From the beloved author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People, deeply moving and illuminating reflections on what it means to live a good life.
As a congregational rabbi for half a century and the best-selling author of twelve books on faith, ethics, and how to apply the timeless wisdom of religious thought to everyday challenges, Rabbi Harold S. Kushner has demonstrated time and again his understanding of the human spirit. In this compassionate new work, his most personal since When Bad Things Happen to Good People, Kushner relates how his time as a twenty-first-century rabbi has shaped his senses of religion and morality. He elicits nine essential lessons from the sum of his teaching, study, and experience, offering a lifetime's worth of spiritual food for thought, pragmatic advice, inspiration for a more fulfilling life, and strength for trying times.
In this compassionate and deeply personal work, Rabbi Harold S. Kushner distills his experiences as a twenty-first-century rabbi into nine essential takeaways. Offering readers a lifetime's worth of spiritual food for thought, pragmatic advice, and strength for trying times, he gives fresh, vital insight into belief, conscience, mercy, and more. Grounded in Kushner's brilliant readings of scripture, history, and popular culture, Nine Essential Things I've Learned About Life is practical, illuminating, and compulsory advice for living a good life.
Man Is Not Alone is a profound, beautifully written examination of the ingredients of piety: how man senses God's presence, explores it, accepts it, and builds life upon it. Abraham Joshua Heschel's philosophy of religion is not a philosophy of doctrine or the interpretation of a dogma. He erects his carefully built structure of thought upon foundations which are universally valid but almost generally ignored. It was Man Is Not Alone which led Reinhold Niebuhr accurately to predict that Heschel would "become a commanding and authoritative voice not only in the Jewish community but in the religious life of America." With its companion volume, God in Search of Man, it is revered as a classic of modern theology.
From the bestselling author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People comes a profound and practical book about doing well by doing good. Rabbi Kushner suggests that the path to a truly successful life lives in friendship, family, acts of generosity and self-sacrifice, as well as God's forgiving nature.
Above the Zodiac: Astrology in Jewish Thought uncovers the profound connection between Jewish mysticism and classic astrology by citing the many references scattered throughout Jewish literature to the influence of the stars on human destiny. Rabbi Matityahu Glazerson gives a month-by-month rendering of Jewish astrology according to kabbalah, summarizing the complex system of elements in Jewish thought that correlates to each astrological sign. The book also explains the unique relationship the Jewish people have to astrology, and under what circumstances astrological consultations are permitted to individuals.
Whether studied in anticipation of Yom Kippur or used as a guide for personal and professional life, the insights revealed here will be invaluable to all entrepreneurs, creditors, debtors, employers, employees, producers, and consumers. The viduy, or confessional, is the central prayer on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Recited both silently and by the cantor, the viduy is a confession of sins committed both individually and as a community. Each line of the prayer begins with al chet shechatanu, "for the sin which we have committed." A major theme of the viduy is social immorality and unethical behavior. In Al Chet: Sins in the Marketplace, Meir Tamari, a renowned authority in the field of Jewish business ethics, explores the viduy specifically as it relates to the business world. Within Judaism's rich body of texts, there are discussions relevant to contemporary business issues, including insider trading, limited liability corporations, false advertising, and the pirating of computer software. Using the viduy as a guide, Tamari explores the sins resulting from business activities using textual material culled from the Bible, the Mishnah, and the Talmud, the homiletic literature and moralistic texts, as well as sayings and stories from some of the greatest rabbis in Jewish history. Following a discussion of teshuvah, "repentance," and the necessity of confession to achieve it, thirteen specific sins are explained. Some, such as "bribery" and "usury and interest," are obvious in their relation to business ethics. Others are less clear but perhaps more important, such as "brazen arrogance," which can lead to the browbeating of competitors, employees, and debtors, and "callousness," which can result in ignoring the needs of the disadvantaged or the harassment of employees. Subconscious drives such as gluttony, envy, and jealousy are also explored as they relate to business. For example, the blurring of needs and wants that result in gluttony also play a role in the search for a constantly rising standa
American Rabbi provides a comprehensive and insightful assessment of Rabbi Jacob Agus' standing as a notable Jewish thinker. The volume brings together original writings by a range of distinguished contributors to consider the main aspects of Agus' life and work in detail and to flesh out the broad and repercussive themes of his corpus. Taken as a whole, they present a broad and substantial picture of a remarkable American Rabbi and scholar, illuminating Agus' committment to Jewish people everywhere, his profound and unwavering spirituality, his continual reminders of the very real dangers of pseudo-messianism and misplaced romantic zeal, and his willingness to take politically and religiously unpopular stands.
Formulated as a companion volume to The Essential Agus, which presents selections of Agus' own writings, the contributors' analyses are based on specific selections of Agus' work which appear in The Essential Agus. Though each volume stands on its own, they are closely interconnected and readers will benefit from consulting both works.
The first complete and annotated English translation of Maimon's influential and delightfully entertaining memoir
Solomon Maimon's autobiography has delighted readers for more than two hundred years, from Goethe, Schiller, and George Eliot to Walter Benjamin and Hannah Arendt. The American poet and critic Adam Kirsch has named it one of the most crucial Jewish books of modern times. Here is the first complete and annotated English edition of this enduring and lively work.
Born into a down-on-its-luck provincial Jewish family in 1753, Maimon quickly distinguished himself as a prodigy in learning. Even as a young child, he chafed at the constraints of his Talmudic education and rabbinical training. He recounts how he sought stimulation in the Hasidic community and among students of the Kabbalah--and offers rare and often wickedly funny accounts of both. After a series of picaresque misadventures, Maimon reached Berlin, where he became part of the city's famed Jewish Enlightenment and achieved the philosophical education he so desperately wanted, winning acclaim for being the "sharpest" of Kant's critics, as Kant himself described him.
This new edition restores text cut from the abridged 1888 translation by J. Clark Murray, which has long been the only available English edition. Paul Reitter's translation is brilliantly sensitive to the subtleties of Maimon's prose while providing a fluid rendering that contemporary readers will enjoy, and is accompanied by an introduction and notes by Yitzhak Melamed and Abraham Socher that give invaluable insights into Maimon and his extraordinary life. The book also features an afterword by Gideon Freudenthal that provides an authoritative overview of Maimon's contribution to modern philosophy.
The Jewish nation-state has often been thought of as Zionism's end goal. In this bracing history of the idea of the Jewish state in modern Zionism, from its beginnings in the late nineteenth century until the establishment of the state of Israel, Dmitry Shumsky challenges this deeply rooted assumption. In doing so, he complicates the narrative of the Zionist quest for full sovereignty, provocatively showing how and why the leaders of the prestate Zionist movement imagined, articulated, and promoted theories of self-determination in Palestine either as part of a multinational Ottoman state (1882-1917), or in the framework of multinational democracy.
In particular, Shumsky focuses on the writings and policies of five key Zionist leaders from the Habsburg and Russian empires in central and eastern Europe in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries--Leon Pinsker, Theodor Herzl, Ahad Ha'am, Vladimir Ze'ev Jabotinsky, and David Ben-Gurion--to offer a very pointed critique of Zionist historiography.
A book that charts a clear path to a more spiritually rich practice of Judaism--from the coauthor of the best-selling Jewish Catalog volumes.
For all the cycles of life, best-selling author Rabbi Michael Strassfeld presents traditional Jewish teachings as a guide to behavior and values. Where the tradition is replete with rituals (for example, the Sabbath), he describes them and shows how they can enrich spiritual living. Where rituals are sparse or nonexistent (for example, returning home at the end of the workday), he suggests new ones gleaned from his own study and experience.
Strassfeld also brings the principles of "insight meditation" to Jewish life, using this practice to recover and reconstruct Judaism's spiritual dimension. He describes a Judaism that encourages within us a spiritual awareness as we participate in both traditional Jewish practices and the mundane activities of daily life. By engaging with Jewish tradition in ways that recapture its original kavanah, or intention, we will, Strassfeld maintains, achieve the two fundamental goals of Judaism-to become better human beings and to be in God's presence. (Hardcover published in 2002 by Schocken Books, ISBN 0-8052-4124-8.)