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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.
Journey daily through the Hebrew Calendar and Biblical Feasts into the B'rit Hadashah (New Testament) Scriptures as they are put in their rightful context, bringing Judaism alive in its full beauty. Messianic faith was the motor and what gave substance to Abraham's new beliefs, hope to Job, resilience to Joseph, courage to David, wisdom to Solomon, knowledge to Daniel, and divine Messianic authority to Yeshua.
The new big thing in terms of spiritual enlightenment, the powerful principles of the Kabbalah have attracted a swathe of celebrity followers ranging from Madonna, Jerry Hall, Elizabeth Taylor, Mick Jagger and Guy Ritchie - as well as over 3.5 million other dedicated students worldwide. Previously shrouded in secrecy, its teachings were passed down orally from generation to generation to only an elite few. Now, in THE POWER OF KABBALAH, Rabbi Yehuda Berg has created a user's manual for today's world, in which its wisdom is conveyed in a highly accessible, practical form for all to follow. For the first time, these secret teachings are brought to bear on the real world issues faced by us everyday - in our careers, with family and friends, and in our innermost personal thoughts. Rabbi Yehuda Berg sets out a practical collection of principles and instructions for improving our lives - helping us to get to where we really want to be emotionally, spiritually, financially and creatively in all aspects of our life. This truly spiritual book reveals not only what life means, but the actions we can each take to create the life we want and deserve.
The office of rabbi is the most visible symbol of power and prestige in Jewish communities. Rabbis both interpret to their congregations the requirements of Jewish life and instruct congregants in how best to live this life. Lesbian Rabbis: The First Generation documents a monumental change in Jewish life as eighteen lesbian rabbis reflect on their experiences as trailblazers in Judaism's journey into an increasingly multicultural world. In frank and revealing essays, the contributors discuss their decisions to become rabbis and describe their experiences both at the seminaries and in their rabbinical positions. They also reflect on the dilemma whether to conceal or reveal their sexual identities to their congregants and superiors, or to serve specifically gay and lesbian congregations. The contributors consider the tensions between lesbian identity and Jewish identity, and inquire whether there are particularly ""lesbian"" readings of traditional texts. These essays also ask how the language of Jewish tradition touches the lives of lesbians and how lesbianism challenges traditional notions of the Jewish family. ""'Today I am completely 'out' personally and professionally, and yet I have learned that the 'coming out' process never ends. Even today, I find myself in professional situations in which yet again I must reveal that I am a lesbian, yet again I must prove myself worthy of functioning professionally in the 'straight' world. I still encounter moments of awkwardness, some hostility, and some sense of exclusion as I negotiate the pathways of my professional life.""-Rabbi Leila Gal Berner, from Lesbian Rabbis: The First Generation
"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
Unraveling the controversies surrounding the Dead Sea Scrolls Since they were first discovered in the caves at Qumran in 1947, the Dead Sea Scrolls have aroused more fascination-and controversy-than perhaps any other archaeological find. They appear to have been hidden in the Judean desert by the Essenes, a Jewish sect that existed around the time of Jesus, and they continue to inspire veneration to this day. In this concise and accessible book, John Collins tells the story of the scrolls and the bitter conflicts that have swirled around them since their startling discovery. He explores whether the scrolls were indeed the property of an isolated, quasi-monastic community or more broadly reflected the Judaism of their time. He unravels the impassioned disputes surrounding the scrolls and Christianity, and looks at attempts to "reclaim" the scrolls for Judaism after the full corpus became available in the 1990s. Collins also describes how the decades-long delay in publishing the scrolls gave rise to sensational claims and conspiracy theories.
This monument of rabbinical exegesis, written at the end of the twelfth century, has exerted an immense and continuing influence upon Jewish thought. It has also been a formative element in the thinking of leading Christian writers and philosophers down through the seventeenth century. The "Guide" is not a philosophical treatise. Rather, its aim is to liberate men from the tormenting perplexities arising from their understanding of the Bible according only to its literal meaning.
Twenty years in the making, this landmark work -- the first comprehensive commentary on the Haftarot -- includes a full introduction of the history of the Torah and haftarah readings and their interrelationships. Each haftarah features historical, literary, and theological information, as well as a detailed commentary on terms, themes, and language. Materials from the ancient Near East, the full range of rabbinic literature and medieval commentaries, and modern scholarship are utilized. Many other features expand the usefulness and uniqueness of this book. This unparalleled volume belongs in the library of every rabbi and every synagogue. It is an excellent choice for synagogue study groups and day schools with prophets as a curriculum feature. Scholars, laypersons, and religious leaders will also want to add this book to their collections. The volume is a model of clarity, with numerous literary and spiritual insights.
"An invaluable guide from a trusted expert."--Lee Strobel
In the Old Testament, God wrestles with a man (and loses). In the Talmud, God wriggles his toes to make thunder and takes human form to shave the king of Assyria. In the New Testament, God is made flesh and dwells among humans. For religious thinkers trained in Greek philosophy and its deep distaste for matter, sacred scripture can be distressing. A philosophically respectable God should be untainted by sensuality, yet the God of sacred texts is often embarrassingly sensual. Setting experts' minds at ease was neither easy nor simple, and often faith and logic were stretched to their limits. Focusing on examples from both Christian and Jewish sources, from the Bible to sources from the Late Middle Ages, Aviad Kleinberg examines the way Christian and Jewish philosophers, exegetes, and theologians attempted to reconcile God's supposed ineffability with numerous biblical and postbiblical accounts of seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, and even tasting the almighty. The conceptual entanglements ensnaring religious thinkers, and the strange, ingenious solutions they used to extricate themselves, tell us something profound about human needs and divine attributes, about faith, hope, and cognitive dissonance.
Newly revised and updated, the definitive guide to planning a Jewish wedding, written by bestselling novelist Anita Diamant-author of The Red Tent and The Boston Girl-and one of the most respected writers of guides to contemporary Jewish life. This complete, easy-to-use guide explains everything you need to know to plan your own Jewish wedding in today's ever-changing world where the very definition of what constitutes a Jewish wedding is up for discussion. With enthusiasm and flair, Anita Diamant provides choices for every stage of a wedding-including celebrations before and after the ceremony itself-providing both traditional and contemporary options. She explains the Jewish tradition of love and marriage with references drawn from Biblical, Talmudic, and mystical texts and stories. She guides you step by step through planning the ceremony and the party that follows-from finding a rabbi and wording the invitation to organizing a processional and hiring a caterer. Samples of wedding invitations and ketubot (marriage contracts) are provided for inspiration and guidance, as well as poems that can be incorporated into the wedding ceremony or party and a variety of translations of traditional texts. "There is no such thing as a generic Jewish wedding," writes Anita Diamant, "no matter what the rabbi tells you, no matter what the caterer tells you, no matter what your mother tells you." Complete, authoritative, and indispensable, The Jewish Wedding Now provides personalized options-some new, some old-to create a wedding that combines spiritual meaning and joyous celebration and reflects your individual values and beliefs.
Blood for Thought delves into a relatively unexplored area of rabbinic literature: the vast corpus of laws, regulations, and instructions pertaining to sacrificial rituals. Mira Balberg traces and analyzes the ways in which the early rabbis interpreted and conceived of biblical sacrifices, reinventing them as a site through which to negotiate intellectual, cultural, and religious trends and practices in their surrounding world. Rather than viewing the rabbinic project as an attempt to generate a nonsacrificial version of Judaism, she argues that the rabbis developed a new sacrificial Jewish tradition altogether, consisting of not merely substitutes to sacrifice but elaborate practical manuals that redefined the processes themselves, radically transforming the meanings of sacrifice, its efficacy, and its value.
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.
The term Niddah means separation. During her menstrual flow and for
several days thereafter, a Jewish woman is considered Niddah --
separate from her husband and unable to practice the sacred rituals
of Judaism. Purification in a miqveh (a ritual bath) following her
period restores full status as a wife and member of the Jewish
community. In the contemporary world, debates about Niddah focus
less on the literal exclusion of menstruating women from the
synagogue, instead emphasizing relations between husband and wife
and the general role of Jewish women in Judaism.
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