I Am Jewish: Personal Reflections Inspired by the Last Words of Daniel Pearl

I Am Jewish: Personal Reflections Inspired by the Last Words of Daniel Pearl

by Ruth Pearl
     
 

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When Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was brutally murdered in Pakistan, many Jews were particularly touched by his last words affirming his Jewish identity. Many were moved to reflect on or analyze their feelings toward their lives as Jews. The saying "two Jews, three opinions" well reflects the Jewish community's broad range of views on any topic. I Am… See more details below

Overview

When Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was brutally murdered in Pakistan, many Jews were particularly touched by his last words affirming his Jewish identity. Many were moved to reflect on or analyze their feelings toward their lives as Jews. The saying "two Jews, three opinions" well reflects the Jewish community's broad range of views on any topic. I Am Jewish captures this richness of interpretation and inspires Jewish people of all backgrounds to reflect upon and take pride in their identity. Contributions, ranging from major essays to a paragraph or a sentence, come from adults as well as young people in the form of personal feelings, statements of theology, life stories, and historical reflections. Despite the diversity, common denominators shine through clearly and distinctly.

This inspiring collection presents answers from Jewish people around the world -- artists, entertainers, government leaders, authors, media personalities, scientists, community organizers, scholars, rabbis, and others -- covering the religious, professional, and political spectrum. In this critical time in our history, I Am Jewish will motivate people throughout the Jewish community to think about their lives as Jews, and have a profound effect on the way younger Jews shape their identity in years to come. It will help people of all faiths and backgrounds to better understand Jewish people and Judaism.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In February 2002, Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was brutally murdered by terrorists in Karachi, Pakistan. Just before he died, he said, "My father is Jewish, my mother is Jewish, I am Jewish." His parents decided to honor his memory by asking several hundred Jews to record their reactions to his words-statements that form the core of this book. Most of the 146 contributors are well-known authors, educators, rabbis, reporters, entertainers and political figures, including Joseph Lieberman, Michael Medved, Dennis Prager, Elie Wiesel, Dianne Feinstein, Kerri Strug, Richard Dreyfuss and Wendy Wasserstein. The length of their statements varies from a sentence or two to essays that cover several pages. Their thoughts are organized around the five basic themes of identity; heritage; covenant, chosenness and faith; humanity; and tikkun ha'olam (repairing the world). The respondents provide anecdotes, theological formulations, personal reactions, biblical references and historical reflections, ranging widely from the superficial to the profound. Among the few Israeli contributors is Avrum Burg, an outspoken critic of the Sharon government and its policies. He argues eloquently that being a Jew places on him a special obligation to work for peace. Others place different constructions on what it means to be Jewish. Lack of consensus highlights the extreme variations in Jewish views, indicating that one value of this collection is its demonstration that a healthy diversity of opinion continues to characterize the Jewish community. (Feb.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Inspired by the last words of murdered journalist Daniel Pearl, the contributors to this volume muse on the phrase "I am Jewish" and seek to answer the question of what it means to be a Jew for themselves. The short responses come from well-known public figures (e.g., Sen. Joseph Lieberman, Elie Wiesel), academics (Ruth Wisse, Lawrence Summers, Leon Botstein), artists and writers (Cynthia Ozick, Wendy Wasserstein, Thomas Friedman, Amos Oz), and media personalities and entertainers (Larry King, Mike Wallace, Jackie Mason, Richard Dreyfus). Also included are responses from less well-known Jews and average citizens. Grouped into categories such as "Identity," "Heritage," "Covenant," and "Tikkun Ha Olam" (Repairing the World), the responses take a wide range of approaches. Some are based on a family memoir or anecdote, while others are more philosophical, theological, or political. The eclectic nature of the contributors makes for a varied level of sophistication, thoughtfulness, and comprehensiveness-but maybe that's the point. Collectively, this volume demonstrates the varied nature of Jewish identity in the world today, which will be of interest for large contemporary Judaica collections.-Herbert E. Shapiro, Empire State Coll. of SUNY, Rochester Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher

"Should be mandatory reading in all Jewish schools in the United States and Israel."
Yuval Rotem, Consul General of Israel

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781580232593
Publisher:
Jewish Lights Publishing
Publication date:
02/01/2005
Pages:
301
Sales rank:
314,867
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.95(d)

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