Kashrut, Tefillin, Tzitzit: The Purpose of Symbolic Mitzvot Inspired by the Commentaries of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch

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Although many contemporary committed Jews practice these rituals, many admit that there is little understanding, relevance, or meaning experienced in their observance because of the enigmatic, symbolic nature of these mitzvot. Kashrut, Tefillin, Tzitzit: Studies in the Purpose and Meaning of Symbolic Mitzvot Inspired by the Commentaries of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch presents a clear, logical, literary, and spiritual analysis of these symbolic commandments. Inspired by the analytic method of Rabbi Samson Raphael ...

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Overview

Although many contemporary committed Jews practice these rituals, many admit that there is little understanding, relevance, or meaning experienced in their observance because of the enigmatic, symbolic nature of these mitzvot. Kashrut, Tefillin, Tzitzit: Studies in the Purpose and Meaning of Symbolic Mitzvot Inspired by the Commentaries of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch presents a clear, logical, literary, and spiritual analysis of these symbolic commandments. Inspired by the analytic method of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, this volume introduces the reader to each of the three mitzvot through a discussion of its purpose and meaning in Jewish tradition. Presented with the source texts in an English translation, the reader is then guided by a series of questions that arise from the texts. Next, the reader is taken through central ideas and concepts that provide the key to understanding the symbolic nature of the mitzvah, leading to the resolution of the questions. Kashrut, Tefillin, Tzitzit offers the reader a chance to discover the meaning of the symbolic dynamics of each of these mitzvot as they were intended. Through the experience of fascinating text-learning, the reader will gain a fresh appreciation of the purpose, meaning, and contemporary relevance inherent in the practices of kashrut, tefillin, and tzitzit.

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Editorial Reviews

Rabbi Saul J. Berman
The Jewish quest for spiritual meaning and intellectual depth is furthered many steps by this exciting study of three diving commandments. This book can help defeat the emotional vacuum which results from rote performance of religious ritual. It points to the richness of belief, values, and commitments which lie embedded in Jewish symbolic arts and objects.
Elliott Bondi
One of the fundamental principles of Judaism is the eternal relevance to life of Torah and the practical observance of mitzvot. Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch endeavored through his commentaries and teachings to demonstrate this relevance to modern man. In his work on three of the main mitzvot, Dr. Stephen Bailey presents the reader of our age with an inspirational, thought-provoking work which enhances their fulfillment and understanding. It will prove useful to both scholars and students—and is a contribution to the task of remaining true to Torah in the face of the challenge of changing times.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765761064
  • Publisher: Aronson, Jason Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/28/2000
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 6.46 (w) x 9.28 (h) x 0.89 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen Bailey is a developmental and clinical psychologist as well as a Jewish educator. He is an alumnus of Yeshiva University and received his graduate degrees from Rutgers University.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments 1
I The Purpose and Meaning of Kashrut
1 Texts and Questions 11
2 Classical Theories of Kashrut 29
3 Context: Human "Being," Purity, and Holiness 35
4 Symbolic Model: Transcendence of the Biological 59
II The Purpose and Meaning of Tefillin
5 Texts and Questions 89
6 Context: Duty and Motivation 101
7 Symbolic Model: Obligations and Responsibilities 115
III The Purpose and Meaning of Tzitzit
8 Texts and Questions 141
9 Context: Subjective Morality versus Objective Morality 149
10 Symbolic Model: Choosing to Sanctify the Mundane 161
Epilogue 177
References 181
Index 183
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