Wrestling With God And Men

Wrestling With God And Men

5.0 1
by Steven Greenberg
     
 

ISBN-10: 0299190943

ISBN-13: 9780299190941

Pub. Date: 05/01/2009

Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press

For millennia, two biblical verses have been understood to condemn sex between men as an act so abhorrent that it is punishable by death. Traditionally Orthodox Jews, believing the scripture to be the word of God, have rejected homosexuality in accordance with this interpretation. In 1999, Rabbi Steven Greenberg challenged this tradition when he became the first

Overview

For millennia, two biblical verses have been understood to condemn sex between men as an act so abhorrent that it is punishable by death. Traditionally Orthodox Jews, believing the scripture to be the word of God, have rejected homosexuality in accordance with this interpretation. In 1999, Rabbi Steven Greenberg challenged this tradition when he became the first Orthodox rabbi ever to openly declare his homosexuality.

Wrestling with God and Men is the product of Rabbi Greenberg's ten-year struggle to reconcile his two warring identities. In this compelling and groundbreaking work, Greenberg challenges long held assumptions of scriptural interpretation and religious identity as he marks a path that is both responsible to human realities and deeply committed to God and Torah. Employing traditional rabbinic resources, Greenberg presents readers with surprising biblical interpretations of the creation story, the love of David and Jonathan, the destruction of Sodom, and the condemning verses of Leviticus. But Greenberg goes beyond the question of whether homosexuality is biblically acceptable to ask how such relationships can be sacred. In so doing, he draws on a wide array of nonscriptural texts to introduce readers to occasions of same-sex love in Talmudic narratives, medieval Jewish poetry and prose, and traditional Jewish case law literature. Ultimately, Greenberg argues that Orthodox communities must open up debate, dialogue, and discussion-precisely the foundation upon which Jewish law rests-to truly deal with the issue of homosexual love.

This book will appeal not only to members of the Orthodox faith but to all religious people struggling to resolve their belief in the scriptures with a desire to make their communities more open and accepting to gay and lesbian members.

2005 Finalist for the Lambda Literary Awards, for Religion/Spirituality

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780299190941
Publisher:
University of Wisconsin Press
Publication date:
05/01/2009
Edition description:
Updated
Pages:
332
Sales rank:
1,248,618
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.74(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsvii
Author's Notexi
Introduction3
Sacred Texts
1The Birth of Gender and Desire41
2The Sons of God, Ham, and the Sodomites60
3Leviticus74
4Lesbian Omissions86
Evidence
5Princely Love99
6Rabbinic Heroes106
7The Queer Middle Ages113
8The Legal Literature124
9Rav Moshe and the Problem of Why135
Rationales
10The Rationale of Reproduction147
11The Rationale of Social Disruption166
12The Rationale of Category Confusion175
13The Rationale of Humiliation and Violence192
Conversations
14Admitting Difference217
15Welcoming Synagogues262
Notes267
Bibliography299
Index303

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Wrestling With God And Men 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
theolosopher More than 1 year ago
Rabbi Greenberg takes the challenge straight on which I thought was impossible: harmonizing Orthodox Judaism (a religion which I stereotyped as being stridently rigid) with the issue of homosexuality. While reading the book you are, of course, aware that you are reading a scholarly work, and it should be read in such a light. At the same time, however, you can hear the author's voice telling his own personal story along the way. No sentence is purely academic; the entire work is emotionally charged. Let not the observation of its being emotionally charged deceive you, however. Greenberg's presentation is theological, and his anecdotes are parts of arguments. The book functions well as an intellectual endeavor, but it functions equally well as a beacon of hope, not only for people of the Abrahamic faiths, but also for the Gay Orthodox community for whom these issues are not just academic, but are a part of their existence.