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Joseph Soloveitchik (1903–1993) was a major American Orthodox rabbi, Talmudist, philosopher, and theologian. In this new work, William Kolbrener takes on Soloveitchik’s controversial legacy and shows how he was torn between the traditionalist demands of his European ancestors and the trajectory of his own radical and often pluralist philosophy. A portrait of this self-professed "lonely man of faith" reveals him to be a reluctant modern who responds to the catastrophic trauma of personal and historical loss by underwriting an idiosyncratic, highly conservative conception of law that is distinct from his Talmudic predecessors, and also paves the way for a return to tradition that hinges on the ethical embrace of multiplicity. As Kolbrener melds these contradictions, he presents Soloveitchik as a good deal more complicated and conflicted than others have suggested. The Last Rabbi affords new perspective on the thought of this major Jewish philosopher and his ideas on the nature of religious authority, knowledge, and pluralism.
A revision of the author's thesis (doctoral)--Hebrew UniversityJerusalem, 2008.
A Rabbi Offers a Fresh Look at the End Times Few topics capture the imagination of believers like the last days. Yet fear and incorrect teachings continue to surround this topic. Rabbi Jonathan Bernis, by contrast, offers with warmth and clarity a unique and surprising perspective on the end times. Many see explosive turmoil in the Middle East and the mark of the beast as signs of the return of the Messiah. Bernis points out an even clearer and more immediate sign: the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies regarding the restoration of the land of Israel and the regathering of the Lost Tribes of Israel--which is happening in record numbers right now. This book unpacks surprising and life-changing insights on Israel, the last days, and the Messianic hope of every believer.
The New York Times–bestselling novel that follows the life and career of a rabbi as he journeys through America: “A rewarding reading experience.” —Los Angeles Times Michael Kind is raised in the Jewish cauldron of 1920s New York, familiar with the stresses and materialism of metropolitan life. Turning to the ancient set of ethics of his Orthodox grandfather, with a modern twist, he becomes a Reform rabbi. As insecure and sexually needy as any other young male, he serves as a circuit-rider rabbi in the Ozarks, and then as a temple rabbi in the racially ugly South, in a San Francisco suburb, in a Pennsylvania college town, and finally, in a New England community west of Boston. Along the way he falls deeply in love with and marries the daughter of a Congregational minister; she converts to Judaism and they have two complex, interesting children. Noah Gordon’s picture of a brilliant and talented religious counselor—who at times is as bereft and uncertain as any of his congregants—is a deeply moving and very satisfying novel.
An authentic voice of spiritual leadership answers some of the most difficult questions facing Jews throughout the United States and the world, with discussions of identity, religion, politics, and more, all dealt with in an insightful and inspiring manner.
THE BOOK: In every generation, according to Jewish tradition, thirty-six just men, the Lamed-waf, are born to take the burden of the world's suffering upon themselves. At York in 1185 the just man was Rabbi Yom Tov Levey, whose sacrifice so touched God that he gave his descendants one just man each generation, all the way down to Ernie Levey, the last of the just, killed at Auschwitz in 1943. This, then, is the story of Ernie Levey.
Pluralistic perspectives on the Festival of lights and profiles in modern Jewish courage.
ForeWord Reviews Mother’s Day Staff Pick: “Books Mom Will Love” “A valuable historical reference guide.” —Publishers Weekly “This is a very ambitious and timely book, a book that many historians, literary theorists and story tellers who care about China and its “Other Half of the Sky” want to write, but Brian Griffith did it first, with such scope, ease and fun.” —WANG PING, author of The Last Communist Virgin and Aching for Beauty: Footbinding in China “This book is a most engaging and entertaining read, and the depth of its scholarship is astounding. Griffith vividly describes the counterculture of Chinese goddesses, shows that their fascinating stories are alive and active today, and points us toward a more inclusive and caring partnership future.” —RIANE EISLER, author of The Real Wealth of Nations: Creating a Caring Economics and The Chalice and the Blade: Our History, Our Future Touching on the whole story of China—from Neolithic villages to a globalized Shanghai—this book ties mythology, archaeology, history, religion, folklore, literature, and journalism into a millennia-spanning story about how Chinese women—and their goddess traditions—fostered a counterculture that flourishes and grows stronger every day. As Brian Griffith charts the stories of China’s founding mothers, shamanesses, goddesses, and ordinary heroines, he also explores the largely untold story of women’s contributions to cultural life in the world’s biggest society and provides inspiration for all global citizens. Brian Griffith grew up in Texas, studied history at the University of Alberta, and now lives just outside of Toronto, Ontario. He is an independent historian who examines how cultural history influences our lives, and how collective experience offers insights for our future.
In the advance yeshiva, adult males spend long periods of time-sometimes their entire lives-studying and interpreting traditional writings on Jewish law and theology, all but totally cut off from the mainstream of American life, and indeed, the lives of most American Jews. Why is this East European incarnation of an ancient Jewish tradition flourishing in present-day America? What does its successful transplantaion tell us about Orthodox Jewish life?
The History of the Byzantine Jews explores the Jewish microcosmos in Byzantium. Under the Romans, Jews enjoyed the privileges of knighthood and nobility. Although these luxuries were significantly diminished under Theodosius II- whose wife, Eudoxia, was a judaizing Empress- and the Codex Justinianus, they remained a powerful entity in Byzantium. In comparison to the irredentist Samaritans and Paulicians, the Jews remained areligio licita (permitted religion) that tolerated and even protected by Imperial and Church authority. Their position in society even enabled the Jews to vie for increased power. The Byzantine Jews tried to play the game of power politics through their affiliation with Yemen's Jewish Himyarites, and ill-fated alliance with the Persian Sassanides, and finally through the colossal power of the Jewish Khazar Empire. In this living history of the Byzantine Jews, Author Elli Kohen attempts to revive the spirit of Moses of Crete, Procopius, Eusebius, Theophanes Continuatus, and medieval chroniclers such as Liutbrand, Villehardouin, and Benjamin of Tudela. Intended as a complementary text to other classics on Byzantine Jews, this new work emphasizes multicultural cooperation in the study of this time period. Some of the events and individuals profiled in The History of the Byzantine Jews include: -Byzantine and Jewish polemists- the "Hagiographic Bibliotheca" -Historiography of a Jewish family in Byzantine Apulia -The Jerusalem Karaites finding a safe haven in Byzantium -The rerouting of the fourth Crusade through the Juiverie of Constantinople -The return of the Paleologues -Byzantine-Jewish coexistence under Symeon, Archbishop of Salonica

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