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Seek My Face, Speak My Name: A Contemporary Jewish Theology

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Seek My Face, Speak My Name: A Contemporary Jewish Theology is a presentation, in highly spiritual and poetic terms, of the basic faith claims of Judaism by one of the most influential Jewish thinkers of our time. Rabbi Arthur Green, president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, is a well-known student of Jewish mysticism. This work, much influenced by the mystical traditions of Judaism, and especially Chasidism, is at the same time thoroughly contemporary in its outlook and its willingness to confront ...
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Overview

Seek My Face, Speak My Name: A Contemporary Jewish Theology is a presentation, in highly spiritual and poetic terms, of the basic faith claims of Judaism by one of the most influential Jewish thinkers of our time. Rabbi Arthur Green, president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, is a well-known student of Jewish mysticism. This work, much influenced by the mystical traditions of Judaism, and especially Chasidism, is at the same time thoroughly contemporary in its outlook and its willingness to confront modern reality. The four sections of this book are built around the four-letter Hebrew name of the Divine, Yod, Heh, Vav, and Heh. The first section, Yod, deals with God. Yod represents reality at its starting point, as God represents the oneness of the universe before it unfolds into being. Rabbi Green speaks of the holy name and images of the divine/human face as two central symbols of Jewish spirituality. This section explores the two aspects of the divine self, the unchanging one and the ever-changing core of being that underlies reality. The second section, corresponding to the letter Heh, discusses Creation, or the birth of the world out of the oneness that is God. Here the author makes special use of the Jewish mystical idea of Emanation, as he seeks to redefine the relationship between God and the world. The author also turns from the realm of theology to that of practice, asking what the demands of a renewed faith in God as Creator would make upon contemporary Jews. The third section, corresponding to Vav, discusses Revelation as the central faith claim of Judaism. Religion is conceived by Rabbi Green as the result of a meeting between God and the individual mind and self of the prophet. Torah is seen as Divinity expressed in language. The final section, the second Heh of the divine name, represents the return to God. Here the author follows those Jewish mystical traditions that see all of reality engaged in the process of return to its Source.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780876685921
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/1/1994
  • Pages: 296

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
God and the Ways of Being 3
The Secret of the Sh'ma 5
God Above, God Within 11
The Two and the One 14
God as Y-H-W-H: "Is-Was-Will Be Is One!" 18
Speak My Name 21
Seeking God: Look First to Love 25
In God's Own Image: Seek My Face 28
Face to Face 36
Male and Female: An Excursus 38
One and Two 43
Creation 49
One God, Two Ways 51
Creation and the Jewish Question 53
Creation and the Struggle for Faith 56
What Comes "First"? 58
Two Tales 61
The One and the Many 63
Who Is at the Center? 67
Evolution: An Ongoing Process 71
From Aggadah to Halakhah 75
The First Mitsvah: Be Aware 78
In God's Image 79
Celebrating Creation: The Mitsvah of Shabbat 82
"To Work It and Guard It": Preserving God's World 84
Vegetarianism: A Kashrut for Our Age 87
Human Love and Human Pain 90
The Human Being: Bearer of Divine Compassion 93
Revelation 99
Y-H-W-H and Language 101
Before the Mountain 103
Human Understanding and Divine Speech 107
The Inner Mountain 111
Torah as the Name of God 115
Revelation and the Inward Journey 118
The Role of Covenant: A Reinterpretation 120
Revelation and Torah 124
Revelation, Will, and Law 127
The Personal Path: Accepting the Yoke 132
Sinai and Language 135
Sinai and Study 137
Sinai and Community 140
The Three Festivals: Sinai and the Sacred Cycle 142
The Word in Our Day 147
Redemption 151
The Light of the First Day 154
Crying Out for the Light 156
Redemption as Coming Home 159
The Bible: A Tale of Exile 163
Homecoming and Teshuvah 169
Teshuvah and the Sacred Year 171
The Redemptive Task: Getting to Work 175
Rebalancing the Three Pillars 179
Redemption and the Messianic Dream 181
Messiah: Actor or Herald? 184
Seeking Out Our Sparks of Light 188
Endnotes 191
Glossary 249
Index 255
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