Description : A publishing sensation long at the top of the best-seller lists in Israel, the original Hebrew edition of Maimonides and the Book That Changed Judaism has been called the most successful book ever published in Israel on the preeminent medieval Jewish thinker Moses Maimonides. The works of Maimonides, particularly The Guide for the Perplexed, are reckoned among the fundamental texts that influenced all subsequent Jewish philosophy and also proved to be highly influential in Christian and Islamic thought. Spanning subjects ranging from God, prophecy, miracles, revelation, and evil, to politics, messianism, reason in religion, and the therapeutic role of doubt, Maimonides and the Book That Changed Judaism elucidates the complex ideas of The Guide in remarkably clear and engaging prose. Drawing on his own experience as a central figure in the current Israeli renaissance of Jewish culture and spirituality, Micah Goodman brings Maimonides’s masterwork into dialogue with the intellectual and spiritual worlds of twenty-first-century readers. Goodman contends that in Maimonides’s view, the Torah’s purpose is not to bring clarity about God but rather to make us realize that we do not understand God at all; not to resolve inscrutable religious issues but to give us insight into the true nature and purpose of our lives.
Description : A controversial examination of the internal Israeli debate over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from a best-selling Israeli author Since the Six-Day War, Israelis have been entrenched in a national debate over whether to keep the land they conquered or to return some, if not all, of the territories to Palestinians. In a balanced and insightful analysis, Micah Goodman deftly sheds light on the ideas that have shaped Israelis' thinking on both sides of the debate, and among secular and religious Jews about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Contrary to opinions that dominate the discussion, he shows that the paradox of Israeli political discourse is that both sides are right in what they affirm—and wrong in what they deny. Although he concludes that the conflict cannot be solved, Goodman is far from a pessimist and explores how instead it can be reduced in scope and danger through limited, practical steps. Through philosophical critique and political analysis, Goodman builds a creative, compelling case for pragmatism in a dispute where a comprehensive solution seems impossible.
Description : Joseph Ibn Kaspi was a prolific writer in one of the most productive periods in the history of Jewish philosophy. Joseph Ibn Kaspi: Portrait of a Hebrew Philosopher in Medieval Provence investigates his overarching intellectual project and important themes in his writings.
Description : In his accessible, perceptive introduction to the central features and figures in Judaism, Norman Solomon discusses the religion as a living force, in all its contemporary richness and variety. He presents spiritual leaders, poets, philosophers, and even eccentrics—including the mystic who tried to convert the Pope—while also addressing such questions as: How has Judaism changed since biblical days and How does the secular state of Israel resolve the conflicts of “Church” and state?
Description : The Torah is the foundation stone of Jewish existence. Embedded within these teachings of Moses are core concepts that radically transformed the important religious insights of the patriarchs into a dynamic new religion that would go on to influence the world. This religion of Israel yielded a new way of understanding God and the meaning of the human life. Some of these concepts have never been fully realized, some have gone unrecognized, and many are obscured under so many layers of interpretation that the original vision is difficult to discern. In this accessible look at these revolutionary teachings of Moses, Dr. Reuven Hammer presents fourteen radical ideas found in Torah, explains their original intentions, and shows how understanding these "truths" can help you better understand the narrative and laws of Judaism. Dr. Hammer shows you that when taken together, these value concepts present a picture of the world and human life that is surprisingly modern and relevant: humani
Description : "Judaism today is radically different from the Judaism described and mandated in the Torah, writes Rabbi Israel Drazin, a noted authority on Jewish life, history and thought. Around the time of the destruction of the Temple, rabbinic reinterpretation changed both the observance and the religious significance attributed to the festivals. Thus, the biblical day of Passover on Nissan 14 was totally eliminated and the seven-day holiday called the Festival of Matzot, beginning Nissan 15, was renamed Passover. Likewise, the biblical holidays Yom Teruah and Yom Habikurim were transformed into Rosh Hashanah and Shavuot. The practice of building huts during Sukkot is likely more tied to the lack of lodging space in Jerusalem during the harvest festival than any biblical origin, says the rabbi. This book challenges some of the basic assumptions about Judaism, showing how many of them are nowhere to be found in the Hebrew Bible, and some even have their origins in pagan cultures. It will surprise readers to hear, for example, about bizarre wedding practices, the Queen of Sheba myths, or the fact that classical religious sources are not always right. At its core, , the book stridently challenges discriminatory practices against women, such as the seclusion of women during religious services and the problem of the aguna, women held in failed marriages by husbands who will not provide a religious divorce.. With topics spanning the range of religious practice, Mysteries of Judaism will astonish and enlighten readers as it reveals the complex relationship between biblical and rabbinic Judaism."
Description : What is the Good Life? Learn from some of the greatest minds in Greek, Jewish, and Christian thought. Comparing their thought reveals a new apex reached in the age-old question concerning the relationship of Jerusalem and Athens, faith and reason. Few have been more influential in Judaism and Christianity than Moses Maimonides and Thomas Aquinas, yet Aristotle influenced them both in significant ways. By adopting and adapting some of Aristotle’s best thinking, we can appreciate Maimonides’ and Aquinas’ search for the Good Life from their respective views, ranging from the fall to human perfectibility. This examines human nature, the human telos, and how each would prescribe the route to the Good Life. For all three, it is ultimately about the knowledge of God. But what does that mean? The comparative approach is more illuminating than if considered in isolation. Comparatively, Aristotle’s approach may be characterized as informational, Maimonides’ as instructional, and Aquinas’ as pneumatic-relational. The role of faith as a virtue in both Maimonides and Aquinas makes a substantive difference over Aristotle’s in philosophical and practical ways. It is used to exploit their accounts of the human fall, moral perfection, and ultimate human perfection—the knowledge of God.
Description : Discusses the fundamental beliefs of Judaism as summarized in the 1976 statement by the Central Conference of American Rabbis.