A Vision of Holiness: The Future of Reform Judaism

Overview

Where is Reform Judaism heading in the twentyfirst century? This was the question before the Central Conference of American Rabbis as it undertook to write a Statement of Principles, the fourth in a series of comprehensive statements that the Reform rabbinate has adopted throughout its history to help inspire the thought and practice of Reform Judaism. A Vision of Holiness is an explication of the Pittsburgh Principles’ vision, as seen through the lens of the rabbi who guided the process and shaped the document. ...
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Overview

Where is Reform Judaism heading in the twentyfirst century? This was the question before the Central Conference of American Rabbis as it undertook to write a Statement of Principles, the fourth in a series of comprehensive statements that the Reform rabbinate has adopted throughout its history to help inspire the thought and practice of Reform Judaism. A Vision of Holiness is an explication of the Pittsburgh Principles’ vision, as seen through the lens of the rabbi who guided the process and shaped the document. It is a personal reflection of a communal vision, an attempt to explore the implications of the 1999 document. A Vision of Holiness will change all of its readers, Reform or not, to reflect on the nature of their religious lives and deepen their relationships with God, their absorption in Torah, and their critical commitment to the destiny of the Jewish people and the Jewish state. A Vision of Holiness illumines the manner in which this vibrant group of Jews envisions its purpose in the world and sets forth challenges for Reform Judaism’s ongoing engagement with mitzvot.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Since 1885, when a group of Reform rabbis promulgated the radical Pittsburgh Platform, Reform Judaism has been moving steadily rightward toward traditional Jewish thinking and observance-a trend culminating in the new "statement of principles" the denomination adopted in 1999. This book includes the 1999 document as well as earlier declarations of a Reform creed, enabling the reader to see the remarkable shift in how Reform Jews define themselves. These changes have contributed to Reform Judaism being America's largest Jewish denomination today. Levy, who has served as a rabbi and is currently director of a Reform rabbinical school in California, analyzes and explains each of the principles that were adopted in the 1999 report, which he helped create. He organizes them into three categories of Reform belief and behavior with regard to God, Torah and the Jewish people. The material is clearly presented, and Levy displays a strong historical perspective, such as when he describes the transformation of Reform views from anti-Zionist to Zionist. Complicated theological issues are lucidly explicated, sometimes using helpful homespun illustrations. The book will appeal to Reform Jews but also to others interested in the development of religious creeds and their influence on American society. (Aug. 15) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807409411
  • Publisher: URJ Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/2005
  • Pages: 296
  • Sales rank: 708,272
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface: Shapers of a Vision ix
A Statement of Principles for Reform Judaism: The Pittsburgh Principles (1999) xv
1 Preamble: The Pittsburgh Principles and the Ways of Reform Judaism 1
The Reform Jew in Dialogue with God
2 Voices from the Ash Tree: The Reality of God 17
3 In the Way of God's Presence 34
4 How God Commands and How We Respond 48
5 A Partnership with Chaos 64
6 With God after Death 77
The Reform Jew in Dialogue with Torah
7 Revelation and Relationship 91
8 Hebrew: The Language of Revelation and Relationship 105
9 Called by Torah 115
How Reform Jews Won Their Freedom
When Diet, Dress, and Purity Call Us
10 Torah in the World: Revealing Holiness in Time and Space 138
11 Torah in the World: The Prophets and Tikkun Olam 157
The Reform Jew in Dialogue with the Jewish People
12 Ahavat Yisrael and K'lal Yisrael: How a Universal Movement Fell in Love with a Diverse Jewish People 181
13 Equality and "Full Rights to Practice Judaism": Are They Compatible? 196
14 The Non-Jew in the Synagogue 212
15 Between Israel and Diaspora: Can the Synagogue Shape a Culture? 224
Making the Synagogue Central
A World with Two Centers
16 The Progressive Way in a Strife-Torn World 245
17 A Closing Prayer 257
Appendix 1 Declaration of Principles: The Pittsburgh Platform (1885) 259
Appendix 2 The Guiding Principles of Reform Judaism: The Columbus Platform (1937) 263
Appendix 3 Reform Judaism: A Centenary Perspective (1976) 269
Appendix 4 Reform Judaism and Zionism: A Centenary Platform (1997) 275
Appendix 5 Twelve Questions for Focus Groups on a New "Principles of Reform Judaism" 281
Appendix 6 Ten Principles for Reform Judaism: Third Draft 283
Notes 291
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2005

    Great Book!

    A Vision of Holiness answers the question ¿Where is Reform Judaism heading in the twenty first century?¿ At a time when religion is splashed across the newspapers as a partisan, competitive, exclusivist enterprise, this book explores the alternative of a religious movement engaged in a serious, informed dialogue with God, Torah, and humankind. In the current climate of those who wish to split this country into 'believers' and secularists, A Vision of Holiness speaks of an inclusive, egalitarian faith that seeks to heal the world through deeds of loving-kindness.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2012

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