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

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

by Norman J. Cohen
     
 

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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

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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.

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.
From the Publisher

"The Book of Genesis is about fallible human beings struggling to do the right thing and to respond to the needs of the other in the absence of a formal legal system. It continues to provide guidance in a world in which the legal system still contains significant gaps and in which hineini responses can be very complicated."
Alan M. Dershowitz

"What Abraham learned on the mountain is that God doesn't want us to sacrifice a part of ourselves in order to serve God. God wants us to pay attention, to be present, to bring the fullness of our selves into our relationship with God."
Laura Geller

“The Jewish mystical tradition teaches that in everything there is a Divine spark, and we are in the places we find ourselves not by accident but to redeem the holy sparks present there. Everything invites us into relationship, but we often refuse. Everything calls to us—'Here I am'—but we aren't listening.”
Sandy Eisenberg Sasso

“When Adam heard God’s voice calling him, Ayekkah (Where are you?), he had hidden himself for shame, so he did not answer, 'Hineini.' Who knows what would have been had he stood up and taken responsibility for his actions before God, owning up to his disobedience? By seeking to shift blame, he invited blame on himself and punishment.”
Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781580232746
Publisher:
Jewish Lights Publishing
Publication date:
10/01/2005
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
802,561
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.69(d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Norman J. Cohen is widely recognized as one of the great teachers of his generation. A rabbi, professor emeritus of midrash and former provost of Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, he frequently lectures to Jewish and Christian laypeople and scholars on Bible study and midrash—finding contemporary meaning from ancient biblical texts. Cohen was a participant in Bill Moyers's Genesis: A Living Conversation on PBS. He is author of Self, Struggle & Change: Family Conflict Stories in Genesis and Their Healing Insights for Our Lives; Voices from Genesis: Guiding Us through the Stages of Life; Moses and the Journey to Leadership: Timeless Lessons of Effective Management from the Bible and Today's Leaders; Hineni in Our Lives: Learning How to Respond to Others through 14 Biblical Texts & Personal Stories and The Way Into Torah (all Jewish Lights).

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