbis and sages, medieval commentators and philosophers, and modern scholars and religious leaders. The reflections in this collection offer three different commentaries on each of the 50 Torah portions, enlightening you into the Torah's infinite layers of meaning and offering opportunities to discover interpretations of your own..
""The Bedside Torah" is an introduction to Jewish text study
that is both learned and engaging . . . The language is
conversational, the insights provocative, and the chapters are just
the right length for reading before an inspired night's
"Bradley Artson is one of the most insightful and articulate
rabbis of his generation, as this volume clearly attests."
"In "The Bedside Torah," Rabbi Artson combines wisdom garnered
from traditional Jewish sources and commentaries with anecdotes and
insights drawn from his own life as well as the lives of all those
he has served. In so doing, he has turned each weekly Torah portion
into a series of revelations for the reader. "The Bedside Torah" is
a treasure that will surely enrich the religious life of Jews as
well as all those who seek comfort and guidance from Jewish
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