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In this thoughtful, articulate, and well-reasoned treatise, Alpert (religion & women's studies, Temple Univ.), one of the first women to be ordained as a reconstructionist rabbi, argues for the value of progressive and liberal Judaism reclaiming itself as a religion rooted in the pursuit of justice. Tackling complex and controversial moral and political issues such as homosexuality, abortion, race relations, the peace movement, and the need to deal more effectively with issues of poverty and the state of the environment, Alpert invokes "a loving and compassionate God who wants justice for the Jewish people and the world," using the book of Deuteronomy's notion of the phrase tzedek, tzedek, tirdof as an alembic through which to evaluate the concept of true justice and compassion. Never strident and always attempting to acknowledge the more conservative and traditional positions of historical and religious Jewish thought and teachings, Alpert expresses a much-needed balanced perspective on complex and important issues facing Jews and others. She is able to write both for an audience familiar with traditional biblical texts and for those less familiar with established Jewish religion and traditions. Recommended for synagogue libraries and Judaic study collections.
—Herbert E. Shapiro