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For centuries, Jews have been known as the "people of the book." It is commonly thought that Judaism in the first several centuries CE found meaning exclusively in textual sources. But there is another approach to meaning to be found in ancient Judaism, one that sees it in the natural world and derives it from visual clues rather than textual ones. According to this conception, God embedded hidden signs in the world that could be read by human beings and interpreted according to complex systems. In exploring the diverse functions of signs outside of the realm of the written word, Swartz introduces unfamiliar sources and motifs from the formative age of Judaism, including magical and divination texts and new interpretations of legends and midrashim from classical rabbinic literature. He shows us how ancient Jews perceived these signs and read them, elaborating on their use of divination, symbolic interpretation of physical features and dress, and interpretations of historical events. As we learn how these ancient people read the world, we begin to see how ancient people found meaning in unexpected ways.
Medieval theology had an important influence on later philosophy which is visible in the empiricisms of Russell, Carnap, and Quine. Other thinkers, including McDowell, Kripke, and Dennett, show how we can overcome the distorting effects of that theological ecosystem on our accounts of the nature of reality and our relationship to it. In a different philosophical tradition, Hegel uses a secularized version of Christianity to argue for a kind of human knowledge that overcomes the influences of late-medieval voluntarism, and some twentieth-century thinkers, including Benjamin and Derrida, instead defend a Jewish-influenced notion of the religious sublime. Frank B. Farrell analyzes and connects philosophers of different eras and traditions to show that modern philosophy has developed its practices on a terrain marked out by earlier theological and religious ideas, and considers how different philosophers have both embraced, and tried to escape from, those deep-seated patterns of thought.
The Jewish coming-of-age ceremony of bar mitzvah was first recorded in thirteenth-century France, where it took the form of a simple statement by the father that he was no longer responsible for his thirteen-year-old son. Today, bar mitzvah for boys and bat mitzvah for girls are more popular than at any time in history and are sometimes accompanied by lavish celebrations. How did bar mitzvah develop over the centuries from an obscure legal ritual into a core component of Judaism? How did it capture the imagination of even non-Jewish youth? Bar Mitzvah, a History is a comprehensive account of the ceremonies and celebrations for both boys and girls. A cultural anthropology informed by rabbinic knowledge, it explores the origins and development of the most important coming-of-age milestone in Judaism. Rabbi Michael Hilton has sought out every reference to bar mitzvah in the Bible, the Talmud, and numerous other Jewish texts spanning several centuries, extracting a fascinating miscellany of information, stories, and commentary.
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.
"The Pajama Diaries: Bat-Zilla" is a comic book-style compilation for fans of cartoonist Terri Libenson's Jewish-themed comic strips. Inside are nearly 100 "Pajama Diaries" comics featuring holidays like Passover and Hanukkah, as well as the long-running 2013 storyline about the planning of Amy Kaplan's Bat Mitzvah. Two page-long descriptions provide background for the cartoons, which are divided into holiday and Bat Mitzvah strips. Modern multitasking families of all faiths will certainly enjoy this book.
The relationships, past and present, between Jews and the political left remain of abiding interest to both the academic community and the public. Jews and Leftist Politics contains new and insightful chapters from world-renowned scholars and considers such matters as the political implications of Judaism; the relationships of leftists and Jews; the histories of Jews on the left in Europe, the United States, and Israel; contemporary anti-Zionism; the associations between specific Jews and Communist parties; and the importance of gendered perspectives. It also contains fresh studies of canonical figures, including Gershom Scholem, Gustav Landauer, and Martin Buber, and examines the affiliations of Jews to prominent institutions, calling into question previous widely held assumptions. The volume is characterized by judicious appraisals made by respected authorities, and sheds considerable light on contentious themes.
Learn how to actively read and understand the Hebrew Bible and its significant literary, historical, and thematic meanings with the help of this bestselling introduction to the Old Testament and its companion website. READING THE OLD TESTAMENT: INTRODUCTION TO THE HEBREW BIBLE, Fourth Edition uses a wide selection of maps, charts, timelines, and artwork to ensure your understanding. Chapter-opening summaries and reading guides direct your attention to key concepts, historical contexts, and relevant Biblical passages. The accompanying website provides the entire text of the Bible, the entire text of the textbook, and an interactive study guide with numerous study tools for your convenience.
A few short words repeated with passion & intention can unlock treasure upon treasure of healing, wisdom & love
"Chant is a path for all of us who lead with our hearts, who are determined to seek out the truth that is buried deep beneath the ground of our lives, and who have made a commitment to live that truth, from moment to moment, breath to breath, 'one little bit at a time.'" from the Introduction
Chant is a meditative practice that fully engages the body, heart and mind, and facilitates healing and expansion of consciousness. Rabbi Shefa Gold, beloved teacher of chant, Jewish mysticism, prayer and spirituality, introduces you to this transformative spiritual practice as a way to unlock the power of sacred texts and take prayer and meditation into the delight of your life. She illuminates the usefulness, benefits and blessings of chant by: Teaching you the theory and foundations of chant its relation to beauty, pleasure and the deep wisdom buried in sacred textsProviding for the first time complete musical notations for many of her popular chants and practical instruction for how to use them to cultivate self-awareness and love."
Maimonides was the greatest Jewish philosopher and legal scholar of the medieval period, a towering figure who has had a profound and lasting influence on Jewish law, philosophy, and religious consciousness. This book provides a comprehensive and accessible introduction to his life and work, revealing how his philosophical sensibility and outlook informed his interpretation of Jewish tradition. Moshe Halbertal vividly describes Maimonides's childhood in Muslim Spain, his family's flight to North Africa to escape persecution, and their eventual resettling in Egypt. He draws on Maimonides's letters and the testimonies of his contemporaries, both Muslims and Jews, to offer new insights into his personality and the circumstances that shaped his thinking. Halbertal then turns to Maimonides's legal and philosophical work, analyzing his three great books--Commentary on the Mishnah, the Mishneh Torah, and the Guide of the Perplexed. He discusses Maimonides's battle against all attempts to personify God, his conviction that God's presence in the world is mediated through the natural order rather than through miracles, and his locating of philosophy and science at the summit of the religious life of Torah. Halbertal examines Maimonides's philosophical positions on fundamental questions such as the nature and limits of religious language, creation and nature, prophecy, providence, the problem of evil, and the meaning of the commandments. A stunning achievement, Maimonides offers an unparalleled look at the life and thought of this important Jewish philosopher, scholar, and theologian.
This carefully edited selection of correspondence includes letters both to - and from - Martin Buber from world-renowned scholars, thinkers, and philosophers. This edition contains the Preface to the German edition, as well as a Biographical Sketch by Grete Schaeder.
Because a welter of details sometimes conceals the Torah's aura of holiness, Jewish mystics and spiritual teachers have for centuries attempted to reveal that aura through creative interpretation of the Torah text. The Aura of Torah explores these attempts in an effort to bridge the gap between the Torah text and the modern Jewish spiritual quest.The book collects a wide variety of interpretations of Torah passages, commentaries, and midrash rooted in the mystical side of Jewish tradition, translated by Rabbi Larry Tabick, with original Hebrew and Aramaic texts included. The quoted authors span many centuries and speak from many schools of thought: kabbalists writing within the tradition of the Zohar and other gnostic works; Hasidic teachers from the modern movement founded by the Ba'al Shem Tov in eighteenth-century Ukraine; and German pietists, or Hasidei Ashkenaz, of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Tabick examines how these texts build on the underlying principles of the Torah--the supremacy of God, the interconnectedness of nature and morality, and the unique (though not exclusive) role of the Jewish people in the divine plan for all humanity--to point to a deep spiritual truth in the world of the divine and the soul.
Jonathan Safran Foer presents a new edition of the sacred Jewish Haggadah Read each year around the Seder table, the Haggadah recounts through prayer and song the extraordinary story of Exodus, when Moses led the ancient Israelites out of slavery in Egypt to wander through the desert for forty years before reaching the Promised Land. In this new version of the traditional Haggadah text, Jonathan Safran Foer brings together some of the most preeminent voices of our time. Nathan Englander's new translation, beautifully designed and illustrated in full colour by the Israeli artist and typographer Oded Ezer, is accompanied by thought-provoking commentaries by four major Jewish writers and thinkers: Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, Lemony Snicket, Jeffrey Goldberg and Nathaniel Deutsch; plus a timeline by Mia Sara Bruch. Jonathan Safran Foer was born in 1977. He is the author of Everything is Illuminated, which won the National Jewish Book Award and the Guardian First Book award; Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, which is now a major film starring Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock; and Eating Animals. He is also the editor of A Convergence of Birds and of a new edition of the Haggadah.
Itis generally accepted that Jews and evangelical Christians have little incommon. Yet special alliances developedbetween the two groups in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Evangelicalsviewed Jews as both the rightful heirs of Israel and as a group who failed torecognize their true savior. Consequently, they set out to influence the courseof Jewish life by attempting to evangelize Jews and to facilitate their returnto Palestine. Their double-edged perception caused unprecedented political,cultural, and theological meeting points that have revolutionizedChristian-Jewish relationships. An Unusual Relationship explores thebeliefs and political agendas that evangelicals have created in order to affectthe future of the Jews. Additionally, it analyses Jewish opinions and reactionsto those efforts, as well as those of other religious groups, such as ArabChristians. Thisvolume offers a fascinating, comprehensive analysis of the roots,manifestations, and consequences of evangelical interest in the Jews, and thealternatives they provide to conventional historical Christian-Jewishinteractions. It also provides a compelling understanding of Middle Easternpolitics through a new lens.
Written by four outstanding Torah scholars, the JPS Torah Commentary series represents a fusion of the best of the old and new. Utilizing the latest research to enhance our understanding of the biblical text, it takes its place as one of the most authoritative yet accessible Bible commentaries of our day. The JPS Torah Commentary series guides readers through the words and ideas of the Torah. Each volume is the work of a scholar who stands at the pinnacle of his field. every page contains the complete traditional Hebrew text, with cantillation notes, the JPS translation of the Holy Scriptures, aliyot breaks, Masoretic notes, and commentary by a distinguished Hebrew Bible scholar, integrating classical and modern sources. Each volume also contains supplementary essays that elaborate upon key words and themes, a glossary of commentators and sources, extensive bibliographic notes, and maps.
The question isn't whether grace is there for you in Judaism.The question is, do you have the courage to accept it?
"Chesed isn't a reward; it is reality. God s grace isn t limited to what we want to happen or might like to happen. God s grace is what is happening whether we like it or not. In short, God s grace is the giving of all to all." from the Introduction
Ask almost any Jew whether grace is a central concept in Judaism and an essential element in living Jewishly and, chances are, their answer will be no. But that s the wrong answer. This fascinating foray into God s love freely given offers you regardless of your level of Jewish involvement a way to answer that question in the affirmative.
Drawing from ancient and contemporary, traditional and non-traditional Jewish wisdom, this book reclaims the idea of grace in Judaism in three ways: It offers a view of God that helps you understand what grace is, why grace is, and how grace manifests in the world.It sets forth a reading of Judaism that is grace-filled: an understanding of creation, Shabbat and other Jewish practices from a grace-filled perspective.It challenges you to be embraced and transformed by grace, and to live life as a vehicle for God s grace, thereby fulfilling the promise of being created in God s image and likeness.
The recovery of 800 documents in the eleven caves on the northwest shores of the Dead Sea is one of the most sensational archeological discoveries in the Holy Land to date. These three volumes, the very best of critical scholarship, demonstrate in detail how the scrolls have revolutionized our knowledge of the text of the Bible, the character of Second Temple Judaism, and the Jewish beginnings of Christianity.
When we view Ya'acov (James) for who he was: a chief rabbi, a Torah scholar, a Bible commentator, and akin to a high court judge, then we can better understand the purpose of his book. One of the main thrusts of Ya'acov's teaching is encouraging the practical application of the Torah's teachings.
This history of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem has been carefully constructed from hundreds of twelfth and thirteenth century documents, plans and photographs of the Norman buildings of Palestine and the chronicles of Foucher of Chartres, Raymond d'Agiles and Albert of Aix. The book is an excellent reference for anyone interested in the Crusades; it paints a fascinating picture of the unique social circumstances which resulted from the establishment of a feudal society in Jerusalem.
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