Breaking the Tablets: Jewish Theology After the Shoah

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Overview

How is it possible, after the Shoah, to declare one's faith in the God of Israel? Breaking the Tablets is David Weiss Halivni's eloquent and insightful response to this question. Halivni, Auschwitz survivor and one of the greatest Talmudic scholars of the past century, declares that at this time of God's near absence, Jews can still observe the words of the Torah and pray for God to come near again. Jews must continue to study the classic texts of rabbinic Judaism but now with greater humility, recognizing that even the greatest religious leaders and thinkers interpret these texts only as mere people, prone to human error. Breaking the Tablets is important reading for anyone who feels burdened by the question of how it is possible to believe in God and practice their religion.

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Editorial Reviews

CCAR Journal: The Reform Jewish Quarterly
Halivni speaks with the authority of scholarly erudition, life experience, and longing for the restoration of both Torah and God's nearness. . . . His passion and authenticity are deeply moving…. Breaking the Tablets is a careful and imaginative tracing in rabbinic literature … it is a significant contribution to post-Shoah theology.
— Laurence Edwards
Jewish Book World
This small volume has been skillfully edited....Halvini [and Ochs] give us much to reflect on and ponder.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742552210
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/29/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 5.58 (w) x 8.46 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

David Weiss Halivni is Professor Emeritus of Classical Jewish Civilization at Columbia University. Halivni survived the concentration camps of Auschwitz, Wolfsberg, and Mathausen—his entire family was murdered in the camps. Most widely known for his scholarly commentary on the Talmud, Halivni has also written a series of more general studies of the classic rabbinic literature that remains the foundation for all contemporary forms of Judaism. Rabbi Halivni was awarded The Israel Prize in Talmud, this year. The Israel Prize, the highest honor in Israel, will be awarded on Israel Independence Day, observed this year on May 8. Peter Ochs is professor of Modern Judaic Studies at the University of Virginia.

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Table of Contents

1 Prologue: Between Sinai and Auschwitz 2 Editor's Introduction 4 Chapter One: Prayer in the Shoah 6 Chapter Two: Restoring Scripture 8 Chapter Three: Breaking the Tablets and Begetting the Oral Law 10 Chapter Four: Between Auschwitz and Sinai

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