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This book analyzes and describes the development and aspects of imagery techniques, a primary mode of mystical experience, in twentieth century Jewish mysticism. These techniques, in contrast to linguistic techniques in medieval Kabbalah and in contrast to early Hasidism, have all the characteristics of a full screenplay, a long and complicated plot woven together from many scenes, a kind of a feature film. Research on this development and nature of the imagery experience is carried out through comparison to similar developments in philosophy and psychology and is fruitfully contextualized within broader trends of western and eastern mysticism.
Hasidism, a movement many believed had passed its golden age, has had an extraordinary revival since it was nearly decimated in the Holocaust and repressed in the Soviet Union. Hasidic communities, now settled primarily in North America and Israel, have reversed the losses they suffered and are growing exponentially. With powerful attachments to the past, mysticism, community, tradition, and charismatic leadership, Hasidism seems the opposite of contemporary Western culture, yet it has thrived in the democratic countries and culture of the West. How? Who Will Lead Us? finds the answers to this question in the fascinating story of five contemporary Hasidic dynasties and their handling of the delicate issue of leadership and succession. Revolving around the central figure of the rebbe, the book explores two dynasties with too few successors, two with too many successors, and one that believes their last rebbe continues to lead them even after his death. Samuel C. Heilman, recognized as a foremost expert on modern Jewish Orthodoxy, here provides outsiders with the essential guide to continuity in the Hasidic world.
Jacob and Esau is a profound new account of two millennia of Jewish European history that, for the first time, integrates the cosmopolitan narrative of the Jewish diaspora with that of traditional Jews and Jewish culture. Malachi Haim Hacohen uses the biblical story of the rival twins, Jacob and Esau, and its subsequent retelling by Christians and Jews throughout the ages as a lens through which to illuminate changing Jewish-Christian relations and the opening and closing of opportunities for Jewish life in Europe. Jacob and Esau tells a new history of a people accustomed for over two-and-a-half millennia to forming relationships, real and imagined, with successive empires but eagerly adapting, in modernity, to the nation-state, and experimenting with both assimilation and Jewish nationalism. In rewriting this history via Jacob and Esau, the book charts two divergent but intersecting Jewish histories that together represent the plurality of Jewish European cultures.
The Cambridge Companion to Judaism and Law explores the Jewish conception of law as an essential component of the divine-human relationship from biblical to modern times, as well as resistance to this conceptualization. It also traces the political, social, intellectual, and cultural circumstances that spawned competing Jewish approaches to its own 'divine' law and the 'non-divine' law of others, including that of the modern, secular state of Israel. Part I focuses on the emergence and development of law as an essential element of religious expression in biblical Israel and classical Judaism through the medieval period. Part II considers the ramifications for the law arising from political emancipation and the invention of Judaism as a 'religion' in the modern period. Finally, Part III traces the historical and ideological processes leading to the current configuration of religion and state in modern Israel, analysing specific conflicts between religious law and state law.
The legendary Akiva ben Yosef has fascinated Jews for centuries. Arguably the most important of the Tannaim, or early Jewish sages, Akiva lived during a crucial era in the development of Judaism as we know it today, and his theology played a major part in the development of Rabbinic Judaism. Reuven Hammer details Akiva's life as it led to a martyr's death and he delves into the rich legacy Akiva left us. That legacy played an extraordinarily important role in helping the Jewish people survive difficult challenges to forge a vibrant religious life anew, and it continues to influence Jewish law, ethics, and theology even today. Akiva's contribution to the development of Oral Torah cannot be overestimated, and in this first book written in English about the sage since 1936 Hammer reassesses Akiva's role from the period before the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE until the Bar Kokhba revolt in 135 CE. He also assesses new findings about the growth of early Judaism, the reasons why Akiva was so outspoken about "Christian Jews," the influence of Hellenism, the Septuagint, and the canonization of the Hebrew Bible. Ultimately Hammer shows that Judaism without Akiva would be a very different religion.
An essential history of the greatest love poem ever written The Song of Songs has been embraced for centuries as the ultimate song of love. But the kind of love readers have found in this ancient poem is strikingly varied. Ilana Pardes invites us to explore the dramatic shift from readings of the Song as a poem on divine love to celebrations of its exuberant account of human love. With a refreshingly nuanced approach, she reveals how allegorical and literal interpretations are inextricably intertwined in the Song's tumultuous life. The body in all its aspects-pleasure and pain, even erotic fervor-is key to many allegorical commentaries. And although the literal, sensual Song thrives in modernity, allegory has not disappeared. New modes of allegory have emerged in modern settings, from the literary and the scholarly to the communal. Offering rare insights into the story of this remarkable poem, Pardes traces a diverse line of passionate readers. She looks at Jewish and Christian interpreters of late antiquity who were engaged in disputes over the Song's allegorical meaning, at medieval Hebrew poets who introduced it into the opulent world of courtly banquets, and at kabbalists who used it as a springboard to the celestial spheres. She shows how feminist critics have marveled at the Song's egalitarian representation of courtship, and how it became a song of America for Walt Whitman, Herman Melville, and Toni Morrison. Throughout these explorations of the Song's reception, Pardes highlights the unparalleled beauty of its audacious language of love.
Endorsed by WJEC/Eduqas, the Student Book offers high quality support you can trust. / Written by an experienced teacher and author with an in-depth understanding of teaching, learning and assessment at A Level and AS. / A skills-based approach to learning, covering content of the specification with examination preparation from the start. / Developing skills feature focuses on what to do with the content and the issues that are raised with a progressive range of AO1 examples and AO2 exam-focused activities. / Questions and Answers section provides practice questions with student answers and examiner commentaries. / It provides a range of specific activities that target each of the Assessment Objectives to build skills of knowledge, understanding and evaluation. / Includes a range of features to encourage you to consolidate and reinforce your learning.
In this innovative guidebook Julie Baretz takes readers to twenty-one off-the-beaten-path locations in Israel where Bible stories are said to have happened. At each site she sets the scene by relating the historical context of the event, then follows with the biblical text itself and her own lively commentary. Captivating and complex Bible characters bring the locations to life as they face social, ethical, and spiritual dilemmas not unlike our own today. Baretz's narratives draw on history, archaeology, academic scholarship, and rabbinic literature for interpretations that enhance the meaning of the biblical events. Each story is told in the voice of Baretz as the tour guide-knowledgeable yet informal and friendly. The Bible on Location traces the chronology and narrative arc of the historical books of Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, Ezra, and Nehemiah. The book begins with the Israelites' arrival in the land of Israel (following the exodus from Egypt and the forty years of wandering) and continues over more than six hundred years, until the return of the Jewish exiles from Babylon to their homeland. Baretz's descriptions are accompanied by colorful maps and photographs that put actual and armchair visitors in the middle of the action. Each location reveals a new episode in the biblical narrative and provides inspiration and commentary that will enhance visits to the various sites.
Illuminating the ethical legacy of the biblical prophets, Path of the Prophets identifies the prophetic moment in the lives of eighteen biblical figures and demonstrates their compelling relevance to us today. While the Bible almost exclusively names men as prophets, Rabbi Barry L. Schwartz celebrates heroic, largely unknown biblical women such as Shiphrah, Tirzah, and Hannah. He also deepens readers' interpretations of more familiar biblical figures not generally thought of as prophets, such as Joseph, Judah, and Caleb. Schwartz introduces the prophets with creative, first-person retellings of their decisive experiences, followed by key biblical narratives, context, and analysis. He weighs our heroes' and heroines' legacies-their obstacles and triumphs-and considers how their ethical examples live on; he guides us on how to integrate biblical-ethical values into our lives; and he challenges each of us to walk the prophetic path today.
Approaching the Bible in an original way-comparing biblical heroes to heroes in world literature-Elliott Rabin addresses a core biblical question: What is the Bible telling us about what it means to be a hero? Focusing on the lives of six major biblical characters-Moses, Samson, David, Esther, Abraham, and Jacob-Rabin examines their resemblance to hero types found in (and perhaps drawn from) other literatures and analyzes why the Bible depicts its heroes less gloriously than do the texts of other cultures: * Moses founds the nation of Israel-and is short-tempered and weak-armed. * Samson, arrogant and unhinged, can kill a thousand enemies with his bare hands. * David establishes a centralized, unified, triumphal government-through pretense and self-deception. * Esther saves her people but marries a murderous, misogynist king. * Abraham's relationships are wracked with tension. * Jacob fathers twelve tribes-and wins his inheritance through deceit. In the end, is God the real hero? Or is God too removed from human constraints to even be called a "hero"? Ultimately, Rabin excavates how the Bible's unique perspective on heroism can address our own deep-seated need for human-scale heroes.
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