By turning our attention to ambiguity and indecision in science, Menachem Fisch, in Creatively Undecided, offers a new way to look at how scientific understandings change. Following Kuhn, Fisch argues that scientific practice depends on the framework in which it is conducted, but he also shows that those frameworks can be understood as the possible outcomes of the rational deliberation that Popper viewed as central to theory change. How can a scientist subject her standards to rational appraisal if that very act requires the use of those standards? The way out, Fisch argues, is by looking at the incentives scientists have to create alternative frameworks in the first place. Fisch argues that while science can only be transformed from within, by people who have standing in the field, criticism from the outside is essential. We may not be able to be sufficiently self-critical on our own, but trusted criticism from outside, even if resisted, can begin to change our perspective—at which point transformative self-criticism becomes a real option.
Why do so many people think the Bible, the most influential book in world history, is outdated? Why do our friends and neighbors – and sometimes we ourselves – dismiss the Bible as irrelevant, irrational, immoral, or all of these things? This explanation of the Book of Exodus, the second book of the Bible, will demonstrate that the Bible is not only powerfully relevant to today’s issues, but completely consistent with rational thought.
Do you think the Bible permitted the trans-Atlantic slave trade? You won’t after reading this book.
Do you struggle to love your parents? If you do, you need this book.
Do you doubt the existence of God because belief in God is “irrational?” This book will give you reason after reason to rethink your doubts.
The title of this commentary is, “The Rational Bible” because its approach is entirely reason-based. The reader is never asked to accept anything on faith alone. As Prager says, “If something I write does not make rational sense, I have not done my job.”
The Rational Bible is the fruit of Dennis Prager’s forty years of teaching the Bible to people of every faith, and no faith. On virtually every page, you will discover how the text relates to the contemporary world and to your life.
His goal: to change your mind – and then change your life.
As well as superb translations of all non-biblical texts sufficiently well preserved to be rendered into English, there are also a number of previously unpublished texts, and a new preface.
Since its first publication in 1962, The Dead Sea Scrolls in English has established itself as the standard English translation of the non-Biblical Qumran Scrolls and as giving an astonishing insight to the organization, customs, history and beliefs of the community responsible for them. This seventh edition will contain new material, together with extensive new introductory material and notes.
While other commentaries are generally collections of comments by a number of scholars, this is a unified commentary on the Torah by a single scholar, the most unified by a Jewish scholar in centuries. It includes the original Hebrew text, a new translation, and an authoritative, accessibly written interpretation and analysis of each passage that remains focused on the meaning of the Torah as a whole, showing how its separate books are united into one cohesive, all-encompassing sacred literary masterpiece. This landmark work is destined to take its place as a classic in the libraries of lay readers and scholars alike, as we seek to understand the significance of the scriptural texts for our lives today, and for years to come.
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.
In The Harlot by the Side of the Road, Kirsch recounts these suppressed and mistranslated tales in the grand storytelling tradition. Here is the tale of Dinah, the young Israelite daughter raped by a princely suitor. The price for her hand in marriage? The circumcision of every man in his kingdom. Here, too, is the story of Lot's daughters, who, when faced with the possibility that they are the last survivors on earth, must copulate with their drunken father to continue their race. And the story of Tamar, the harlot by the side of the road, who must disguise herself as a prostitute and seduce her father-in-law in order to bear the child who has been promised her.
Kirsch places each story within the political and social context of its time, and delves into the latest biblical scholarship to explain why each story was originally censored. He also brings to light when and where each story was first written down, and how it found its way into the Bible. And he shows how these stories have something important to say to contemporary readers who might never pick up a Bible.
Kirsch reveals that the Bible's real power lies in its unflinching lessons in human nature. And he illuminates the surprising modernity of the Bible's characters: these were, like us, people delicately balanced between their destructive and generous natures. Certain to excite controversy and ignite intellectual debate, The Harlot by the Side of the Road will undoubtedly be one of the year's most talked-about books.
From the Hardcover edition.
Special prayers for the Sabbath, holidays, and important dates of the Jewish year
Prayers to mark celebratory milestones, such as bat mitzva, marriage, pregnancy, and childbirth
Prayers for companionship, love, and fertility
Prayers for healing, strength, and personal growth
Prayers for daily reflection and thanksgiving
Prayers for comfort and understanding in times of tragedy and loss
On the eve of Yom Kippur in 2002, Aliza Lavie, a university professor, read an interview with an Israeli woman who had lost both her mother and her baby daughter in a terrorist attack. As Lavie stood in the synagogue later that evening, she searched for comfort for the bereaved woman, for a reminder that she was not alone but part of a great tradition of Jewish women who have responded to unbearable loss with strength and fortitude. Unable to find sufficient solace within the traditional prayer book and inspired by the memory of her own grandmother’s steadfast knowledge and faith, Lavie began researching and compiling prayers written for and by Jewish women.
A Jewish Woman’s Prayer Book is the result—a beautiful and moving one-of-a-kind collection that draws from a variety of Jewish traditions, through the ages, to commemorate every occasion and every passage in the cycle of life, from the mundane to the extraordinary. This elegant, inspiring volume includes special prayers for the Sabbath and holidays and important dates of the Jewish year; prayers to mark celebratory milestones, such as bat mitzva, marriage, pregnancy, and childbirth; and prayers for comfort and understanding in times of tragedy and loss. Each prayer is presented in Hebrew and in an English translation, along with fascinating commentary on its origins and allusions. Culled from a wide range of sources, both geographically and historically, this collection testifies that women's prayers were—and continue to be—an inspired expression of personal supplication and desire.
- Jewish Book World
"Cherry has analyzed the biblical commentary of some of the renowned Jewish scholars of the last 2,000 years. The result is a work of excellent scholarship and imagination."
?Cherry shows how the Torah functions as literature that is fluid, compelling, and persistently generative of new meanings.?
? Christian Century
Every commentator, from the classical rabbi to the modern-day scholar, has brought his or her own worldview, with all of its assumptions, to bear on the reading of holy text. This relationship between the text itself and the reader's interpretation is the subject of Torah Through Time. Shai Cherry traces the development of Jewish Bible commentary through three pivotal periods in Jewish history: the rabbinic, medieval, and modern periods. The result is a fascinating and accessible guide to how some of the world's leading Jewish commentators read the Bible. Torah Through Time focuses on specific narrative sections of the Torah: the creation of humanity, the rivalry between Cain and Abel, Korah's rebellion, the claim of the daughters of Zelophechad, and legal matters concerning Hebrew slavery. Cherry closely examines several different commentaries for each of these source texts, and in so doing he analyzes how each commentator resolves questions raised by the texts and asks if and how the commentator's own historical frame of reference -- his own time and place -- contributes to the resolution. A chart at the end of each chapter provides a visual summary that helps the reader understand the many different elements at play.
The Babylonian Talmud, a postbiblical Jewish text that is part scripture and part commentary, is an unlikely bestseller. Written in a hybrid of Hebrew and Aramaic, it is often ambiguous to the point of incomprehension, and its subject matter reflects a narrow scholasticism that should hardly have broad appeal. Yet the Talmud has remained in print for centuries and is more popular today than ever. Barry Scott Wimpfheimer tells the remarkable story of this ancient Jewish book and explains why it has endured for almost two millennia.
Providing a concise biography of this quintessential work of rabbinic Judaism, Wimpfheimer takes readers from the Talmud's prehistory in biblical and second-temple Judaism to its present-day use as a source of religious ideology, a model of different modes of rationality, and a totem of cultural identity. He describes the book's origins and structure, its centrality to Jewish law, its mixed reception history, and its golden renaissance in modernity. He explains why reading the Talmud can feel like being swept up in a river or lost in a maze, and why the Talmud has come to be venerated--but also excoriated and maligned—in the centuries since it first appeared.
An incomparable introduction to a work of literature that has lived a full and varied life, this accessible book shows why the Talmud is at once a received source of traditional teachings, a touchstone of cultural authority, and a powerful symbol of Jewishness for both supporters and critics.
The Apocalyptic Imagination by John Collins is one of the most widely praised studies of Jewish apocalyptic literature ever written. And this second edition of Collins's study represents a complete updating and rewriting of the original work. Especially noteworthy is the chapter on the Dead Sea Scrolls, which now takes into account all of the recently published texts. Other chapters discuss apocalypse as a literary genre, explore the phenomenon and function of apocalypticism in the ancient world, study a wide range of individual apocalyptic texts, and examine the apocalyptic character of early Christianity.
Here is a fascinating glimpse into two great minds, as each author approaches the text from his unique perspective, each seeking an understanding of the Bible’s personalities and commandments, paradoxes and ambiguities. Kushner offers his words of Torah with a conversational enthusiasm that ranges from family dynamics to the Kabbalah; Mamet challenges the reader, often beginning his comment far afield—with Freud or the American judiciary—before returning to a text now wholly reinterpreted.
In the tradition of Israel as a people who wrestle with God, Kushner and Mamet grapple with the biblical text, succumbing neither to apologetics nor parochialism, asking questions without fear of the answers they may find. Over the course of a year of weekly readings, they comment on all aspects of the Bible: its richness of theme and language, its contradictions, its commandments, and its often unfathomable demands. If you are already familiar with the Bible, this book will draw you back to the text for a deeper look. If you have not yet explored the Bible in depth, Kushner and Mamet are guides of unparalleled wisdom and discernment. Five Cities of Refuge is easily accessible yet powerfully illuminating. Each week’s comments can be read in a few minutes, but they will give you something to think about all week long.
Lawrence Kushner teaches and writes as the Emanu-El Scholar at The Congregation Emanu-El of San Francisco. He has taught at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City and served for twenty-eight years as rabbi of Congregation Beth El in Sudbury, Massachusetts. A frequent lecturer, he is also the author of more than a dozen books on Jewish spirituality and mysticism. He lives in San Francisco.
David Mamet is a Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright. He is the author of Glengarry Glen Ross, The Cryptogram, and Boston Marriage, among other plays. He has also published three novels and many screenplays, children's books, and essay collections.
From the Hardcover edition.
The premier Dead Sea Scrolls primer ever since its original publication in 1994, James VanderKam's Dead Sea Scrolls Today won the Biblical Archaeology Society's Publication Award in 1995 for the Best Popular Book on Biblical Archaeology. In this expanded and updated edition the book will continue to illuminate the greatest archaeological find in modern times.
While retaining the format, style, and aims of the first edition, the second edition of The Dead Sea Scrolls Today takes into account the full publication of the texts from the caves and the post-1994 debates about the Qumran site, and it contains an additional section regarding information that the Scrolls provide about Second Temple Judaism and the groups prominent at the time. Further, VanderKam has enlarged the bibliographies throughout and changed the phrasing in many places. Finally, quotations of the Scrolls are from the fifth edition of Geza Vermes's translation, The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English (Penguin, 1997).
Venerable classicist and historian Robert Graves recounts the ancient Hebrew stories, both obscure and familiar, with a rich sense of storytelling, culture, and spirituality. This book is sure to be riveting to students of Jewish or Judeo-Christian history, culture, and religion.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Robert Graves (1895–1985) was an English novelist, poet, and translator of Classical Greek and Roman literature, and one of the most prominent English writers of the 20th century. He was an extremely prolific writer, who published more than 140 novels and collections of poetry. In addition to novels and poetry, he published groundbreaking analysis of Greek mythology, as well as memoir. Graves is best known for his historical novels, which include I, Claudius, Claudius the God, The Golden Fleece, King Jesus, and Count Belisarius.
Robert Graves served in combat in World War I and was gravely wounded at the Battle of the Somme. Following his recovery, he wrote several works of war poetry as well as a memoir of his time in combat, entitled Goodbye to All That. In 1934, Robert Graves was awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his historical novels dealing with the Roman Emperor Claudius.
This incredibly rich collection unites the voices of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and straight-allied writers, including some of the most central figures in contemporary American Judaism. All bring to the table unique methods of reading and interpreting that allow the Torah to speak to modern concerns of sexuality, identity, gender, and LGBT life. Torah Queeries offers cultural critique, social commentary, and a vision of community transformation, all done through biblical interpretation. Written to engage readers, draw them in, and, at times, provoke them, Torah Queeries examines topics as divergent as the Levitical sexual prohibitions, the experience of the Exodus, the rape of Dinah, the life of Joseph, and the ritual practices of the ancient Israelites. Most powerfully, the commentaries here chart a future of inclusion and social justice deeply rooted in the Jewish textual tradition.
A labor of intellectual rigor, social justice, and personal passions, Torah Queeries is an exciting and important contribution to the project of democratizing Jewish communities, and an essential guide to understanding the intersection of queerness and Jewishness.
Spanning subjects ranging from God, prophecy, miracles, revelation, and evil, to politics, messianism, reason in religion, and the therapeutic role of doubt, Maimonides and the Book That Changed Judaism elucidates the complex ideas of The Guide in remarkably clear and engaging prose.
Drawing on his own experience as a central figure in the current Israeli renaissance of Jewish culture and spirituality, Micah Goodman brings Maimonides’s masterwork into dialogue with the intellectual and spiritual worlds of twenty-first-century readers. Goodman contends that in Maimonides’s view, the Torah’s purpose is not to bring clarity about God but rather to make us realize that we do not understand God at all; not to resolve inscrutable religious issues but to give us insight into the true nature and purpose of our lives.
That's what they may have taught your pastor in college. Do you know why?
Simple: the Septuagint contains the Aprocrypha, and there are people who want your pastor (and you) to have the Apocrypha in your Bible, too. Why? So you will accept Catholic superstitions like:Purgatory and prayers for the deadPayment to forgive sinsAngels as mediators
In this new book, David Daniels takes each of the “proofs” promoting a BC Septuagint and shows why they can’t be trusted. He shows that Jesus read the same Hebrew Scriptures read by every other devout Jew.
Don’t be fooled by the push for “One World Bible for One World Religion.”
Steven and Sarah Levy quote from the biblical text in both Hebrew and English, highlight Rashi’s comments relating to the parashah, and delve into his perceptive moral messages in the context of twenty-first-century dilemmas. Each portion features three essays with analysis and discussion questions that draw on universal human experiences, enabling families and Shabbat study groups to deepen their understanding of Rashi and the portion over the three Sabbath meals.
Readers with little or no knowledge of Hebrew, the Torah, or Jewish practice will feel comfortable diving into this discussion commentary. All Hebrew terms are defined, quoted verses contextualized, and less familiar Jewish concepts explained.
From the Hardcover edition.
Read each year at the Seder table, the Haggadah recounts the miraculous tale of the liberation of the Children of Israel from slavery in Egypt, with a celebration of prayer, ritual, and song. Wiesel and Podwal guide you through the Haggadah and share their understanding and faith in a special illustrated edition that will be treasured for years to come. Accompanying the traditional Haggadah text (which appears here in an accessible new translation) are Elie Wiesel's poetic interpretations, reminiscences, and instructive retellings of ancient legends. The Nobel laureate interweaves past and present as the symbolism of the Seder is explored. Wiesel's commentaries may be read aloud in their entirety or selected passages may be read each year to illuminate the timeless message of this beloved book of redemption.