This translation is based on Gra version of the Sefer Yetzirah and includes the author's extraordinary commentary on all its mystical aspects including kabbalistic astrology, Ezekiel's vision and the 231 gates. Also included are three alternative versions to make this volume the most complete work on the Sefer Yetzirah available in English.
While imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp, Simon Wiesenthal was taken one day from his work detail to the bedside of a dying member of the SS. Haunted by the crimes in which he had participated, the soldier wanted to confess to--and obtain absolution from--a Jew. Faced with the choice between compassion and justice, silence and truth, Wiesenthal said nothing. But even years after the way had ended, he wondered: Had he done the right thing? What would you have done in his place?
In this important book, fifty-three distinguished men and women respond to Wiesenthal's questions. They are theologians, political leaders, writers, jurists, psychiatrists, human rights activists, Holocaust survivors, and victims of attempted genocides in Bosnia, Cambodia, China and Tibet. Their responses, as varied as their experiences of the world, remind us that Wiesenthal's questions are not limited to events of the past.
The Kabbalistic classic, Sefer Yetzirah (Book of Formation), teaches that creative consciousness exists in three states (space, time, and soul), which are reflected in the form, name, and numerical value of each letter. Rabbi Yisrael Ba al Shem Tov (founder of the Chassidic movement) taught that each letter also exists in each of the three dimensions of Worlds, Souls, and Divinity.
Through Rabbi Ginsburgh s treatment, based on these teachings, the alef-beit emerges from this work as the key to opening up the entire panorama of Jewish spirituality.
The history of Jews in the United States is one of racial change that provides useful insights on race in America. Prevailing classifications have sometimes assigned Jews to the white race and at other times have created an off-white racial designation for them. Those changes in racial assignment have shaped the ways American Jews of different eras have constructed their ethnoracial identities. Brodkin illustrates these changes through an analysis of her own family's multi-generational experience. She shows how Jews experience a kind of double vision that comes from racial middleness: on the one hand, marginality with regard to whiteness; on the other, whiteness and belonging with regard to blackness.
Class and gender are key elements of race-making in American history. Brodkin suggests that this country's racial assignment of individuals and groupsconstitutes an institutionalized system of occupational and residential segregation, is a key element in misguided public policy, and serves as a pernicious foundational principle in the construction of nationhood. Alternatives available to non-white and alien "others" have been either to whiten or to be consigned to an inferior underclass unworthy of full citizenship. The American ethnoracial map-who is assigned to each of these poles-is continually changing, although the binary of black and white is not. As a result, the structure within which Americans form their ethnoracial, gender, and class identities is distressingly stable. Brodkin questions the means by which Americans construct their political identities and what is required to weaken the hold of this governing myth.
For the first time, religious self-identification is on the decline in American. Some analysts have cited as cause a post-9/11perception: that faith in general is a source of aggression, intolerance, and divisiveness—something bad for society. But how accurate is that view? With deep learning and sympathetic understanding, Karen Armstrong sets out to discover the truth about religion and violence in each of the world’s great traditions, taking us on an astonishing journey from prehistoric times to the present.
While many historians have looked at violence in connection with particular religious manifestations (jihad in Islam or Christianity’s Crusades), Armstrong looks at each faith—not only Christianity and Islam, but also Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Daoism, and Judaism—in its totality over time. As she describes, each arose in an agrarian society with plenty powerful landowners brutalizing peasants while also warring among themselves over land, then the only real source of wealth. In this world, religion was not the discrete and personal matter it would become for us but rather something that permeated all aspects of society. And so it was that agrarian aggression, and the warrior ethos it begot, became bound up with observances of the sacred.
In each tradition, however, a counterbalance to the warrior code also developed. Around sages, prophets, and mystics there grew up communities protesting the injustice and bloodshed endemic to agrarian society, the violence to which religion had become heir. And so by the time the great confessional faiths came of age, all understood themselves as ultimately devoted to peace, equality, and reconciliation, whatever the acts of violence perpetrated in their name.
Industrialization and modernity have ushered in an epoch of spectacular and unexampled violence, although, as Armstrong explains, relatively little of it can be ascribed directly to religion. Nevertheless, she shows us how and in what measure religions, in their relative maturity, came to absorb modern belligerence—and what hope there might be for peace among believers of different creeds in our time.
At a moment of rising geopolitical chaos, the imperative of mutual understanding between nations and faith communities has never been more urgent, the dangers of action based on misunderstanding never greater. Informed by Armstrong’s sweeping erudition and personal commitment to the promotion of compassion, Fields of Blood makes vividly clear that religion is not the problem.
People of all faiths and backgrounds are drawn to the inspiration, knowledge, and spiritual insight that Kabbalah offers. But too often writings on Jewish mysticism are impenetrable for the novice, overly simplified for the advanced student, or misrepresent and sensationalize Kabbalistic practice. The Kabbalah Handbook is the first comprehensive single-volume Kabbalah reference guide that is indispensable for Kabbalah students of every level. The Kabbalah Handbook features: - more than five hundred key terms and concepts in straightforward, easy-to-read definitions and thorough, well-researched discussions;
- Hebrew, English, and Hebrew transliteration for each item;
- the language of origin for each term;
- a discussion of all sides of differing opinions within Kabbalistic philosophy;
- pronunciation guides;
- nondiscriminatory, gender-neutral language;
- important historical information;
- extensive cross-referencing that enables readers to find all terms, whether they are looking up a word in English or transliterated Hebrew;
- twenty-eight original and innovative illustrations;
- thirty-two tables and charts that organize and break down unwieldy material into manageable items; and
- appendices covering topics such as the 613 Mitzvot (biblical commandments), the lunar calendar, and the sacred names of God.
The most authoritative guide on cantillation.
Joshua Jacobson?s masterpiece?the comprehensive 1000-page guide to cantillation?is now available in this e-book edition. It is an ideal instructional guide for adult and young-adult students of Torah, for b?nai mitzvah students, and for cantors, rabbis, and Jewish educators of all denominations.
Like the original edition, it includes an explanation of the tradition and a description of the practice of chanting, with all its regional variations and grammatical rules. There is detailed instruction, with musical notation, on chanting of Torah, and shorter instructions for chanting the haftarah, the megillot, and readings for the High Holy Days.
Joshua Jacobson, professor of music and conductor of the acclaimed Boston-based Zamir Chorale, has been Torah chanting since he was 10 years old. That life-long experience, combined with an unquenchable desire to reconnect the art of cantillation with the most convincing and accurate treatment of the ancient text possible, led him to create this indispensable teaching tool. Using Jacobson?s highly acclaimed approach, the ancient words come alive in a new, deeply emotional and most accurate way.
Jews-to-be often find the steps to Judaism foreign, complex, and mysterious. From learning an ancient language, to entering the mikvah (ritual bath), to choosing a Hebrew name, to circumcision, to appearing before a bet din (Jewish court), becoming a Jew is anything but quick and easy. In this engaging and accessible guide, Reuben and Hanin offer practical wisdom for every step of conversion, including:
telling family and friends selecting a denominationchoosing a rabbiunderstanding Jewish ritualscelebrating Jewish holidaysputting aside childhood holidayskeeping ties to the pastadvice on weddings, raising kids, and more
Throughout, the authors focus on developing a healthy spiritual life, while helping readers understand what it means to be Jewish, absorb Jewish teachings, and live a Jewish life.
This amazing journey through Tibetan Buddhism and Judaism leads Kamenetz to a renewed appreciation of his living Jewish roots.
Written in a compelling, accessible style, this book answers the most common questions about Jewish people and culture, drawn from the steady stream of queries Michael L. Brown's ministry receives every month.
As a Messianic believer, Brown provides clear answers to questions like "Are there Jewish denominations?" and "Do the Jewish people expect a literal Messiah?" The book also addresses Christians' questions about their own relationship to the Old Testament law, such as "Should Christians observe the Sabbath on Saturday?" and "Are Gentile Christians spiritual Jews?"
Rediscovering the Beauty of Sabbath Rest
Our bodies and souls were created to rest—regularly—and when they do, we experience heightened productivity, improved health, and more meaningful relationships.
In these pages you’ll find wonderful stories of the senator’s spiritual journey, as well as special Sabbath experiences with political colleagues such as Bill Clinton, Al and Tipper Gore, John McCain, Colin Powell, George W. Bush, Bob Dole, and others. Senator Joe Lieberman shows how his observance of the Sabbath has not only enriched his personal and spiritual life but enhanced his career and enabled him to serve his country to his greatest capacity.
By learning to understand the Sefirot--the ten spiritual properties that flow from the cosmic source into our heart--we can connect to the universe and profoundly transform our experience of daily life. For example, Hessed, or "loving-kindness," represents the desire to be generous, while Gevurah is the desire to focus intently or withhold. These properties must be balanced in order for harmony and well-being to occur. Rabbi Laibl Wolf shows how to maintain that balance and enjoy a healthy and productive life by using simple meditation and creative visualization techniques to grasp the spiritual nature of our life.
Practical Kabbalah draws upon ancient wisdom but offers a modern interpretation and easy-to-understand techniques for delving deeper into our selves and our world and for reaping the bounteous gifts that were always meant for us.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
In a difficult, uncertain time, it takes a person of great courage, such as the Dalai Lama, to give us hope. Regardless of the violence and cynicism we see on television and read about in the news, there is an argument to be made for basic human goodness. The number of people who spend their lives engaged in violence and dishonesty is tiny compared to the vast majority who would wish others only well. According to the Dalai Lama, our survival has depended and will continue to depend on our basic goodness. Ethics for the New Millennium presents a moral system based on universal rather than religious principles. Its ultimate goal is happiness for every individual, irrespective of religious beliefs. Though he himself a practicing Buddhist, the Dalai Lama's teachings and the moral compass that guides him can lead each and every one of us—Muslim, Christian, Jew, Buddhist, or atheist—to a happier, more fulfilling life.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
McCarthy and Lysaught have crafted a distinctively unified collection. Gathered for the Journeyrepresents a common project among Catholic scholars who are struggling with similar questions about living faithfully.
Frederick Christian Bauerschmidt
William T. Cavanaugh
David M. Cloutier
James M. Donohue
Jeanne Heffernan Schindler
Kelly S. Johnson
M. Therese Lysaught
William C. Mattison III
David M. McCarthy
Michael R. Miller
Julie Hanlon Rubio
Saying "I do" is one of the happiest moments in a couple's life together--but planning that trip to the altar can be a stressful ordeal. The minute an engagement is announced two full clans want to celebrate the union their way! When one of those families is Jewish (50 percent of whom now marry outside their faith) and the other is Christian, the religious details can increase the pressure on the bride- and groom-to-be. Celebrating Interfaith Marriages provides all of the expert advice on how to combine elements of the two faiths so everyone can rejoice with the bride and groom on their wedding day.
Devon Lerner draws from her twenty years of officiating interfaith weddings as she discusses the significance of vows and traditions unique to both faiths and suggests how to incorporate them into a service that is balanced and beautiful. She provides Christian and Jewish services readers can mix and match, as well as custom-bled ceremonies contributed by couples who have worked with her over the years. There's a chapter on how to avoid crashes on issues like location, when the ceremony takes place, and whether the bride and groom should see each other before meeting at the altar. A full section of readings, both biblical and secular, are here too, as well as anecdotes that will reassure and amuse. No interfaith couple will want to be without this essential handbook when they plan their special day.
While agreeing with the claim that to remember a wrongdoing is to struggle against it, Volf notes that there are too many ways to remember wrongly, perpetuating the evil committed rather than guarding against it. In this way, the just sword of memory often severs the very good it seeks to defend. He argues that remembering rightly has implications not only for the individual but also for the wrongdoer and for the larger community.
Volfs personal stories of persecution offer a compelling backdrop for his search for theological resources to make memories a wellspring of healing rather than a source of deepening pain and animosity. Controversial, thoughtful, and incisively reasoned, "The End of Memory" begins a conversation hard to ignore.
The first trait to seek in a spouse (Day 17)
When, if ever, lying is permitted (Days 71-73)
Why acting cheerfully is a requirement, not a choice (Day 39)
What children don't owe their parents (Day 128)
Whether Jews should donate their organs (Day 290)
An effective but expensive technique for curbing your anger (Day 156)
How to raise truthful children (Day 298)
What purchases are always forbidden (Day 3)
In addition, Telushkin raises issues with ethical implications that may surprise you, such as the need to tip those whom you don't see (Day 109), the right thing to do when you hear an ambulance siren (Day 1), and why wasting time is a sin (Day 15). Whether he is telling us what Jewish tradition has to say about insider trading or about the relationship between employers and employees, he provides fresh inspiration and clear guidance for every day of our lives.
From the Hardcover edition.
What do the great Jewish writings of the last 3,500 years tell us about these and all other vital questions about our lives? Rabbi Joseph Telushkin has devoted his life to the search for answers within the teachings of Judaism. In Jewish Wisdom, Rabbi Telushkin, the author of the highly acclaimed Jewish Literacy, weaves together a tapestry of stories from the Bible and Talmud, and the insights of Jewish commentators and writers from Maimonides, Rashi, and Hillel to Einstein, Isaac Bashevis Singer, and Elie Wiesel. A richer source of crucial life lessons would be hard to imagine.
Accompanying this extraordinary compilation is Teluslikins compelling commentary, which reveals how these texts continue to instruct and challenge Jewsand all people concerned with leading ethical livestoday As he discusses these texts, Rabbi Telushkin addresses issues of fundamental interest to modern readers: how to live with honesty and integrity in an often dishonest world; how to care for the sick and dying; how to teach children to respect both themselves
and others, how to understand and confront such great tragedies as antisemitism. and the Holocaust; what God wants from humankind. Within Jewish Wisdom's ninety chapters the reader will find extended sections illuminating Jewish perspectives on sex, romance, and marriage, what kind of belief in God a Jew can have after the Holocaust, how to use language ethically, the conflicting views of the Bible and Talmud on the death penalty, and much, much more.
Jewish Wisdom adds a new dimension to the many widely read contemporary books that retell the stones and reveal the essence of classic religious and secular literature. Possibly the most far-ranging volume of stories and quotations from Jewish texts, Jewish Wisdom will itself become a classic, a book that not only has the capacity to transform how you view the world, but one that well might change how you choose to live your life.
“David Batstone is a heroic character.” —Bono
In the revised and updated version of this harrowing yet deeply inspirational exposé, award-winning journalist David Batstone gives the most up-to-date information available on the $31 billion human trafficking epidemic. With profiles of twenty-first century abolitionists like Thailand’s Kru Nam and Peru’s Lucy Borja, Batstone tells readers what they can do to stop the modern slave trade. Like Kevin Bales’ Disposable People and Ending Slavery, or E. Benjamin Skinner’s A Crime So Monstrous, Batstone’s Not for Sale is an informative and necessary manifesto for universal freedom.
In this insightful and completely updated tome, esteemed rabbi and bestselling author Joseph Telushkin helps answer the question of what it means to be a Jew, in the largest sense. Widely recognized as one of the most respected and indispensable reference books on Jewish life, culture, tradition, and religion, Jewish Literacy covers every essential aspect of the Jewish people and Judaism. In 352 short and engaging chapters, Rabbi Telushkin discusses everything from the Jewish Bible and Talmud to Jewish notions of ethics to antisemitism and the Holocaust; from the history of Jews around the world to Zionism and the politics of a Jewish state; from the significance of religious traditions and holidays to how they are practiced in daily life. Whether you want to know more about Judaism in general or have specific questions you'd like answered, Jewish Literacy is sure to contain the information you need.
Rabbi Telushkin's expert knowledge of Judaism makes the updated and revised edition of Jewish Literacy an invaluable reference. A comprehensive yet thoroughly accessible resource for anyone interested in learning the fundamentals of Judaism, Jewish Literacy is a must for every Jewish home.
Can you be a committed Christian without having to condemn or convert people of other faiths? Is it possible to affirm other religious traditions without watering down your own?
In his most important book yet, widely acclaimed author and speaker Brian McLaren proposes a new faith alternative, one built on "benevolence and solidarity rather than rivalry and hostility." This way of being Christian is strong but doesn't strong-arm anyone, going beyond mere tolerance to vigorous hospitality toward, interest in, and collaboration with the other.
Blending history, narrative, and brilliant insight, McLaren shows readers step-by-step how to reclaim this strong-benevolent faith, challenging us to stop creating barriers in the name of God and learn how affirming other religions can strengthen our commitment to our own. And in doing so, he invites Christians to become more Christ-like than ever before.
More than a century ago, during the formative years of the American nation, Protestant churches carried powerful moral authority, giving voice to values such as mercy and compassion, while boldly standing against injustice and immorality. Gustav Niebuhr travels back to this defining period, to explore Abraham Lincoln's decision to spare the lives of 265 Sioux men sentenced to die by a military tribunal in Minnesota for warfare against white settlers—while allowing the hanging of 38 others, the largest single execution on American soil. Popular opinion favored death or expulsion. Only one state leader championed the cause of the Native Americans, Episcopal bishop, Henry Benjamin Whipple.
Though he'd never met an Indian until he was 37 years old, Whipple befriended them before the massacre and understood their plight at the hands of corrupt government officials and businessmen. After their trial, he pleaded with Lincoln to extend mercy and implement true justice. Bringing to life this little known event and this extraordinary man, Niebuhr pays tribute to the once amazing moral force of mainline Protestant churches and the practitioners who guarded America's conscience.
Lincoln's Bishop is illustrated with 16 pages of black-and-white photos.
He contends that the fundamental basis for this body of teaching comes from an anthropological perspective that recognizes both the inherent dignity and the social nature of the human person—thus do the church's teachings on political and economic matters chart a middle course between the two extremes of individualism and collectivism. The documents themselves tend to downplay any discontinuities with previous documents, but Curran's systematic analysis reveals the significant historical developments that have occurred over the course of more than a century. Although greatly appreciative of the many strengths of this teaching, Curran also points out the weaknesses and continuing tensions in Catholic social teaching today.
Intended for scholars and students of Catholic social ethics, as well as those involved in Catholic social ministry, this volume will also appeal to non-Catholic readers interested in an understanding and evaluation of Catholic social teaching.
Filling our future is the fundamentalism that threatens to pit one religion against another. But, our different relationships and understandings of G-d should not be the reason for conflict but the source of goodwill in building our relationships with one another and our ability to understand others. The covenant with the Jewish people was not the first made between the Almighty and mankind.
Before the revelation at Mt. Sinai, G-d commanded Adam and then made a covenant with Noah, giving them the guidelines for the universal religion of mankind. The most well-known part of this covenant is the seven universal commandments, or the Seven Noahide Laws. For this reason, Judaism and Jews do not proselytize, but rather seek to guide the nations of the world in developing their own relationship with the Almighty and implementing these potentially unifying laws of basic human nature.
This book offers you a glimpse into the tremendous mystical power and meaning of G-d's covenant with humanity and the Seven Noahide Laws, as explained in Kabbalah. It focuses on their spiritual and inner dimensions and inspires a deeper look at our best hope for achieving world peace and a better future for all beings.
—from the Foreword by Arthur Hertzberg, 1995