Jews and Judaism in 21st Century: Human Responsibility, the Presence of God and the Future of the Covenant

Jews and Judaism in 21st Century: Human Responsibility, the Presence of God and the Future of the Covenant


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What can we do to repair, rewind and reset Jewish time to ensure a thriving existence in the future?

The generation of the late twentieth century experienced a rupture in Jewish time. As a result of our confrontation with Modernity, the integration of Jews into the American mainstream, the shattering tragedy of the Holocaust and the miraculous rebirth of a Jewish State in the Land of Israel, we can no longer look easily to the past for lessons of faith and models of Jewish meaning. No longer do we confidently project ourselves into the future. So much of what was taken for granted in earlier times is now open to question.

In this thought-provoking book, five celebrated leaders in Judaism, representing a broad spectrum of contemporary Jewish experience, reinterpret Jewish life, re-envision its institutions and re-imagine its future in the shadow of the events of the twentieth century.

Reflecting on the unique events of this century, these eminent scholars assert a shared recognition of human responsibility as the quintessence of God's presence in the world. They imagine a new stage in the development of the ancient Covenant, a stage in which human beings take responsibility for shaping the Jewish historical experience. They explore how that new stage will find expression in the rhythms of Jewish personal and communal life—its implications for halachah, prayer, spirituality, the synagogue and our relations with the world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781580233743
Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
Publication date: 10/01/2008
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Rabbi Edward Feinstein is senior rabbi of Valley Beth Shalom in Encino, California. He is an instructor in the Ziegler Rabbinical School of American Jewish University and the Wexner Heritage Program. He is the author of Tough Questions Jews Ask: A Young Adult's Guide to Building a Jewish Life (Jewish Lights) and Capturing the Moon; and the editor of Jews and Judaism in the 21st Century: Human Responsibilities, the Presence of God, and the Future of the Covenant (Jewish Lights). He contributed to May God Remember: Memory and Memorializing in Judaism—Yizkor; Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un'taneh Tokef and We Have Sinned: Sin and Confession in Judaism—Ashamnu and Al Chet (all Jewish Lights).

Paula E. Hyman is the Lucy G. Moses Professor of Modern Jewish History at Yale University.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Paula E. Hyman
About the Harold M. Schulweis Institute

Part I
How Have You Changed? How Have We Changed?
Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis
Globalism and the Jewish Conscience
Rabbi David Ellenson
Building a World in Which God Would be Happy to Live
Rabbi Irving "Yitz" Greenberg
From Destruction to Redemption
Rabbi David Hartman
A Covenant of Love
Rabbi Harold Kushner
Encountering the Living God

Part II
The Covenant, the Community, and the Future
DISCUSSION 1. On the Role of the Synagogue and Rabbi in Tomorrow's Judaism
DISCUSSION 2. On the Legacy of Mordecai Kaplan
DISCUSSION 3. On the New Spirituality
DISCUSSION 4. On the Role of Denominations
DISCUSSION 5. On Orthodox and Non-Orthodox Judaism
DISCUSSION 6. On Speaking to the Non-Jewish Community
DISCUSSION 7. On the Meaning of the Holocaust
DISCUSSION 8. On the Vanishing American Jew
DISCUSSION 9. On the Meaning of Pluralism
DISCUSSION 10. On Covenantal Theology and the Self-Limited God
DISCUSSION 11. On Hope for the Future

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