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Within this close textual analysis of the Babylonian Talmud, Yishai Kiel explores rabbinic discussions of sex in light of cultural assumptions and dispositions that pervaded the cultures of late antiquity and particularly the Iranian world. By negotiating the Iranian context of the rabbinic discussion alongside the Christian backdrop, this groundbreaking volume presents a balanced and nuanced portrayal of the rabbinic discourse on sexuality and situates rabbinic discussions of sex more broadly at the crossroads of late antique cultures. The study is divided into two thematic sections: the first centers on the broader aspects of rabbinic discourse on sexuality while the second hones in on rabbinic discussions of sexual prohibitions and the classification of permissible and prohibited partnerships, with particular attention to rabbinic discussions of incest. Essential reading for scholars and graduate students of Judaic studies, early Christianity, and Iranian studies, as well as those interested in religious studies and comparative religion.
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.
A Year with the Sages uniquely relates the Sages' understanding of each Torah portion to everyday life. The importance of these teachings cannot be overstated. The Sages, who lived during the period from the fifth century BCE to the fifth century CE, considered themselves to have inherited the oral teachings God transmitted to Moses, along with the mandate to interpret them to each subsequent generation. Just as the Torah and the entire Hebrew Bible are the foundations of Judaism, the Sages' teachings form the structures of Jewish belief and practice built on that foundation. Many of these teachings revolve around core concepts such as God's justice, God's love, Torah, Israel, humility, honesty, loving-kindness, reverence, prayer, and repentance. You are invited to spend a year with the inspiring ideas of the Sages through their reflections on the fifty-four weekly Torah portions and the eleven Jewish holidays. Quoting from the week's Torah portion, Rabbi Reuven Hammer presents a Torah commentary, selections from the Sages that chronicle their process of interpreting the text, a commentary that elucidates these concepts and their consequences, and a personal reflection that illumines the Sages' enduring wisdom for our era.
NATIONAL BESTSELLER "Dennis Prager has put together one of the most stunning commentaries in modern times on the most profound document in human history. It's a must-read that every person, religious and non-religious, should buy and peruse every night before bed. It'll make you think harder, pray more ardently, and understand your civilization better." - Ben Shapiro, host of "The Ben Shapiro Show" "Dennis Prager's commentary on Exodus will rank among the greatest modern Torah commentaries. That is how important I think it is. And I am clearly not alone... It might well be on its way to becoming the most widely read Torah commentary of our time-and by non-Jews as well as by Jews." - Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, bestselling author of Jewish Literacy Why do so many people think the Bible, the most influential book in world history, is outdated? Why do our friends and neighbors - and sometimes we ourselves - dismiss the Bible as irrelevant, irrational, immoral, or all of these things? This explanation of the Book of Exodus, the second book of the Bible, will demonstrate that the Bible is not only powerfully relevant to today's issues, but completely consistent with rational thought. Do you think the Bible permitted the trans-Atlantic slave trade? You won't after reading this book. Do you struggle to love your parents? If you do, you need this book. Do you doubt the existence of God because belief in God is "irrational?" This book will give you reason after reason to rethink your doubts. The title of this commentary is, "The Rational Bible" because its approach is entirely reason-based. The reader is never asked to accept anything on faith alone. As Prager says, "If something I write does not make rational sense, I have not done my job." The Rational Bible is the fruit of Dennis Prager's forty years of teaching the Bible to people of every faith, and no faith. On virtually every page, you will discover how the text relates to the contemporary world and to your life. His goal: to change your mind - and then change your life.
The Koren Talpiot Siddur brings together the best of Koren's Hebrew and Hebrew/English siddurim. The Hebrew text in classic Koren fonts and layout is uninterrupted by instructions or commentary; instead, English instructions and halakhic guides appear at the back. The result is a siddur for both Israel and North America that enables you to pray with deep understanding and pure kavana.
This volume explores the aesthetic dimensions of biblical poetry, offering close readings of poems across the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. Composed of essays by fifteen leading scholars of biblical poetry, it offers creative and insightful close readings of poems from across the canon of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament (Psalms, wisdom poetry, Song of Songs, prophecy, and poetry in biblical narrative). The essays build on recent advances in our understanding of biblical poetry and engage a variety of theoretical perspectives and current trends in the study of literature. They demonstrate the rewards of careful attention to textual detail, and they provide models of the practice of close reading for students, scholars, and general readers. They also highlight the rich aesthetic value of the biblical poetic corpus and offer reflection on the nature of poetry itself as a meaningful and enduring form of art.
This title helps Jews understand Islam - a reasoned and candid view. Muslim-Jewish relations in the United States, Israel, and Europe are tenuous. Jews and Muslims struggle to understand one another and know little about each other's traditions and beliefs.Firestone explains the remarkable similarities and profound differences between Judaism and Islam, the complex history of Jihad, the legal and religious positions of Jews in the world of Islam, how various expressions of Islam (Sunni, Shi'a, Sufi, Salafi, etc.) regard Jews, the range of Muslim views about Israel, and much more. He addresses these issues and others with candor and integrity, and he writes with language, symbols, and ideas that make sense to Jews.Exploring these subjects in today's vexed political climate is a delicate undertaking. Firestone draws on the research and writings of generations of Muslim, Jewish, and other scholars, as well as his own considerable expertise in this field. The book's tone is neither disparaging, apologetic, nor triumphal. Firestone provides many original sources in translation, as well as an appendix of additional key sources in context. Most importantly, this book is readable and reasoned, presenting to readers for the first time the complexity of Islam and its relationship toward Jews and Judaism.
In this magisterial history, David Nirenberg explores anti-Judaism from antiquity to the present, from the Ancient Egyptians who resented their Jewish neighbours to the ideas of Voltaire and Marx, thereby revealing it to be a mode of thought deeply embedded in the Western tradition. With intolerance and racism on the rise across the West, the central argument of David Nirenberg's groundbreaking study - that to imagine anti-Judaism to be confined to the margins of our society is to be dangerously complacent - is as urgent and as timely as it has ever been.
It is well-known that Jesus was Jewish and that there are considerable connections between the Old and New Testaments. This book details the astonishingly large number of these connections and reveals how much of what Jesus taught had already been written in the Old Testament. The fact that he was Jewish is often interpreted ethnically and not in terms of his religion. When the pagan additions to Christian doctrine are removed what is left is the teaching of a superlative Jewish prophet. What is revealed in this book is the unexpectedly large overlap between Judaism and Christianity. The main body consists of comparative quotes from the Old and New Testaments, followed by a chapter showing the darker side of Jesus' teaching, which is a result of his place, time and circumstances. There is a chapter quoting those teachings which transcend his circumstances and are his spiritual gift to humanity. The book ends by discussing antisemitism historically and includes an analysis of Nostra Aetate, the Catholic Church's alleged exoneration of the Jewish people from the attribution of eternal guilt for the crucifixion. Rescuing Jesus from Christianity will appeal to readers with an interest in religion, spirituality and inter-faith communication.
Kosher USA follows the fascinating journey of kosher food through the modern industrial food system. It recounts how iconic products such as Coca-Cola and Jell-O tried to become kosher; the contentious debates among rabbis over the incorporation of modern science into Jewish law; how Manischewitz wine became the first kosher product to win over non-Jewish consumers (principally African Americans); the techniques used by Orthodox rabbinical organizations to embed kosher requirements into food manufacturing; and the difficulties encountered by kosher meat and other kosher foods that fell outside the American culinary consensus. Kosher USA is filled with big personalities, rare archival finds, and surprising influences: the Atlanta rabbi Tobias Geffen, who made Coke kosher; the lay chemist and kosher-certification pioneer Abraham Goldstein; the kosher-meat magnate Harry Kassel; and the animal-rights advocate Temple Grandin, a strong supporter of shechita, or Jewish slaughtering practice. By exploring the complex encounter between ancient religious principles and modern industrial methods, Kosher USA adds a significant chapter to the story of Judaism's interaction with non-Jewish cultures and the history of modern Jewish American life as well as American foodways.
'An absolute godsend ... Goodman has done both Jews and non-Jews a great service with this book, encapsulating most of Jewish thought over four millennia into one extraordinarily readable volume' Julia Neuberger, Literary Review A panoramic history of Judaism from its origins to the present Judaism is by some distance the oldest of the three Abrahamic religions. Despite the extraordinarily diverse forms it has taken, the Jewish people have believed themselves bound to God by the same covenant for more than three thousand years. This book explains how Judaism came to be and how it has developed from one age to the next, as well as the ways in which its varieties have related to each other. 'A one-volume tour de force. Goodman meets the substantial challenge of charting the twists and turns, tributaries and backwaters of Judaism's many streams over 2,000 years - and succeeds' Harry Freedman, Jewish Chronicle 'Learned and illuminating ... this magnificently lucid account will become the standard reference for a generation' Dominic Green, Wall Street Journal
A Guide to Biblical Hebrew Syntax introduces and abridges the syntactical features of the original language of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. An intermediate-level reference grammar for Biblical Hebrew, it assumes an understanding of elementary phonology and morphology, and it defines and illustrates the fundamental syntactical features of Biblical Hebrew that most intermediate-level readers struggle to master. The volume divides Biblical Hebrew syntax and morphology, into four parts. The first three cover the individual words (nouns, verbs, and particles) with the goal of helping the reader move from morphological and syntactical observations to meaning and significance. The fourth section moves beyond phrase-level phenomena and considers the larger relationships of clauses and sentences. Since publication of the First Edition, research on Biblical Hebrew syntax has substantially evolved. This new edition incorporates these developments through detailed descriptions of grammatical phenomena from a linguistics approach. It retains the labels and terminology used in the First Edition to maintain continuity with the majority of entry-level and more advanced grammars.
In this companion volume to his celebrated series Covenant & Conversation, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks mines the weekly Torah portions for insights into the nature of power, authority, and leadership.
Based on the understanding that no man is born a leader, the book explores the principles, and perils, of becoming one.
Profound, eloquent, and deeply inspiring, Lessons In Leadership reveals the biblical secrets of influence, as relevant now as they were three thousand years ago.
The Koren Humash is the perfect synagogue Humash. An English translation by Professor Harold Fisch compliments the Hebrew parshiyot, haftarot, megillot and Tehillim in the Koren Tanakh Font. The Humash is printed on Bible paper and bound in companion style to the Sacks and Talpiot Siddurim to provide synagogues and individuals with beautiful two-volume sets.
The Koren Talmud Bavli is a groundbreaking edition of the Talmud that fuses the innovative design of Koren Publishers Jerusalem with the incomparable scholarship of Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz. The Koren Talmud Bavli Standard Edition is a full-size, full-color edition that presents an enhanced Vilna page, a side-by-side English translation, photographs and illustrations, a brilliant commentary, and a multitude of learning aids to help the beginning and advanced student alike actively participate in the dynamic process of Talmud study.
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