Challenges you to go beneath the brief, shocking story and ask: who is the tester, who is the tested and what motivates the test?
Among stories so terrible they rend our hearts, so profound they touch the depths of our souls and so exalted they reach to heaven, none is more poignant than the Bible story of Abraham's sacrifice of his son, Isaac. A story revered by Jews, Christians and Muslims, and turned over and over by great secular thinkers searching for meaning, this gripping tale shocks us into complete attention, then takes usin nineteen short verseson a roller coaster ride of emotion, challenge and hope.
Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, known widely for making the Hebrew Bible relevant to our lives, draws on generations of Jewish sages, philosophers and scholars to explore this ancient story, known as the binding of Isaac or the test of Abraham. He invites us to use this powerful tale as a tool for our own soul wrestling, to transcend its words to confront our own existential sacrifices and our ability to faceand surmountlife's tests. By applying this tale’s lessons to everyday events, Artson compels us to pay closer attention to our lives and, through our priorities, responsibilities, mindfulness and faith, ask ourselves if we are passing our own tests.
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|Publisher:||Turner Publishing Company|
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About the Author
Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, DHL, (www.bradartson.com) an inspiring speaker and educator, holds the Abner and Roslyn Goldstine Dean's Chair of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies and is vice president of American Jewish University in Los Angeles. He is a member of the philosophy department, supervises the Miller Introduction to Judaism Program and mentors Camp Ramah in California. He is also dean of Zacharias Frankel College in Potsdam, Germany, ordaining rabbis for the European Union. A regular columnist for the Huffington Post, he is author of many articles and books, including Renewing the Process of Creation: A Jewish Integration of Science and Spirit; God of Becoming and Relationship: The Dynamic Nature of Process Theology and Passing Life’s Tests: Spiritual Reflections on the Trial of Abraham, the Binding of Isaac (all Jewish Lights).
Table of Contents
Preface: Why Read This Book? ix
Introduction: Seeing Ourselves in the Biblical Mirror xiii
Part 1 Exploring the Depths
Translation and Commentary of Genesis 22 1
Part 2 Deepening Our Encounters
Reflections on Life's Tests in Genesis 22
Mortality: What You Learn When You're Under the Knife 41
Paradox: The Enduring Covenant 47
Priorities: Balancing Spontaneity and Foresight 53
Solidarity: Of Love and Loyalties 61
Faith, Fear, and Faithfulness: Can Faith Save? 69
People above Principles: And God Tested Sarah 79
Walking the Walk: Tested by Our Deeds 85
Integrity: Hearing the Voice of God 93
Resilience: We Can Learn from Our Trials 97
Responsibility: What We Sacrifice for Our Parents 103
Joy: Is It Okay to Love Life? 111
Mindfulness: Of Children and the Spiritual Life 121
Suffering: A New Jewish Response 127
Conclusion: Belief-Know Before Whom You Stand 131