Judaism: An Anthology of the Key Spiritual Writings of the Jewish Tradition

Overview

The first edition of this book, published in 1961, was a classic overview of the Jewish religion. Arthur Hertzberg combined a superbly chosen anthology of the great writings of the Jewish tradition with incisive commentary and explanation. In 1991, Rabbi Hertzberg produced the first revised edition of this famous book, in which he addressed such contemporary issues as the rights of women, medical ethics, the Holocaust, Arabs and Jews, and homosexuality. These new discussions were incorporated into the earlier ...

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Overview

The first edition of this book, published in 1961, was a classic overview of the Jewish religion. Arthur Hertzberg combined a superbly chosen anthology of the great writings of the Jewish tradition with incisive commentary and explanation. In 1991, Rabbi Hertzberg produced the first revised edition of this famous book, in which he addressed such contemporary issues as the rights of women, medical ethics, the Holocaust, Arabs and Jews, and homosexuality. These new discussions were incorporated into the earlier writings on the key ideas of Judaism: the chosen people, the Law, God, the Holy Land, the cycle of the year, prayer, immortality, sin and atonement, the nature of man, and the purpose of creation.

In his interpretations of the contemporary controversies, Arthur Hertzberg provided moving testimony to the integrity of the Jewish spirit through the ages. Many of the discussions of the first edition were rewritten to take into account the various forms of Judaism in the last two centuries, whether Orthodox, Conservative, or Reform. This revised edition, an integrated whole, provides a readable, contemporary, and authoritative overview of the nature of the Jewish religion.

"The demands of justice and the fear of sin," wrote Rabbi Hertzberg, "have been debated in the last three decades by men and women who care passionately about the issues of our time." This book is the result of a lifetime of study and reflection by one of the most distinguished authorities on Judaism.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A unique blend of ancient and modern scholarly commentaries....interesting and thought-provoking." — Library Journal
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416561378
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 7/8/2008
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 996,000
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg was the author of a dozen books on the Jewish faith, including The French Enlightenment and the Jews, as well as a contributor to The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, and The New York Times Book Review. At the time of his death in 2006, he was professor emeritus at Dartmouth College and the Bronfman Professor of Humanities at New York University.

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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     11
Preface to the Revised Edition     13
Introduction     21
People     29
The Fact of the Covenant     29
The Nature of the Covenant     30
The Nature of the Covenant People     35
The Burden of the Covenant     38
The Covenant with All     39
Jewish Identity in the Modern Age     43
Modern Thinking about the Covenant     55
God     63
God Is     63
God Is One     74
God Is Moral     76
Mortals Must Love and Serve God     80
Torah: Teaching and Commandment     85
Rationale for Commandment     85
The Torah as Wisdom     89
Challenges to Faith in Torah     92
Circumcision     99
Bar Mitzvah, Confirmation, and Bat Mitzvah     100
Marriage     107
Gender     115
Homosexuality     131
Parents and Children     138
Kashruth (Dietary Laws)     141
Vegetarianism     144
Charity     145
Health, Healing, and Human Dignity     150
Love Your Neighbor     167
The Cycle of the Year     170
The Sabbath     170
The Festivals     178
Passover     180
Shabuot     184
Sukkot     186
Rosh Hashanah     190
Yom Kippur     194
New Observances     200
Land     203
The Holiness of the Land     203
Galut (Exile)     208
Tension Between Galut and Return     217
The Return     221
All the Land?     228
Doctrine     235
Human Dignity and Potential     236
Human Responsibility     240
Rules of Conduct     242
Sin and Repentance     251
Suffering     255
The Holocaust     262
Death and the World to Come     271
The Messiah     279
Modern Doctrines and Denominations     286
Prayer     294
God Hears Prayer     294
Searching for God     296
Prayer as Commandment     304
The Synagogue     310
Statutory Prayer     315
Private Prayer     318
Sources      321
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