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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.
There has been a disturbing rise in antisemitism in Europe over the last fifteen years or so, with violent attacks on Jewish targets, increased verbal antisemitism, and an acceptability in many circles of what would hitherto have been condemned as outrageous antisemitic discourse. More recently, the Labour party have come under fire for engaging in antisemitic abuse. Yet despite the dramatic increase in debate and discussion around antisemitism, there is a general sense of confusion about what should and shouldn't be defined as antisemitism - and particularly around criticism of the State of Israel. In this urgently needed book, Rabbi Julia Neuberger uses contemporary examples, along with historical context, to unpack what constitutes antisemitism, building a powerful argument for why it is so crucial that we come to a shared understanding now, and exploring ways of dealing with it.
The Book of Sarah is missing from the bible, so artist Sarah Lightman sets out to make her own: questioning religion, family, motherhood and what it takes to be an artist in this quietly subversive visual autobiography from NW3. The Jerusalem Bible, Ellerdale Road, St Paul's Girls School and a baby monitor: books and streets, buildings and objects ll this bildungsroman set in Hampstead, North West London. Sarah Lightman has been drawing her life since she was a 22-year-old undergraduate at The Slade School of Art. The Book of Sarah traces her journey from modern Jewish orthodoxy to a feminist Judaism, as she searches between the complex layers of family and family history that she inherited and inhabited. While the act of drawing came easily, the letting go of past failures, attachments and expectations did not. It is these that form the focus of Sarah's astonishingly beautiful pages, as we bear witness to her making the world her own.
An essential biography of one of the Bible (TM)s most powerful and inspiring books Exodus is the second book of the Hebrew Bible, but it may rank first in lasting cultural importance. It is here that the classic biblical themes of oppression and redemption, of human enslavement and divine salvation, are most dramatically expressed. Joel Baden tells the story of this influential and enduring book, tracing how its famous account of the Israelites (TM) journey to the promised land has been adopted and adapted for millennia, often in unexpected ways. Baden draws a distinction between the Exodus story and the book itself, which is one of the most multifaceted in the Bible, containing poems, law codes, rituals, and architectural plans. He shows how Exodus brings together an array of oral and written traditions from the ancient Middle East, and how it came to be ritualized in the Passover Seder and the Eucharist. Highlighting the remarkable resilience and flexibility of Exodus, Baden sheds light on how the bestowing of the Torah to Moses on Mount Sinai divided Jewish and Christian thinkers, on the importance of Exodus during the Reformation and the American Revolution, and on its uses in debates for and against slavery. He also traces how the defining narrative of ancient Israel helped to define Mormon social identity, the American civil rights movement, and liberation theology. Though three thousand years old, the Exodus "as history, as narrative, as metaphor, as model "continues to be vitally important for us today. Here is the essential biography of this incomparable spiritual masterpiece.
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.
An award-winning biblical translator reflects on the art of capturing the literary power of the Bible in English In this brief book, award-winning biblical translator and acclaimed literary critic Robert Alter offers a personal and passionate account of what he learned about the art of Bible translation over the two decades he spent completing his own English version of the Hebrew Bible. Alter (TM)s literary training gave him the advantage of seeing that a translation of the Bible can convey the text (TM)s meaning only by trying to capture the powerful and subtle literary style of the biblical Hebrew, something the modern English versions don (TM)t do justice to. The Bible (TM)s style, Alter writes, oeis not some sort of aesthetic embellishment of the ~message (TM) of Scripture but the vital medium through which the biblical vision of God, human nature, history, politics, society, and moral value is conveyed. And, as the translators of the King James Version knew, the authority of the Bible is inseparable from its literary authority. For these reasons, the Bible can be brought to life in English only by re-creating its literary virtuosity, and Alter discusses the principal aspects of style in the Hebrew Bible that any translator should try to reproduce: word choice, syntax, word play and sound play, rhythm, and dialogue. In the process, he provides an illuminating and accessible introduction to biblical style that also offers insights about the art of translation far beyond the Bible.
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 oereclaim 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.
In This Hour offers the first English translations of selected German writings by Abraham Joshua Heschel from his tumultuous years in Nazi-ruled Germany and months in London exile, before he found refuge in the United States. Moreover, several of the works have never been published in any language. Composed during a time of intense crisis for European Jewry, these writings both argue for and exemplify a powerful vision of spiritually rich Jewish learning and its redemptive role in the past and the future of the Jewish people. The collection opens with the text of a speech in which Heschel laid out with passion his vision for Jewish education. Then it goes on to present his teachings: a set of essays about the rabbis of the Mishnaic period, whose struggles paralleled those of his own time; the biography of the medieval Jewish scholar and leader Don Yitzhak Abravanel; reflections on the power and meaning of repentance, written for the High Holidays in 1936; and a short story on Jewish exile, written for Hanukkah 1937. The collection closes with a set of four recently discovered meditations-on suffering, prayer, spirituality, and God-in which Heschel grapples with the horrors unfolding around him. Taken together, these essays and story fill a significant void in Heschel's bibliography: his Nazi Germany and London exile years. These translations convey the spare elegance of Heschel's prose, and the introduction and detailed notes make the volume accessible to readers of all knowledge levels. As Heschel teaches history, his voice is more than that of a historian: the old becomes new, and the struggles of one era shed light on another. Even as Heschel quotes ancient sources, his words address the issues of his own time and speak urgently to ours.
'With emotional and psychological insight, Barton unlocks this sleeping giant of our culture. In the process, he has produced a masterpiece.' Sunday Times The Bible is the central book of Western culture. For the two faiths which hold it sacred, it is the bedrock of their religion, a singular authority on what to believe and how to live. For non-believers too, it has a commanding status: it is one of the great works of world literature, woven to an unparalleled degree into our language and thought. This book tells the story of the Bible, explaining how it came to be constructed and how it has been understood, from its remote beginnings down to the present. John Barton describes how the narratives, laws, proverbs, prophecies, poems and letters which comprise the Bible were written and when, what we know - and what we cannot know - about their authors and what they might have meant, as well as how these extraordinarily disparate writings relate to each other. His incisive readings shed new light on even the most familiar passages, exposing not only the sources and traditions behind them, but also the busy hands of the scribes and editors who assembled and reshaped them. Untangling the process by which some texts which were regarded as holy, became canonical and were included, and others didn't, Barton demonstrates that the Bible is not the fixed text it is often perceived to be, but the result of a long and intriguing evolution. Tracing its dissemination, translation and interpretation in Judaism and Christianity from Antiquity to the rise of modern biblical scholarship, Barton elucidates how meaning has both been drawn from the Bible and imposed upon it. Part of the book's originality is to illuminate the gap between religion and scripture, the ways in which neither maps exactly onto the other, and how religious thinkers from Augustine to Luther and Spinoza have reckoned with this. Barton shows that if we are to regard the Bible as 'authoritative', it cannot be as believers have so often done in the past.
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.
The environmental crisis has prompted religious leaders and lay people to look to their traditions for resources to respond to environmental degradation. In this book, Mari Joerstad contributes to this effort by examining an ignored feature of the Hebrew Bible: its attribution of activity and affect to trees, fields, soil, and mountains. The Bible presents a social cosmos, in which humans are one kind of person among many. Using a combination of the tools of biblical studies and anthropological writings on animism, Joerstad traces the activity of non-animal nature through the canon. She shows how biblical writers go beyond sustainable development, asking us to be good neighbors to mountains and trees, and to be generous to our fields and vineyards. They envision human communities that are sources of joy to plants and animals. The Biblical writers' attention to inhabited spaces is particularly salient for contemporary environmental ethics in their insistence that our cities, suburbs, and villages contribute to flourishing landscapes.
A disciplined study that reveals the many contributions of Jews throughout the history of rock 'n' roll.
The late twentieth century has witnessed the emergence in every religious tradition of a strain of threatening and militant fundamentalism, yet, significantly, fundamentalists remain beyond the comprehension of the rest of the world. In 'The Battle for God' Karen Armstrong explains brilliantly and perceptively how and why their understanding of religion and society differs so starkly from that of their contemporaries.
"The quality of this remarkable book lies as much in its detail as in its sweeping vision… Fundamentalism cannot be put down by force. If it is to be defeated, it must first be understood. This wise and balanced book makes a significant contribution to such an understanding."
"The spectre of religious fundamentalism haunts our world, and most of us are not merely terrified, but puzzled by it… We need a patient guide… Karen Armstrong is this guide. Her new book is just what Westerners need at this junction in history."
"Armstrong displays all her usual talents: she has an eye for colourful evidence, a wonderful gift for clarity of exposition and an unerring sense of pace and voice in narrative… In her account of the late nineteenth century and the twentieth every line counts and every story grips."
"A remarkable book… the self-evidence of religious fundamentalism's role in recent history gives this book a power and relevance which make for truly compulsive reading… for the reader with even a marginal interest in religion or politics, it is an essential purchase"
"Her book should do so much to de-demonize fundamentalism and thus allow us to take it seriously and devise strategies for coping with it… humane and thoughtful"
The Jews of the former Soviet Union have always been the subject of intense controversy. In the past 25 years, however, they have become more puzzling. How many of them are there? How strongly so they identify themselves as Jews? How do they perceive antisemetism in their countries? Will they leave, where will they go? Theses ate among the questions that have enlivened the discussions of Jews in republics known as the Commonwealth of Independent States. they have sparked debate because they have deep policy implications for Russia, Israel, the United States, and other countries. They are the questions which this book seeks to examine. Too little fact has informed this debate, and even less theory. Until very recently, surveys of the actual intentions, perceptions, motivations, and fears of Jews in the region were out of the question. This is now beginning to change. Here is the first book based on an on site survey of a representative sample of Jews in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). In addition to providing data in the Jews of Moscow, Kiev, and Minsk- who collectively account for 28% of all Jews residing in the three Slavic republics of the CIS- the author places the survey results in their social and historical context. He explains why ethnic distinctiveness persisted and even became accentuated in the Soviet era and also describes the position of Jews in Soviet and post-Soviet society and some of the dilemmas they face. This book will be crucial reading for anyone interested not only in the general situation of the Jews of the former Soviet Union but also in their perceptions, worldviews, and plans for the future.
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