“Like any classic, the Torah appears in different guises with each rereading. Its infinite layers of meaning and depth offer the opportunity to harvest anew, without any fear of exhausting its supply of wisdom, counsel, and kedushah (holiness). To encounter Torah is to encounter God.” --from the Introduction In this inspiring collection, Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson illuminates the sacred text at the heart of Jewish spirituality. Enlightening and original, The Everyday Torah brings the ancient text to life with poignant reflections that will guide to you to a deeper understanding of the Torah, of Judaism, of yourself. "Torah goes its weekly way, and we go ours, and do the two paths ever cross? They cross often in many minds and hearts, but when it is Bradley Shavit Artson who provides their point of intersection, the crossroads widens into a town square." --Jack Miles, author of God: A Biography "Every page is a joy to read. Many, many readers will treasure this book." --Richard Elliott Friedman, author of Commentary on the Torah and Who Wrote the Bible? "Rabbi Bradley Artson remains one of the most inviting of modern day teachers of Torah. This book will offer needed guidance and inspiration to all who turn its pages." --Rabbi David Ellenson, Ph.D., president of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
A theologian probes for clues that will help answer the deepest questions of one's spiritual search, exploring how one knows if God really exists, how one knows when God is present, and how much control one has over their own destiny.
This brief history of Judaism not only seeks to tell the story of Judaism (or of Judaisms) but to define it in such a way as to make it possible for the reader to grasp and make sense of Judaism, all at once, on its own terms. Professor Neusner accomplishes this task by selecting the central Jewish symbol of Torah and describing its role down through the ages. First Torah is defined--the dual Torah, oral and written--and related to Jewish identity. Then follows an account of the formation of the written Torah and the development of the Mishnah after the fall of Jerusalem in 70 CE. This leads into an account of Midrash and the composition of the Talmud. After a discussion of Torah as a symbol, chapters follow on Maimonides, the Zohar, Reform Judaism and Zionism. The book ends by pulling the threads together into a woven portrait of Judaism. Here, in concise and readable form, is the model volume for writing the history of Judaism (or of Judaisms) as well as the history of any particular religion.
This classic text from one of the leading Judaic scholars today, The Way of the Torah introduces students to Judaism with a three-pronged approach. Neusner defines Judaism through time, showing its changes and development. He then introduces students to the classic texts of Judaism, while going beyond the Old Testament. Finally, the Torah and Judaism is presented in its living context. It is the only interpretive work that addresses Judaism within the context of the study of religion whereas other texts use only an historical or primary source approach.
Bread and Fire is about the everyday lives of Jewish women and the struggles and aspirations, failings and triumphs of their spiritual endeavors. The women whose writings appear in this book span a wide range of ages, backgrounds, perspectives and professions. In her own way, each one reveals God as an anchoring force in her life. Readers will find themselves laughing, crying and gaining reassurance and strength as they come face-to-face with these women women just like them who are moving forward in the ancient quest to find God in the everyday.
The authors address the issue of God in this world which, in the classical documents of formative Judaism, encompasses the diverse ways in which we meet God in the here and now. The counterpart in Christianity is meeting God in the incarnation of Jesus Christ. As heirs to the common scripture of ancient Israel, both Judaism and Christianity identify humanity as the worldly image of God. The two traditions concur that, since we are made in God's image, we see God in the face of one another. The conception of incarnation is therefore as Judaic as it is Christian. The point of difference between the two becomes clear when we ask how incarnation is realized. This book is the final volume in a trilogy. Previously published volumes include 'Revelation: The Torah and the Bible' and 'The Body of Faith: Israel and the Church'.
Writing with Scripture, the ancient sages of Judaism made use of Scripture by making Scripture their own, and making themselves into the possession and instrument of Scripture as well, a reciprocal process in which both were changed, each transformed into the likeness and image of the other. This they did by effecting their own selections, shaping a distinctive idiom of discourse, all the while citing, responding to, reflecting upon, Scripture's own words in Scripture's own context and for Scripture's own purpose: the here and now of eternal truth. And the rabbis of the first six centuries A.D. through the compilation presented here not only wrote with Scripture, but set forth a statement that was meant to be coherent and proportioned, well-crafted and well-composed. Since that statement concerned the distinctively-theological question of God's and Israel's relationship with one another, we must classify the writing as theological and find out how, in the compilation before us, theirtheological structure accomplished the autorship's goals. This anthology aims at doing just that. It presents a complete account of how the classical Midrash-text treats a theme of urgent interest to the world today: how Judaism writes with Scripture about the issues of religion that confront all the faithful.
This remarkable collection of commentaries is based on the Torah portions read publicly in synagogues throughout the world on the Sabbath and holy days. Produced by the National Council of Young Israel, one of the major synagogue movements in the world today, this collection is the result of an on-going effort by Young Israel to distribute to its constituency and to others a series of high level commentaries that can serve to educate and stimulate its audience on the threshold of the twenty-first century.