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This collection of 700 letters traces Martin Buber's transition from mystically inclined man of letters to teacher of his people who preached a renewed sense of community, a binational Palestinian homeland and a humanistic socialism derived from the Gospel's and the Old Testament prophets.
John Locke's treatises on government make frequent reference to the Hebrew Bible, while references to the New Testament are almost completely absent. To date, scholarship has not addressed this surprising characteristic of the treatises. In this book, Yechiel Leiter offers a Hebraic reading of Locke's fundamental political text. In doing so, he formulates a new school of thought in Lockean political interpretation and challenges existing ones. He shows how a grasp of the Hebraic underpinnings of Locke's political theory resolves many of the problems, as well as scholarly debates, that are inherent in reading Locke. More than a book about the political theory of John Locke, this volume is about the foundational ideas of western civilization. While focused on Locke's Hebraism, it demonstrates the persistent relevance of the biblical political narrative to modernity. It will generate interest among students of Locke and political theory; philosophy and early modern history; and within Bible study communities.
The world we engage with is a vibrant collage brought to consciousness by language and our creative imagination. It is through the symbolic forms of language that the human world of value is revealed-this is where religious scholar Michael Fishbane dwells in his latest contribution to Jewish thought. In Fragile Finitude, Fishbane clears new ground for a theological life through a novel reinterpretation of the Book of Job. On this basis, he offers a contemporary engagement with the four classical types of Jewish Scriptural exegesis. The first focuses on worldly experience, the second on communal forms of practice and thought in the rabbinical tradition, the third on personal development, and the fourth on transcendent, cosmic orientations. Through these four modes, Fishbane manages to transform Jewish theology from within, at once reinvigorating a long tradition and moving beyond it. What he offers is nothing short of a way to reorient our lives in relation to the divine and our fellow humans. Written from within the Jewish tradition, Fragile Finitude is intended for readers across the religious spectrum.
Hybrid Hate is the first book to study the conflation of anti-Semitism and anti-Black racism. As objects of racism, Jews and Blacks have been linked together for centuries as peoples apart from the general run of humanity. In this book, Tudor Parfitt investigates the development of anti-Semitism, anti-Black racism, and race theory in the West from the Renaissance to the Second World War. Parfitt explains how Jews were often perceived as Black in medieval Europe, and the conflation of Jews and Blacks continued throughout the period of the Enlightenment. With the discovery of a community of Black Jews in Loango in West Africa in 1777, and later of Black Jews in India, the Middle East, and other parts of Africa, the notion of multiracial Jews was born. Over the following centuries, the figure of the hybrid Black Jew was drawn into the maelstrom of evolving theories about race hierarchies and taxonomies. Parfitt analyses how Jews and Blacks were increasingly conflated in a racist discourse from the mid-nineteenth century to the period of the Third Reich, as the two fundamental prejudices of the West were combined. Hybrid Hate offers a new interpretation of the rise of anti-Semitism and anti-Black racism in Europe, and casts light on contemporary racist discourses in the United States and Europe.
In Biblical Theology, Ben Witherington, III, examines the theology of the Old and New Testaments as a totality. Going beyond an account of carefully crafted Old and New Testament theologies, he demonstrates the ideas that make the Bible a sacred book with a unified theology. Witherington brings a distinctive methodology to this study. Taking a constructive approach, he first examines the foundations of the writers' symbolic universe - what they thought and presupposed about God - and how they revealed those thoughts through the narratives of the Old and New Testaments. He also shows how the historical contexts and intellectual worlds of the Old and New Testaments conditioned their narratives, and, in the process, created a large coherent Biblical world view, one that progressively reveals the character and action of God. Thus, the Yahweh of the Old Testament, the Son in the Gospels, and the Father, Son, and Spirit in the New Testament writings are viewed as persons who are part of the singular divine identity. Witherington's progressive revelation approach allows each part of the canon to be read in its original context and with its original meaning.
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.
Uncovered is the only memoir to tell of a gay woman leaving the hasidic fold. Told in understated, crystalline prose, Leah Lax begins her story as a young teen leaving her secular home to become a hasidic Jew, then plumbs the nuances of her arranged marriage, fundamentalist faith, and hasidic motherhood as, all the while, creative, sexual, and spiritual longings tremble beneath the surface.
When Near Becomes Far explores the representations and depictions of old age in the rabbinic Jewish literature of late antiquity (150-600 CE). Through close literary readings and cultural analysis, the book reveals the gaps and tensions between idealized images of old age on the one hand, and the psychologically, physiologically, and socially complicated realities of aging on the other hand. The authors argue that while rabbinic literature presents a number of prescriptions related to qualities and activities that make for good old age, the respect and reverence that the elderly should be awarded, and harmonious intergenerational relationship, it also includes multiple anecdotes and narratives that portray aging in much more nuanced and poignant ways. These anecdotes and narratives relate, alongside fantasies about blissful or unnoticeable aging, a host of fears associated with old age: from the loss of physical capability and beauty to the loss of memory and mental acuity, and from marginalization in the community to being experienced as a burden by one's children. Each chapter of the book focuses on a different aspect of aging in the rabbinic world: bodily appearance and sexuality, family relations, intellectual and cognitive prowess, honor and shame, and social roles and identity. As the book shows, in their powerful and sensitive treatments of aging, rabbinic texts offer some of the richest and most audacious observations on aging in ancient world literature, many of which still resonate today.
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.
The Jewish practice of bar mitzvah dates back to the twelfth century, but this ancient cultural ritual has changed radically since then, evolving with the times and adapting to local conditions. For many Jewish-American families, a child's bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah is both a major social event and a symbolic means of asserting the family's ongoing connection to the core values of Judaism. Coming of Age in Jewish America takes an inside look at bar and bat mitzvahs in the twenty-first century, examining how the practices have continued to morph and exploring how they serve as a sometimes shaky bridge between the values of contemporary American culture and Judaic tradition. Interviewing over 200 individuals involved in bar and bat mitzvah ceremonies, from family members to religious educators to rabbis, Patricia Keer Munro presents a candid portrait of the conflicts that often emerge and the negotiations that ensue. In the course of her study, she charts how this ritual is rife with contradictions; it is a private family event and a public community activity, and for the child, it is both an educational process and a high-stakes performance. Through detailed observations of Conservative, Orthodox, Reform, and independent congregations in the San Francisco Bay Area, Munro draws intriguing, broad-reaching conclusions about both the current state and likely future of American Judaism. In the process, she shows not only how American Jews have forged a unique set of bar and bat mitzvah practices, but also how these rituals continue to shape a distinctive Jewish-American identity.
The nature and reliability of the ancient sources are among the most important issues in the scholarship on the Dead Sea Scrolls. It is noteworthy, therefore, that scholars have grown increasingly skeptical about the value of these materials for reconstructing the life of the Teacher of Righteousness. Travis B. Williams' study is designed to address this new perspective and its implications for historical inquiry. He offers an important corrective to popular conceptions of history and memory by introducing memory theory as a means of informing historical investigation. Charting a new methodological course in Dead Sea Scrolls research, Williams reveals that properly representing the past requires an explanation of how the mnemonic evidence found in the relevant sources could have developed from a historical progression that began with the Teacher. His book represents the first attempt in Dead Sea Scrolls scholarship to integrate history and memory in a comprehensive way.
Volume 15 of The Jewish Law Annual adds to the growing list of articles on Jewish law that have been published in volumes 1-14 of this series, providing English-speaking readers with scholarly material meeting the highest academic standards. The volume contains six articles diverse in their scope and focus, encompassing legal, historical, textual, comparative and conceptual analysis, as well as a survey of recent literature and a chronicle of cases of interest. Among the topics covered are: lying in rabbinical court proceedings; unjust enrichment; can a witness serve as judge in the same case?; Caro's Shulham Arukh v. Maimonides' Mishne Torah in the Yemenite community, the New Jersey eruv wards.
The authoritative new account of the Bible's origins, illuminating the 1,600-year tradition that shaped the Christian and Jewish holy books as millions know them today. The Bible as we know it today is best understood as a process, one that begins in the tenth century BCE. In this revelatory account, a world-renowned scholar of Hebrew scripture joins a foremost authority on the New Testament to write a new biography of the Book of Books, reconstructing Jewish and Christian scriptural histories, as well as the underappreciated contest between them, from which the Bible arose. Recent scholarship has overturned popular assumptions about Israel's past, suggesting, for instance, that the five books of the Torah were written not by Moses but during the reign of Josiah centuries later. The sources of the Gospels are also under scrutiny. Konrad Schmid and Jens Schroeter reveal the long, transformative journeys of these and other texts en route to inclusion in the holy books. The New Testament, the authors show, did not develop in the wake of an Old Testament set in stone. Rather the two evolved in parallel, in conversation with each other, ensuring a continuing mutual influence of Jewish and Christian traditions. Indeed, Schmid and Schroeter argue that Judaism might not have survived had it not been reshaped in competition with early Christianity. A remarkable synthesis of the latest Old and New Testament scholarship, The Making of the Bible is the most comprehensive history yet told of the world's best-known literature, revealing its buried lessons and secrets.
This book charts the performative dimension of the Holocaust memorialization culture through a selection of representative artistic, educational, and memorial projects. Performative practice refers to the participatory and performance-like aspects of the Holocaust memorial culture, the transformative potential of such practice, and its impact upon visitors. At its core, performative practice seeks to transform individuals from passive spectators into socially and morally responsible agents. This edited volume explores how performative practices came into being, what impact they exert upon audiences, and how researchers can conceptualise and understand their relevance. In doing so, the contributors to this volume innovatively draw upon existing philosophical considerations of performativity, understandings of performance in relation to performativity, and upon critical insights emerging from visual and participatory arts. The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of Holocaust Studies: A Journal of Culture and History.
Although the archaeological evidence indicates a prosperous and thriving Galilee in the early first century CE, the Gospel texts suggest a society under stress, where the rich were flourishing at the expense of the poor. In this multi-disciplinary study, Rosemary Margaret Luff contributes to current debates concerning the pressures on early first-century Palestinian Jews, particularly with reference to socio-economic and religious issues. She examines Jesus within his Jewish environment in order to understand why he rose to prominence when he did, and what motivated him to persevere with his mission. Luff's study includes six carefully-constructed essays that examine Early Christian texts against the wider background of late Second Temple Judaic literature, together with the material evidence of Galilee and Judea (Jerusalem). Synthesizing a wide range of archaeological and textual data for the first time, she offers new insights into the depth of social discontent and its role in the rise of Christianity.
The biblical commentaries known as Miqra'ot Gedolot have inspired and educated generations of Hebrew readers. With the publication of this edition-the final volume of the acclaimed JPS English edition of Miqra'ot Gedolot-the voices of Rashi, Ibn Ezra, Nachmanides, Rashbam, Abarbanel, Kimhi, and other medieval Bible commentators come alive once more, speaking in a contemporary English translation annotated for lay readers. Each page in The Commentators' Bible: Genesis: The Rubin JPS Miqra'ot Gedolot contains several verses from the book of Genesis, surrounded by both the 1917 and the 1985 JPS translations and by new contemporary English translations of the major commentators. The book also includes a glossary of terms, a list of names used in the text, notes on source texts, a special topics list, and resources for further study. This large-format volume is beautifully designed for easy navigation among the many elements on each page, including explanatory notes and selected additional comments from the works of Bekhor Shor, Sforno, Gersonides, and Hizkuni, among others.
European Bible manuscripts and their Masorah traditions are still a neglected field of studies and have so far been almost completely disregarded within text-critical research. This volume collects research on the Western European Masorah and addresses the question of how Ashkenazic scholars integrated the Oriental Masoretic tradition into the Western European Rabbinic lore and law. The articles address philological and art-historical topics, and present new methodological tools from the field of digital humanities for the analysis of masora figurata. This volume is intended to initiate a new approach to Masorah research that will shed new light on the European history of the masoretic Bible and its interpretation.
Natan Sznaider offers a highly original account of Jewish memory and politics before and after the Holocaust. It seeks to recover an aspect of Jewish identity that has been almost completely lost today - namely, that throughout much of their history Jews were both a nation and cosmopolitan, they lived in a constant tension between particularism and universalism. And it is precisely this tension, which Sznaider seeks to capture in his innovative conception of rooted cosmopolitanism', that is increasingly the destiny of all peoples today. The book pays special attention to Jewish intellectuals who played an important role in advancing universal ideas out of their particular identities. The central figure in this respect is Hannah Arendt and her concern to build a better world out of the ashes of the Jewish catastrophe. The book demonstrates how particular Jewish affairs are connected to current concerns about cosmopolitan politics like human rights, genocide, international law and politics. Jewish identity and universalist human rights were born together, developed together and are still fundamentally connected. This book will appeal both to readers interested in Jewish history and memory and to anyone concerned with current debates about citizenship and cosmopolitanism in the modern world.
This book follows Chagall's life through his art and his understanding of the role of the artist as a political being. It takes the reader through the different milieus of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries - including the World Wars and the Holocaust - to present a unique understanding of Chagall's artistic vision of peace in an age of extremes. At a time when all identities are being subsumed into a "national" identity, this book makes the case for a larger understanding of art as a way of transcending materiality. The volume explores how Platonic notions of truth, goodness, and beauty are linked and mutually illuminating in Chagall's work. A "spiritual-humanist" interpretation of his life and work renders Chagall's opus more transparent and accessible to the general reader. It will be essential reading for students of art and art history, political philosophy, political science, and peace studies.
Russian-speaking Jews from the former Soviet Union are a peculiarity in the Jewish world. After decades living in a repressive, nominally atheistic state, these Jews did manage to retain a strong sense of Jewish identity-but one that was almost completely divorced from Judaism. Today, more than ten percent of Jews speak or understand Russian, signaling the importance of an ever-vexing question: why are Russian Jews the way they are? In pursuit of an answer, Anna Shternshis's groundbreaking When Sonia Met Boris: An Oral History of Jewish Life under Stalin draws on nearly 500 oral history interviews on the Soviet Jewish experience with Soviet citizens who were adults by the 1940s. Soviet Jews lived through tumultuous times: the Great Terror, World War II, the anti-Semitic policies of the postwar period, and the collapse of the Soviet Union. But, like millions of other Soviet citizens, they married, raised children, and built careers, pursuing life as best they could in a profoundly hostile environment. One of the first scholars to record and analyze oral testimonies of Soviet Jews, Shternshis unearths heartbreaking, deeply poignant, and often funny stories of the everyday choices Jews were forced to navigate as a repressed minority living in a totalitarian regime. Shternshis reveals how ethnicity rapidly transformed into a disability, as well as a negative characteristic, for Soviet Jews in the postwar period, and shows how it was something they needed desperately to overcome in order to succeed. That sense of self has persisted well into the twenty-first century, and has impacted the Jewish identities of the children and grandchildren of Shternshis's subjects, the foundational generation of contemporary Russian Jewish culture. An illuminating work of social and cultural history, When Sonia Met Boris traces the fascinating contours of contemporary Russian Jewish identity back to their very roots.
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