Jewish Identities: Fifty Intellectuals Answer Ben-Gurion

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Who and what is a Jew? Is there any common denominator between an ultra-Orthodox rabbi of an Israeli North African community and a Berkeley academic of the Movement for a Secular and Humanistic Judaism? Do Jews the world over convergre and emphasize their unity or do they share contrasting concepts of collective identity? Part I of this book presents a systematic discussion of Jewish identities in this era of (post)modernity. The opportunity is offered by a set of invaluable texts, which appear in Part II. These texts about Jewish identity were invited, in 1958, by Ben-Gurion from 50 intellectuals - rabbis, writers, scientists and lawyers -, from the Diaspora and Israel, representative of the principal streams of contemporary Jewish thought.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Eliezer Ben-Rafael, Ph.D. (1974) in Sociology, University of Jerusalem, is Weinberg Professor of Sociology and the President of the International Institute of Sociology. He has published extensively on ethnicity and language, and is the author of Identity, Culture and Globalization (Brill, 2001-2002).
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Table of Contents

Pt. 1 What is a Jew?
Introduction 3
Entering the Modern Era 9
Ben-Gurion's Correspondents 31
Israeli-Jewish Identities 56
Jewish Identities in the Diaspora - the Case of America 82
Divergence and Convergence of Jewish Identities 99
Pt. 2 Who is a Jew?
Preamble 117
Historical Introduction 119
Ben-Gurion's Query 144
The Letters of the Sages
1 Shmuel Yossef Agnon 151
2 Alexander Altmann 153
3 Henry Baruk 158
4 Shmuel Hugo Bergmann 166
5 Isaiah Berlin 168
6 Yehuda Bourla 177
7 Haim Hermann Cohn 180
8 Louis Eliezer Halevi Finkelstein 194
9 Felix Frankfurter 197
10 Solomon B. Freehof 199
11 Shlomo Goren 204
12 Aryeh Leib Grossnass, Meir Lew, Abraham Rappoport, Meir Halevy Steinberg and Morris Swift 220
13 Zecharya Hacohen 223
14 Shalom Yitzhak Halevi 230
15 Hayim Hazaz 236
16 Yitzhak Isaac Halevi Herzog 238
17 Abraham Joshua Heschel 240
18 Joseph Shlomo Kahaneman 243
19 Yossef Kappah 247
20 Jacob Kaplan 254
21 Mordecai Menahem Kaplan 257
22 Yekhezkel Kaufmann 261
23 Aaron Kotler 268
24 Dante Lattes 272
25 Saul Lieberman 274
26 Yehuda Leib Hakohen Maimon 278
27 Moshe Maisels 280
28 Andre Neher 285
29 Salomon Rodrigues Pereira 289
30 Chaim Perelman 290
31 Simon H. Rifkind 293
32 Yecheskiel Sarne 294
33 Joseph Schecter 296
34 Menachem Mendel Schneerson 298
35 Sh. (Shalom Joseph Shapira) Shalom 300
36 Moshe Silberg 303
37 Akiva Ernst Simon 308
38 Leon (Arye) Simon 316
39 Joseph Dov Soloveitchik and Chaim Heller 321
40 Alfredo Shabtai Toaff 323
41 Elio Raffaelo Toaff 327
42 Ephraim A. Urbach 329
43 Yekhiel Weinberg 333
44 Tsevi (Harry A.) Wolfson 347
45 Aaron Zeitlin 351
46 Shlomo Y. Zevin 355
Glossary of Hebrew Words 359
References 364
Index 381
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