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We are living through a period of cultural climate change. We have outsourced morality to the markets on the one hand, and the state on the other. The markets have brought wealth to many, and the state has done much to contain the worst excesses of inequality, but neither is capable of bearing the moral weight of showing us how to live.
This has had a profound impact on society and the way in which we interact with each other. Traditional values no longer hold, yet recent political swings show that modern ideals of tolerance have left many feeling rudderless and adrift. In this environment we see things fall apart in unexpected ways - toxic public discourse makes true societal progress almost unattainable, a more divisive society is fuelled by identity politics and extremism, and the rise of a victimhood mentality calls for 'safe spaces' but stifles debate. The influence of social media seems all-pervading and the breakdown of the family is only one result of the loss of social capital. Many fear what the future may hold.
Delivering a devastatingly insightful critique of our modern condition, and assessing its roots and causes from the ancient Greeks through the Reformation and Enlightenment to the present day, Sacks argues that there is no liberty without morality, and no freedom without responsibility.
If we care about the future of western civilisation, all of us must play our part in rebuilding our common moral foundation. Then we will discover afresh the life-transforming and counterintuitive truths that a nation is strong when it cares for the weak, and rich when it cares for the poor.
Here is an inspiring vision of a world in which we can all find our place, and face the future without fear.
In this celebration of Jewish life at the tip of the African continent,
businessman and philanthropist, Tony Raphaely, has curated stunning
individual and group portraits that collectively represent a snapshot
in time of Cape Town’s vibrant Jewish community.
Dov Fedler was a "laatlammetjie", born and bred in Johannesburg in 1940 just as Hitler was getting into his stride. A third child was not on his parents' "want-list". It was hard enough supporting two much older children and a printing business struggling to exist.
When Dov was about three his mother had a "nervous breakdown" which is when he remembers seeing his first pencil and knowing precisely what it was that he wanted to do with his life. There are no coincidences in Dov's life. He believes that a hand of destiny has steered his path towards becoming a leading South African cartoonist for more than 45 years. Many dramatic encounters (not with aliens or spirits, but with everyday people) have shaped him and he wouldn't have missed any of it.
Dov's story is intensely personal and honest, with a powerful combination of humour, emotion and community history. OUt Of Line attempts to do a few short things. It is an autobiography but it is also an attempt to capture a particular history of a specific generation; that of the Jewish baby boomers who descended from mainly Lithuanian stock.
The ancient world, much like our own, thrived on cultural diversity and exchange. The riches of this social reality are evident in the writings of Jews in the Hellenistic and Roman eras. Jewish authors drew on the wide range of Greek literary conventions and gave fresh expressions to the proud traditions of their faith and ethnic identity. They did not hesitate to modify and adapt the forms they received from the surrounding culture, but their works stand as legitimate participants in Greco-Roman literary tradition. In Greek Genres and Jewish Authors , Sean Adams argues that a robust understanding of ancient genre facilitates proper textual interpretation. This perspective is vital for insight on the author, the work's original purpose, and how the original readers would have received it. Adopting a cognitive-prototype theory of genre, Adams provides a detailed discussion of Jewish authors writing in Greek from ca. 300 BCE to ca. 135 CEaincluding New Testament authorsaand their participation in Greek genres. The nine chapters focus on broad genre divisions (e.g., poetry, didactic, philosophy) to provide studies on each author's engagement with Greek genres, identifying both representative and atypical expressions and features. The book's most prominent contribution lies in its data synthesis to provide a macroperspective on the ways in which Jewish authors participated in and adapted Greek genresain other words, how members of a minority culture intentionally engaged with the dominant culture's literary practices alongside traditional Jewish features, resulting in unique text expressions. Greek Genres and Jewish Authors provides a rich resource for Jewish, New Testament, and classical scholars, particularly those who study cultural engagement, development of genres, and ancient education.
What are you willing to do to survive? What are you willing to endure if it means you might live? 'Achingly moving, gives much-needed hope . . . Deserves the status both as a valuable historical source and as a stand-out memoir' Daily Express 'A story that neads to be heard' 5***** Reader Review Entering Terezin, a Nazi concentration camp, Franci was expected to die. She refused. In the summer of 1942, twenty-two-year-old Franci Rabinek - designated a Jew by the Nazi racial laws - arrived at Terezin, a concentration camp and ghetto forty miles north of her home in Prague. It would be the beginning of her three-year journey from Terezin to the Czech family camp in Auschwitz-Birkenau, to the slave labour camps in Hamburg, and finally to Bergen Belsen. Franci, a spirited and glamorous young woman, was known among her fellow inmates as the Prague dress designer. Having endured the transportation of her parents, she never forgot her mother's parting words: 'Your only duty to us is to stay alive'. During an Auschwitz selection, Franci would spontaneously lie to Nazi officer Dr Josef Mengele, and claim to be an electrician. A split-second decision that would go on to endanger - and save - her life. Unpublished for 50 years, Franci's War is an astonishing account of one woman's attempt to survive. Heartbreaking and candid, Franci finds the light in her darkest years and the horrors she faces instill in her, strength and resilience to survive and to live again. She gives voice to the women prisoners in her tight-knit circle of friends. Her testimony sheds new light on the alliances, love affairs, and sexual barter that took place during the Holocaust, offering a compelling insight into the resilience and courage of ordinary people in an extraordinary situation. Above all, Franci's War asks us to explore what it takes to survive, and what it means to truly live. 'A candid account of shocking events. Franci is someone many women today will be able to identify with' 5***** Reader Review 'First-hand accounts of life in Nazi death camps never lose their terrible power but few are as extraordinary as Franci's War' Mail on Sunday 'Fascinating and traumatic. Well worth a read' 5***** Reader Review
In this groundbreaking book, Selina O'Grady examines how and why the post-Christian and the Islamic worlds came to be as tolerant or intolerant as they are. She asks whether tolerance can be expected to heal today's festering wound between these two worlds, or whether something deeper than tolerance is needed. Told through contemporary chronicles, stories and poems, Selina O'Grady takes the reader through the intertwined histories of the Muslim, Christian and Jewish persecutors and persecuted. From Umar, the seventh century Islamic caliph who laid down the rules for the treatment of religious minorities in what was becoming the greatest empire the world has ever known, to Magna Carta John who seriously considered converting to Islam; and from al-Wahhab, whose own brother thought he was illiterate and fanatical, but who created the religious-military alliance with the house of Saud that still survives today, to Europe's bloody Thirty Years war that wearied Europe of murderous inter-Christian violence but probably killed God in the process. This book is an essential guide to understanding Islam and the West today and the role of religion in the modern world.
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER 'Powerful and provocative' Paula McLain 'Beautiful, engrossing, heart-breaking' Rachel Rhys 'Monumental in a way that few novels dare attempt' Washington Post The Miltons are a powerful old New York family - the kind of family that used to run the world. And in 1935, they still do. Kitty and Ogden Milton seem to have it all: an elegant apartment on the Upper East Side, two beautiful little boys, a love everyone envies. When a tragedy befalls them, Ogden comforts Kitty the only way he knows how - they go sailing, picnic on a small island off the coast of Maine, and buy it. For generations the Miltons of Crockett Island revel in a place that is entirely their own. But it's 1959, and the world is changing: Ogden's firm hire a Jewish man, Len Levy, who earns the admiration of not only his boss, but his boss's beautiful young daughter. When Len and his friend visit the island, the Milton's principles and prejudices are challenged like never before. At the dawn of the 21st century, the family money has run dry, and the island is up for sale. Returning for one last visit, Kitty's granddaughter uncovers disturbing evidence about her family's wealth - and realizes she is on the verge of finally understanding the silences that seemed to hover just below the surface of her family all her life. 'Thought-provoking and propulsive...Welcome to old money, new heartbreak and big secrets' New York Times Book Review
God is unbounded. God became flesh. While these two assertions are equally viable parts of Western Christian religious heritage, they stand in tension with one another. Fearful of reducing God's majesty with shallow anthropomorphisms, philosophy and religion affirm that God, as an eternal being, stands wholly apart from creation. Yet the legacy of the incarnation complicates this view of the incorporeal divine, affirming a very different image of God in physical embodiment. While for many today the idea of an embodied God seems simplisticaeven pedestrianaChristoph Markschies reveals that in antiquity, the educated and uneducated alike subscribed to this very idea. More surprisingly, the idea that God had a body was held by both polytheists and monotheists. Platonic misgivings about divine corporeality entered the church early on, but it was only with the advent of medieval scholasticism that the idea that God has a body became scandalous, an idea still lingering today. In God's Body Markschies traces the shape of the divine form in late antiquity. This exploration follows the development of ideas of God's corporeality in Jewish and Greco-Roman traditions. In antiquity, gods were often like humans, which proved to be important for philosophical reflection and for worship. Markschies considers how a cultic environment nurtured, and transformed, Jewish and Christian descriptions of the divine, as well as how philosophical debates over the connection of body and soul in humanity provided a conceptual framework for imagining God. Markschies probes the connections between this lively culture of religious practice and philosophical speculation and the christological formulations of the church to discover how the dichotomy of an incarnate God and a fleshless God came to be. By studying the religious and cultural past, Markschies reveals a Jewish and Christian heritage alien to modern sensibilities, as well as a God who is less alien to the human experience than much of Western thought has imagined. Since the almighty God who made all creation has also lived in that creation, the biblical idea of humankind as image of God should be taken seriously and not restricted to the conceptual world but rather applied to the whole person.
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This is a study of the Old Testament as the story of a people. The author describes the growth of Israel from its beginnings through to Moses, the reigns of David and Solomon and into the Hellenistic era. Aided by maps, charts and photographs the book analyzes and interprets the familiar biblical narrative in the context of our modern knowledge of the ancient world. New features of this edition include a series of definitions of key terms, new illustrations and it also takes into account more recent archaeological discoveries.
The Temple Scroll is the longest manuscript found in the Qumran Caves and perhaps the most important halakhic composition known from the Second Temple Period. The scroll presents itself as a rewritten Torah, which begins with the renewal of the Sinaitic covenant and then turns to the building of the Temple. This volume of the Dead Sea Scrolls series brings together for the first time all of the manuscript witnesses to the Temple Scroll.
The Princeton Dead Sea Scrolls Project provides a major landmark in general access to these documents. It is the first serious attempt to provide accurate transcriptions and translations with critical commentary to all the nonbiblical scrolls found at Qumran. These are important reference books for specialized studies in biblical fields.
Jewish Bible Translations is the first book to examine Jewish Bible translations from the third century BCE to our day. It is an overdue corrective of an important story that has been regularly omitted or downgraded in other histories of Bible translation. Examining a wide range of translations over twenty-four centuries, Leonard Greenspoon delves into the historical, cultural, linguistic, and religious contexts of versions in eleven languages: Arabic, Aramaic, English, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Russian, Spanish, and Yiddish. He profiles many Jewish translators, among them Buber, Hirsch, Kaplan, Leeser, Luzzatto, Mendelssohn, Orlinsky, and Saadiah Gaon, framing their aspirations within the Jewish and larger milieus in which they worked. Greenspoon differentiates their principles, styles, and techniques-for example, their choice to emphasize either literal reflections of the Hebrew or distinctive elements of the vernacular language-and their underlying rationales. As he highlights distinctive features of Jewish Bible translations, he offers new insights regarding their shared characteristics and their limits. Additionally, Greenspoon shows how profoundly Jewish translators and interpreters influenced the style and diction of the King James Bible. Accessible and authoritative for all from beginners to scholars, Jewish Bible Translations enables readers to make their own informed evaluations of individual translations and to holistically assess Bible translation within Judaism.
Offering a penetrating view of Jewish society and culture, the essays in this volume shed light on a little-known chapter of Jewish history. Written by scholars from Israel, Turkey, Europe and the United States, it presents a broad historical canvas that brings together different perspectives and viewpoints. Its contents include essays on: the foundations of Ottaman-Jewish cooperation; Rabbinic literature in the late Byzantine and early Ottoman periods; Jewish contributions to Ottoman medicine between 1450 and 1800; and Jewish female education in the Ottoman Empire between 1840 and 1914.
The urban origins of American Judaism began with daily experiences of Jews, their responses to opportunities for social and physical mobility as well as constraints of discrimination and prejudice. Deborah Dash Moore explores Jewish participation in American cities and considers the implications of urban living for American Jews across three centuries. Looking at synagogues, streets, and snapshots, she contends that key features of American Judaism can be understood as an imaginative product grounded in urban potentials. Jews signaled their collective urban presence through synagogue construction, which represented Judaism on the civic stage. Synagogues housed Judaism in action, its rituals, liturgies, and community, while simultaneously demonstrating how Jews Judaized other aspects of their collective life, including study, education, recreation, sociability, and politics. Synagogues expressed aesthetic aspirations and translated Jewish spiritual desires into brick and mortar. Their changing architecture reflects shifting values among American Jews. Concentrations of Jews in cities also allowed for development of public religious practices that ranged from weekly shopping for the Sabbath to exuberant dancing in the streets with Torah scrolls on the holiday of Simhat Torah. Jewish engagement with city streets also reflected Jewish responses to Catholic religious practices that temporarily transformed streets into sacred spaces. This activity amplified an urban Jewish presence and provided vital contexts for synagogue life, as seen in the captivating photographs Moore analyzes.
Why is this Bible different from all other Bibles? Because it is the only English version fully Jewish in style and presentation. It includes Dr. Stern's newly updated version of the Tanakh ( Old Testament ) and his highly acclaimed Jewish New Testament.
The Complete Jewish Bible follows the Hebrew Bible order of the Tanakh's books, the order with which Yeshua (Jesus) was familiar and makes no separation between Old and New Testaments while also clarifying misunderstandings by recognizing the Jewish historical/ cultural background of the text.
The Complete Jewish Bible shows that the Word of God, from Genesis to Revelation, is a unified Jewish book meant for everyone, Jew and non-Jew alike.
A classic account of courage, integrity and most of all, belonging. In 1977, after serving as a leading activist for the democratic dissident movement in the Soviet Union and the movement for free Jewish emigration from there, Natan Sharansky was arrested. He spent nine years as a political prisoner, convicted of treason against the state. In fact, Sharansky was fighting for individual freedom in the face of overt tyranny, a struggle that would come to define the rest of his life. In Never Alone, Natan Sharansky and historian Gil Troy show how Sharansky's years in prison, many spent in harsh solitary confinement, prepared him for a very public life after his release. As an Israeli politician and the head of the Jewish Agency, Sharansky brought extraordinary moral clarity and uncompromising, often uncomfortable, honesty. Never a follower of tradition for tradition's sake, or someone who placed expediency or convenience ahead of consistent values, Sharansky was an often awkward political colleague but always visionary in his appreciation of where the real threats to freedom lay. Never Alone is suffused with reflections from his time as a political prisoner, from his seat at the table as history unfolded in Israel and the Middle East, along with his passionate efforts to unite the Jewish people. Written with frankness, affection, and humor, the book offers us profound insights from a man who embraced the essential human struggle: to find his own voice when it was denied him, his own faith and the people to whom he could belong.
Following The People and the Books, which "covers more than 2,500 years of highly variegated Jewish cultural expression" (Robert Alter, New York Times Book Review), poet and literary critic Adam Kirsch now turns to the story of modern Jewish literature. From the vast emigration of Jews out of Eastern Europe to the Holocaust to the creation of Israel, the twentieth century transformed Jewish life. The same was true of Jewish writing: the novels, plays, poems, and memoirs of Jewish writers provided intimate access to new worlds of experience. Kirsch surveys four themes that shaped the twentieth century in Jewish literature and culture: Europe, America, Israel, and the endeavor to reimagine Judaism as a modern faith. With discussions of major books by over thirty writers-ranging from Franz Kafka to Philip Roth, Elie Wiesel to Tony Kushner, Hannah Arendt to Judith Plaskow-he argues that literature offers a new way to think about what it means to be Jewish in the modern world. With a wide scope and diverse, original observations, Kirsch draws fascinating parallels between familiar writers and their less familiar counterparts. While everyone knows the diary of Anne Frank, for example, few outside of Israel have read the diary of Hannah Senesh. Kirsch sheds new light on the literature of the Holocaust through the work of Primo Levi, explores the emergence of America as a Jewish home through the stories of Bernard Malamud, and shows how Yehuda Amichai captured the paradoxes of Israeli identity. An insightful and engaging work from "one of America's finest literary critics" (Wall Street Journal), The Blessing and the Curse brings the Jewish experience vividly to life.
Emil Fackenheim was the last in a long line of Jewish philosophers to emerge from Germany, the modern center of Western philosophy, following Moses Mendelssohn, Leo Baeck, and Martin Buber. In this revealing book, David Patterson explores Fackenheim's rigorous pursuit of a philosophical response to the tragedy of the Holocaust. Fackenheim's writing sheds light on the tensions between Jewish thinking and German philosophy, illustrating how elements of the latter were used by the Nazis to justify Jewish annihilation. In addition, he emphasizes the important implications of defining Jewish philosophy as its own entity, separate from the tenets of the Jewish cultural tradition.
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