This book shares what a diverse array of Jewish thinkers have said about the interrelated questions of God, the Book, the Jewish people, and the Land of Israel.
Author: Andrew Pessin
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
This book shares what a diverse array of Jewish thinkers have said about the interrelated questions of God, the Book, the Jewish people, and the Land of Israel. Accessible chapters present fascinating insights from ancient times to today, from Philo to Judith Plaskow. An intriguing and provocative book for readers wrestling with big questions.
The Question of God’s Perfection brings together leading scholars from the Jewish and Christian traditions to critically examine the theology of perfect being in light of the Hebrew Bible and classical rabbinic sources.
Author: Yoram Hazony
The Question of God’s Perfection brings together leading scholars from the Jewish and Christian traditions to critically examine the theology of perfect being in light of the Hebrew Bible and classical rabbinic sources.
N.T. Wright takes us on a fascinating journey through ancient beliefs about life after death, from the shadowy figures who inhabit Homer's Hades, through Plato's hope for a blessed immortality, to the first century, where the Greek and ...
Author: Tom Wright
N.T. Wright takes us on a fascinating journey through ancient beliefs about life after death, from the shadowy figures who inhabit Homer's Hades, through Plato's hope for a blessed immortality, to the first century, where the Greek and Roman world (apart from the Jews) consistently denied any possibility of resurrection. We then examine ancient Jewish beliefs on the same subject, from the Bible to the Dead Sea Scrolls and beyond. This sets the scene for a full-scale examination of early Christian beliefs about resurrection in general and that of Jesus in particular, beginning with Paul and working through to the start of the third century. Wright looks at all the evidence, and asks: Why did the Christians agree with Jewish resurrection belief while introducing into it - across the board - significant modifications? To answer this question we come to the strange and evocative Easter stories in the gospels and asks whether they can have been late inventions. Wright seeks the best historical conclusions about the empty tomb and the belief that Jesus really did rise bodily from the dead, recognizing that it was this belief that caused early Christians to call Jesus 'Son of God'. In doing so, they posed a political challenge as well as a theological one. These challenges retain their power in the twenty-first century.
This book argues that whatever one makes of such devotion to Jesus, the subject deserves serious historical consideration. Mapping out the lively current debate about Jesus, Hurtado explains the evidence, issues, and positions at stake.
Author: Larry W. Hurtado
Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
In How on Earth Did Jesus Become a God? Larry Hurtado investigates the intense devotion to Jesus that emerged with surprising speed after his death. Reverence for Jesus among early Christians, notes Hurtado, included both grand claims about Jesus' significance and a pattern of devotional practices that effectively treated him as divine. This book argues that whatever one makes of such devotion to Jesus, the subject deserves serious historical consideration. Mapping out the lively current debate about Jesus, Hurtado explains the evidence, issues, and positions at stake. He goes on to treat the opposition to -- and severe costs of -- worshiping Jesus, the history of incorporating such devotion into Jewish monotheism, and the role of religious experience in Christianity's development out of Judaism. The follow-up to Hurtado's award-winningLord Jesus Christ (2003), this book provides compelling answers to queries about the development of the church's belief in the divinity of Jesus.
He once more fought the Pauline fight with the Jewish God as he perceived him — the God of avenging “ justice ” and the empty sacredness of good works — and escaped from him , as it were , through the principle of grace which Jesus had ...
Author: Alex Bein
Publisher: Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press
This monumental work of Alex Bein, noted scholar and chief librarian of the Israeli National Library, is the most authoritative survey of Jewish culture and Jewish problems in the Diaspora. First published in two massive volumes in German, it is here made available in a single volume in English.
If you have ever wondered what being born Jewish should mean to you; if you want to find out more about the nature of Judaism, or explain it to a friend; if you are thinking about how Judaism can connect with the rest of your life—this is ...
Author: Dennis Prager
The classic and essential guide for the educated, skeptical, and searching Jew, or for the non-Jew who wants to understand the meaning of Judaism. If you have ever wondered what being born Jewish should mean to you; if you want to find out more about the nature of Judaism, or explain it to a friend; if you are thinking about how Judaism can connect with the rest of your life—this is the first book you should own. It poses, and thoughtfully addresses, questions like these: · Can one doubt God’s existence and still be a good Jew? · Why do we need organized religion? · Why shouldn’t I intermarry? · What is the reason for dietary laws? · How do I start practicing Judaism? Concisely and engagingly, authors Dennis Prager and Joseph Telushkin present Judaism as the rational, moral alternative for contemporary man or woman.
Socrates on Judaism, Christianity, and Islam addresses those who are unsatisfied with the belief systems they encountered in orthodox religions. This book will assist searchers as they embark on their solitary quest for spiritual discovery.
Author: Doug Van Scyoc
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
A nuclear Israel waits for its Messiah, a nuclear America eagerly anticipates the second coming of Christ, and a nuclear Iran believes it can expedite the return of the hidden or twelfth imam. Are apocalyptic expectations, like all other ideologies, simply evolutionÕs way of keeping the human population in check? Is religion true? Does God exist? What happens to us when we die? What should the afterlife mean for us while we are alive? Are these the greatest of all questions, and if so, why? After thousands of years and countless religious traditions, why does the world continue to hunger for spiritual truth? Why are religious lives so often filled with doubt, worry, and dark nights of the soul? Do you believe in pregnant virgins? Do you believe in the incarnation of an immutable God? Do you believe that an eternal God died? Do you believe Jesus redeemed an Israel that has totally rejected him? Do you believe a loving Jesus will return to bring the world to a tragic end? Do you believe that contradictions canÕt both be true? Do you believe the human anatomy is designed for meditation or mobility? If God had indeed chosen the prophet Muhammad to warn the people, why didnÕt Muhammad warn Muslims not to split Islam into Sunni and Shiite? It has been said that if we donÕt challenge our beliefs, our beliefs will eventually challenge us. Disillusionment with religion, not to mention global crises, is forcing believers to question the basis of their faith. Socrates on Judaism, Christianity, and Islam addresses those who are unsatisfied with the belief systems they encountered in orthodox religions. This book will assist searchers as they embark on their solitary quest for spiritual discovery.
Just as in Jewish thought the Bible and other historical texts are living documents, still present and relevant to the conversation unfolding now, and just as a Jewish theologian examining a core concept responds to the full tapestry of ...
How best to approach teaching about God in our Jewish schools evokes many questions : ( 1 ) What conception or idea of God should we present ? Is there an authentic Jewish God concept ? ( 2 ) What if the teacher is unsure about his or ...
Author: Nachama Skolnik Moskowitz
Publisher: Behrman House, Inc
A collection of essays by leaders in the field of Jewish education geared to Jewish teachers in supplementary and day schools.
In this volume, as in all books in the MesorahMatrix series, the four-letter name of God is generally representedby “the Eternal” or “Eternal God.” Authors who are specificallydiscussing the actual four-letter name, on the other ...
Author: David Birnbaum
Publisher: New Paradigm Matrix
The Book of Deuteronomy depicts Moses addressing Israel before hisown death as he imagines that some day in the future children willask their parents to explain the meaning of the “testimonies, statutes,and judgments” (Deuteronomy 6:20) that are the foundation of thecovenant that binds Israel to its God. He thus frames in specificallyJewish terms the same set of haunting intimations that all thoughtfulpeople bring to the contemplation of their own lives—and, indeed,to life itself: the sense that being alive can or should mean morethan merely not being dead; that the contemplation of even the mostbanal features of daily life can yield rich insight about the nature ofexistence; and the feeling that life itself can be understood as a kindof scrim that might allow us to see through it to the secrets andmysteries that lie beyond.That set of hopeful suppositions inspires moderns just as stronglyand enticingly as it did the ancients. Yet, the specific question of whatit actually means for this or that part of life to mean anything at allother than what it overtly is (or, at least, appears to be) does not seemto have exerted anywhere near as siren a call on our ancient forebearsas it does on us moderns. Still, as we seek meaning in the world andin our lives, it behooves us to ponder the meaning of meaning as well.These twin notions—that life has meaning beyond what the2 Martin S. Cohencasual observer can see easily, and that the effort to uncover anddecipher that meaning can be profound enough to be spirituallytransformational—have animated the contributors to this volume, astheir work demonstrates just how meaningful the search for meaningcan be. Some have approached this from a spiritual point of view,grounding themselves in traditional biblical, talmudic, or mysticalsources. Others have framed their efforts in political terms or in deeplypersonal ones. And still others have attempted to consider the issuethrough the lens of modern philosophical inquiry. But regardless ofthe specific perspective of any individual author, all have in commonthe deep-seated conviction that life bears meaning…and that thatmeaning can best be discovered not by spending a lifetime hoping formomentary satori but rather by standing on the shoulders of fellowtravelers from earlier eras, and from that slightly elevated vantagepoint seeing just a bit further than they could or did. For almost allof our authors, then, the search for meaning is best understood as anon-going, intergenerational effort that links the seekers of all agesto each other through the contemplation of earlier efforts to mineprofundity and significance from the quarry of human life itself. It is,at best, a slow march forward!As readers will see from the Table of Contents, the ancient Bookof Kohelet has served several of our authors as the framework for theirinterpretive work. (Kohelet is the Hebrew name of the biblical bookalso known as Ecclesiastes, which name is derived from the Greektranslation of the work.) Others have chosen to grapple with thequestion Moses imagined future Jewish children eventually puttingto their parents as they wondered what the commandments actually“mean” in terms of the larger picture of Israelite culture and Jewishlife in our own day. Still others have addressed the search for meaningin life today by taking into account the question of human suffering,considering the issue both generally as a philosophical challenge and3 Prefacemore specifically with reference to the Shoah.Taken all together, the contributors to this volume have put forththe notion that life is ennobled, not trivialized, by the contemplativeeffort to seek meaning in the ebb and flow of life’s experiences…andparticularly in those life-experiences related to the service of God.And yet, for all they are united in that conviction, our authors in thisvolume of the Mesorah Matrix series are nonetheless a diverse group:older and younger women and men, North Americans and Israelisliving at home and abroad, seasoned scholars and newly-mintedrabbis and teachers. They are teachers and researchers trained indifferent schools of thought and affiliated with different movementsand institutions within the mosaic of Jewish life that characterizesthe House of Israel as it enters, by its own reckoning, the final quarterof the fifty-eighth century. They are a varied lot, our authors. But inmany ways, they are are, all of them, cut from the same cloth.Our authors work with the original sources and generally presentthem in their own translations. Citations of “NJPS” refer to thecomplete translation of Scripture first published under the titleTanakh: The Holy Scriptures by the Jewish Publication Society inPhiladelphia in 1985. In this volume, as in all books in the MesorahMatrix series, the four-letter name of God is generally representedby “the Eternal” or “Eternal God.” Authors who are specificallydiscussing the actual four-letter name, on the other hand, mayoccasionally depart from this usage in order to more clearly makethe point of their argument. .I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the othersenior editors of the Mesorah Matrix series: David Birnbaum andRabbi Benjamin Blech, as well as Rabbi Saul J. Berman, our associateeditor. They and our able staff have all supported me as I’ve laboredto bring this volume to fruition and I am grateful to them all.As always, I must also express my gratitude to the men and4 Martin S. Cohenwomen, and particularly to the lay leadership, of the synagogueI serve as rabbi: the Shelter Rock Jewish Center in Roslyn, NewYork. Possessed of the unwavering conviction that their rabbi’s bookprojects are part and parcel of his service to them—and, throughthem, to the larger community of those interested in learning aboutJudaism through the medium of the well-written word—they areremarkably supportive of my literary efforts as author and editor. Iam in their debt, and I am therefore very pleased to acknowledgethat debt formally here and wherever I publish my own work or thework of others.
There is no one-size-fits-all explanation. Indeed, not only are there many answers, but in different situations several explanations may apply. Blech wrote this book as an intellectual analysis of Jewish wisdom on the subject of suffering.
Author: Benjamin Blech
Publisher: Health Communications, Inc.
In these troubled times, people are asking very difficult questions about God and their faith: If I suffer, does that mean I deserve it? Why do innocent people, especially children, die tragically? How can God be so cruel? Does God ever intervene during times of trouble? Who really runs the world-God or man? Do my prayers do any good? Why does God allow sickness, torture and evil to exist? Benjamin Blech admits, the answers are not simple. There is no one-size-fits-all explanation. Indeed, not only are there many answers, but in different situations several explanations may apply. Blech wrote this book as an intellectual analysis of Jewish wisdom on the subject of suffering. His theories are the fruit of thousands of years of debate, examination and struggle. Jewish wisdom teaches that there are rich and inspiring answers to the ultimate question: If God is good, why is the world so bad? Take part in the most important spiritual journey of all-the quest for serenity in the face of adversity-and discover that in the accumulated wisdom of the ages lies a time-tested solution for turning despair into hope and sorrow into faith.
dogmatic Christ, not God, but man, and precisely as a man are we able to love, honour and follow him as our teacher, example and ideal.”106 The booklet also has several references to the Old Testament, which forbade pictorial ...
Author: Pojar, Miloš
Publisher: Charles University in Prague, Karolinum Press
An English translation of a successful title by the first post-1989 Czech ambassador to Israel, Miloš Pojar. The book is a result of the author’s life-long interest in this difficult and taboo theme. Starting with the first publication of the samizdat collection, TGM and Our Present Day, Czech anti-Semitism has been newly researched in a broad context. This book presents a useful summary of Tomás Garrigue Masaryk’s stances from his writings and political activities, including a detailed description of the historic first visit of the head of the state to Palestine in 1927. The English edition contains a preface by Shlomo Avineri and a personal essay by Petr Pithart.
The total elimination of the Jewish Question is, indeed, an elimination of the Jewish God. The Hebrew word for “question,” Wiesel reminds us, “is she'elah, and the alef lamed of God's name are part of the fabric of that word.
Author: David Patterson
Publisher: SUNY Press
Argues that Holocaust representation has ethical implications fundamentally linked to questions of good and evil. Many books focus on issues of Holocaust representation, but few address why the Holocaust in particular poses such a representational problem. David Patterson draws from Emmanuel Levinas’s contention that the Good cannot be represented. He argues that the assault on the Good is equally nonrepresentable and this nonrepresentable aspect of the Holocaust is its distinguishing feature. Utilizing Jewish religious thought, Patterson examines how the literary word expresses the ineffable and how the photographic image manifests the invisible. Where the Holocaust is concerned, representation is a matter not of imagination but of ethical implication, not of what it was like but of what must be done. Ultimately Patterson provides a deeper understanding of why the Holocaust itself is indefinable—not only as an evil but also as a fundamental assault on the very categories of good and evil affirmed over centuries of Jewish teaching and testimony. “This book commands respect, both for the author’s immense and intimate knowledge of what has become a vast body of work and for his unconditional commitment to the subject. I am in awe of what I have just read.” — Dorota Glowacka, coeditor of Between Ethics and Aesthetics: Crossing the Boundaries
The correspondence between the Biblical notion of justice and Jesus' proclamation of the reign of God raises questions for both Jews and Christians. As such, it also provides a common ground or lens for Jewish-Christian dialogue.
Author: Michael LaVelle Cook
Publisher: Liturgical Press
Does not address the eventual triumph of both Rabbinic Judaism and Gentile Christianity and the corresponding failure of a more Jewish Christianity. It centers rather on our common root, the Hebrew Bible, and the relationship of the Jewish prophet Jesus of Nazareth to his ancestral heritage. The correspondence between the Biblical notion of justice and Jesus' proclamation of the reign of God raises questions for both Jews and Christians. As such, it also provides a common ground or lens for Jewish-Christian dialogue. The hope is that the focus upon justice will deepen that dialogue.
Author: Richard J. BernsteinPublish On: 2013-05-28
identity, what it is that constitutes the Jewish people when one no longer believes in a God “where trust and love towards Him is greater than one's fear.” To assert, as Arendt does, that “I merely belong to [the Jewish people] as a ...
Author: Richard J. Bernstein
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Hannah Arendt is increasingly recognised as one of the most original social and political thinkers of the twentieth century. In this important book, Richard Bernstein sets out to show that many of the most significant themes in Arendt's thinking have their origins in their confrontation with the Jewish Question. By approaching her mature work from this perspective, we can gain a richer and more subtle grasp of her main ideas. Bernstein discusses some of the key experiences and events in Arendt's life story in order to show how they shaped her thinking. He examines her distinction between the Jewish parvenu and the pariah, and shows how the conscious pariah becomes a basis for understanding the independent thinker. Arendt's deepest insights about politics emerged from her reflections on statelessness, which were based on her own experiences as a stateless person. By confronting the horrors of totalitarianism and the concentration camps, Arendt developed her own distinctive understanding of authentic politics - the politics required to express our humanity and which totalitarianism sought to destroy. Finally, Bernstein takes up Arendt's concern with the phenomenon of the banality of evil. He follows her use of Eichmann in order to explore how the failure to think and to judge is the key for grasping this new phenomenon. Hannah Arendt and the Jewish Question offers a new interpretation of Arendt and her work - one which situates her in her historical context as an engaged Jewish intellectual.
We imagine the Jewish people, and the covenant they respond to, as provocative intimations of the divine. The essays in this volume seek to draw these vocal intimations out so that we can all hear their resonant call.
Author: Leonard Kaplan
Publisher: Lexington Books
Jewish art has always been with us, but so has a broader canvas of Jewish imaginings: in thought, in emotion, in text, and in ritual practice. Imagining the Jewish God was there in the beginning, as it were, engraved and embedded in the ways Jews lived and responded to their God.This book attempts to give voice to these diverse imaginings of the Jewish God, and offers these collected essays and poems as a living text meant to provoke a substantive and nourishing dialogue. A responsive, living covenant lies at the heart of this book—a covenantal reciprocity that actively engages the dynamics of Jewish thinking and acting in dialogue with God. The contributors to this volume are committed to this form of textual reasoning, even as they all move us beyond the “text” as foundational for the imagined “people of the book.” That people, we submit, lives and breathes in and beyond the texts of poetry, narrative, sacred literature, film, and graphic mediums. We imagine the Jewish people, and the covenant they respond to, as provocative intimations of the divine. The essays in this volume seek to draw these vocal intimations out so that we can all hear their resonant call.