Hineini in Our Lives: Learning How to Respond to Others through 14 Biblical Texts & Personal Stories

Overview

One simple, powerful word—hineini—contains the key to deepening your relationship with God and with others.

Hineini (Here I am!). This single spoken word appears only fourteen times in the Bible–each time in a memorable and meaningful story: Abraham offering Isaac as a sacrifice to God, Jacob deceiving his father for Esau’s birthright, Moses answering the call that comes from the Burning Bush.

Scholar and popular teacher Norman Cohen explores ...

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Hineini in Our Lives: Learning How to Respond to Others through 14 Biblical Texts & Personal Stories

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Overview

One simple, powerful word—hineini—contains the key to deepening your relationship with God and with others.

Hineini (Here I am!). This single spoken word appears only fourteen times in the Bible–each time in a memorable and meaningful story: Abraham offering Isaac as a sacrifice to God, Jacob deceiving his father for Esau’s birthright, Moses answering the call that comes from the Burning Bush.

Scholar and popular teacher Norman Cohen explores each of these powerful stories and shows what each can reveal about you as parent, spouse, sibling, lover, and friend. By probing these dynamic biblical relationships, Cohen challenges you to think about the ways you relate to the people in your life and God.

And, to add other fascinating perspectives to the conversation, eleven insightful authors and teachers share personal reflections that exemplify each of the hineini passages.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Hineini: "Here I am." Although this phrase occurs only 14 times in the Hebrew Bible, it occurs at key moments: when Abraham responds to God's call to sacrifice his son Isaac; when Isaac questions Abraham on their trip up the mountain; when Isaac, in his old age, calls to his son Esau; when God commands Israel to go into Egypt; and so forth. Cohen (Hebrew Union Coll.-Jewish Inst. of Religion; The Way into Torah) studies these passages and their implications for us today, particularly in our responding to others, being accessible and "present" to others, and responding to others' fears. The book concludes with some brief but telling personal anecdotes by Rabbis Lawrence Kushner, Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, Laura Geller, Alan Dershowitz, and others that illustrate the power of the Hineini response in their own lives. People of all religions will find both wisdom and practical inspiration here. Highly recommended.-Marcia Welsh, Dartmouth Coll., Hanover, NH Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580232746
  • Publisher: Jewish Lights Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/1/2005
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 1,025,286
  • Product dimensions: 5.82 (w) x 8.64 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Norman J. Cohen renowned for his expertise in Torah study and midrash, lectures frequently to audiences of many faiths. He is a rabbi, former provost of Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, and professor of midrash. He is the author of Self, Struggle & Change: Family Conflict Stories in Genesis and Their Healing Insights for Our Lives; Moses and the Journey to Leadership: Timeless Lessons of Effective Management from the Bible and Today's Leaders (both Jewish Lights); and other books.

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Table of Contents

Preface ix Acknowledgments xiii Introduction: Reading through the Prism of Midrash— Making the Text Our Own xvii PART I: FOURTEEN BIBLICAL TEXTS, FOURTEEN OPPORTUNITIES FOR MEANING 1 1. Recognizing the Other 3 2. Being Accessible to the Other 13 3. Awakening to Relationship 21 4. Response in the Everyday 29 5. Unqualified Openness: The Challenge and the Risk 37 6. Fulfilling Past Promises 45 7. The Significant Ramifications of Our Response to Others 53 8. Responding to the Other's Fears 61 9. The Reticence to Respond 69 10. The Difficulty of Discerning the Call 77 11. Fabricating the Call 85 12. The Ever-Present Other 93 13. The Ultimate Call 101 14. The Ultimate Response 107 PART II: PERSONAL STORIES: MAKING HINEINI COME ALIVE 113 Double Call 117 Rabbi Lester Bronstein Jacob’s Tangled Web 121 Alan Dershowitz Bringing My Whole Self to God 125 Rabbi Laura Geller Parallel Life Journeys 129 Rabbi Neil Gillman Being Accessible to the Other in Our Lives 133 Rabbi Richard Jacobs Hineini: The Calling? 141 Lawrence Kushner The Story of a Calling 145 Peter Ascher Pitzele I Am Not Supposed to Be Here 153 Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso The Challenge of Answering Hineini 157 Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi One Hineini Against Another 163 Rabbi Harold Schulweis Beholding Esau 169 Phyllis Trible PART III: A GUIDE TO CREATING OUR OWN PERSONAL MIDRASH: FINDING YOUR OWN VOICE IN THE TEXT 175 Notes 187

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