More information and sample text and photos available on the companion web site
Winner of the 2001-2002 National Jewish Book Award, Reference
Winner, Best Reference Resource, 2001, Library Journal
Winner, Editor's Choice Award, Reference, 2001, Booklist
Winner, Best Reference Book, 2001, Association of Jewish Libraries
New York University Press announces with pride the publication of a remarkable project, The Encyclopedia of Jewish Life before and during the Holocaust. Edited by Dr. Shmuel Spector and the late Dr. Geoffrey Wigoder and published in conjunction with Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Remembrance Authority of Israel, the Encyclopedia represents the fruit of more than three decades of labor and stands as one of the most important and ambitious projects the Press has published. Nobel Peace Prize-winner Elie Wiesel contributed the foreword.
Today throughout much of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, only fragmentary remnants of once thriving Jewish communities can be found as evidence of more than two thousand years of vibrant Jewish presence among the nations of the world. These communities, many of them ancient, were systematically destroyed by Hitler's forces during the Holocaust. Yet each of their stories-from small village enclaves to large urban centers-is unique in its details and represents one of the countless intertwined threads that comprise the rich tapestry of Jewish history.
The Encyclopedia of Jewish Life before and during the Holocaust captures these lost images. In three volumes, it chronicles the people, habits and customs of more than 6,500 Jewish communities that thrived during the early part of the twentieth century only to be changed irrevocably by the war. It clarifies precise locations of settlements based on documents and maps found in recently opened archives; it traces their development through history; it shares small details of everyday life-the culture, the politics, and the faith that inspired the people; and its photographs put faces on the immeasurable loss.
Based on decades of research at Yad Vashem, The Encyclopedia of Jewish Life before and during the Holocaust tells the story of thousands of Jewish communities in concise prose, illustrated with maps and poignant images of a world that can no longer be visited. The Encyclopedia is a rich source of information for students, teachers, genealogists and anyone interested in the pageant of Jewish life through the ages.
From the Foreword
"But the enemy did not only annihilate individuals; his aim was also to destroy our social structures, our economic foundations, religious and secular, our schools, our institutions, our libraries, our workshops, our synagogues, our cultural centers-in a word: our communities.
. . . In the Jewish world one knew a town by its Jewish life. Belz and Munkacs, Bialystok and Amsterdam, Kiev and Lille and Zablotow-offering families and individuals a sense of security and countless opportunities for fulfillment, each community had its own particular characteristics and problems, its roots, its challenges, and its ambitions. . . . To understand the extent of the unprecedented crimes committed against the Jewish people in Europe is not enough; one must also seek to understand the life of this people before the catastrophe." --Elie Wiesel
-81/2 x 11
-More than 6,500 communities profiled
-600 b&w photographs and illustrations
-17 pages of maps
-Index of communities including alternate spellings and pronunciations
-Index of personalities
Go to companion web site
Long considered the best single introduction to the Qabalah for magicians, the third edition of Israel Regardie's A Garden of Pomegranates is now better than ever, thanks to the extensive annotations and new material by Chic Cicero and Sandra Tabatha Cicero. Their work has made A Garden of Pomegranateseasier to understand, more complete, and up to date. It now includes over 300 pages of never-before-published information from two Senior Adepts of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.
- Expands Regardie's definitive text into a practical manual for Qabalistic magic
- Includes pathworkings and guided visualizations for the 32 Paths of Wisdom
- Suggests a course of study for learning the Qabalah and incorporating its teachings into daily life
- Shows how to create your own personal Qabalistic mantra using gematria or Hebrew numerology
- Includes a technique for Rising on the Planes, so you can explore different Qabalistic worlds
- Features a Middle Pillar-style exercise for exploring and activating different parts of the soul
- Written by one of the most influential magical teachers of modern times and two of his personal students
The Qabalah is the ancient system of Hebrew mysticism that is the foundation of Western magical and esoteric studies. Its primary symbol is the Tree of Life, a diagram that can aid in the study of the nature of the Universe, the essence of God, and the human mind, spirit, and soul. A Garden of Pomegranates is the clearest introductory guide on this subject.
When Israel Regardie wrote A Garden of Pomegranates in 1932, he designed it to be a simple yet comprehensive guidebook outlining the complex system of the Qabalah and providing a key to its symbolism. Since then, it has achieved the status of a classic among texts on the Qabalah. The full annotations, critical commentary, and explanatory notes now make this book the ultimate single resource on the subject. The new material, including pathworkings, exercises, daily affirmations, rituals, meditations, and more, not only complement the original, full text included in this edition, but also make A Garden of Pomegranates indispensable for modern magicians.
Translated into modern-day English by Michael Wise, Martin Abegg Jr. and Edward Cook, this book contains virtually every legible portion of the fragmented scrolls, including revelatory information on early Christianity and its roots far deeper than previously realized in ancient Judaism. Included as well are scroll fragments that promise to alter dramatically our view of biblical history, including never-before released texts and newly discovered writings by and about key biblical prophets and ancestors. The translators provide illuminating commentary throughout that place the scrolls in their true historical context. They also present a compelling, insightful introduction that gives the reader an overview of the often surprising contents of the scrolls and discusses what are perhaps the greatest mysteries of the scrolls -- who authored them and why.
From a new generation of Dead Sea Scrolls scholars, here is a fresh look at the scrolls, including the most recently released texts. Michael Wise, Martin Abegg Jr. and Edward Cook unlock the secrets and rich mysteries of the Dead Sea Scrolls in the most comprehensive translation ever published for the general reader in any language. Their brilliant scholarship and illuminating commentary add dramatic new knowledge to our understanding of the scrolls. This historic translation includes:
- Intriguing revelations about biblical history and the roots of Christianity.
- Never-before-seen stories about the biblical figures Abraham, Jacob and Enoch -- including a text explaining why God demanded the sacrifice of Isaac.
- Twelve texts not included in the Bible that claim Moses as their author.
- New psalms attributed to King David and to Joshua.
- Texts illuminating ancient doctrines about angels and writings claiming to be revelations of angels themselves including the Archangel Michael.
The Dead Sea Scrolls: A New Translation will set the standard for scrolls scholarship for years to come. This is an important, rigorously researched work that renders the scrolls vibrant and accessible.
In their great variety and stunning richness, the Dead Sea Scrolls as captured in this groundbreaking translation offer modern readers an unprecedented glimpse of the complex roots of modern Christianity. Its dozens of never-before-published texts encompass poetry and prose, teaching parables and magical tales, astrology, apocalyptic visions, lists of buried treasure, stories of messiahs and antichrists, demons and angels and together comprise a new classic of religious history.
Long withheld from public view, the ancient scrolls found in the caves of Qumran near the Dead Sea are revered by many but known in full by very few. Now three translators at the forefront of modern scrolls scholarship have revealed the entire rich complex of writings, stories, poems and texts known as the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Few spiritual practices are more intriguing or elusive than those of Zen Judaism," says David M. Bader in the foreword to Zen Judaism. "This growing movement offers a unique way to follow in the footsteps of the Buddha, ideally without gaining quite so much weight." These nearly 100 sacred teachings are capable "of bringing about an enlightenment experience so pure, so elevating, and so intense, you could plotz."For you, some samples: To know the Buddha is the highest attainment. Second highest is to go to the same doctor as the Buddha. Be here now. Be someplace else later. Is that so complicated? There is no escaping Karma. In a previous life, you never called, you never wrote, you never visited. And whose fault was that? If there is no self, whose arthritis is this? Be patient and achieve all things. Be impatient and achieve all things faster.
Shows how to view and navigate through life by tapping Kabbalistic truths. This title explains the key process of transforming from a reactive to a proactive being that can in turn trigger increased creative energy, greater personal power, and a stronger and more satisfying sense of life.
A guide to how meditations and principles from the Kabbalah can be used to profoundly renew spiritual practice.
- Reveals transformational meditations and visualization exercises based on the profoundest truths concealed in the Kabbalah.
The covenant that bound God to the Patriarchs in a special relationship of obligation and empowerment was renewed by God with Israel at Sinai and Moab. Each of these three Jewish covenants can be associated with a particular spiritual practice: the Patriarchal Covenant with Father Isaac's practice of meditation; The Sinai Covenant of Holiness with the observance of the Sabbath required in its Ten Commandments, and the Moab Covenant of Love, comprising the entire Mosaic Torah, with the practice of prayer instituted there. In Renewing the Covenant, Leonora Leet shows how this ladder of increasingly demanding and potent covenantal practices can enable one to ascend to ever higher levels of mystical Judaism.
At this threshold of a new millennium, increasing numbers of people are seeking a more direct connection with the Divine. To aid such a process, Renewing the Covenant provides new paths for entering the treasurehouse of Jewish spirituality and achieving higher consciousness, paths that can deepen the devotions of both nonobservant and traditionally observant Jews. This process of covenant renewal begins with effective kabbalistic techniques of meditation combining mantra with visualization, proceeds through the return to a reconstructed Sinai Sabbath, and arrives at the culminating practice of ritual prayer whose performance can fulfill the kabbalistic purpose of creation. When undertaken in the steps laid out by Dr. Leet, this process can help many to discover forms of spiritual practice precisely tailored for the modern world, as well as a new appreciation for the rich spiritual heritage of Judaism.
A vast bounty of tales recounting mystical experiences among the rabbis can be found in the Talmud, the Zohar, Jewish folktales, and Hasidic lore. Now, in Gabriel's Palace, scholar Howard Schwartz has collected the greatest of these stories, sacred and secular, in a marvelously readable anthology.
Gabriel's Palace offers a treasury of 150 pithy and powerful tales, involving experiences of union with the divine, out-of-body travel, encounters with angels and demons, possession by spirits holy and pernicious, and more. Schwartz provides an informative introduction placing these remarkable tales firmly in the context of centuries of post-biblical Jewish tradition. The bodyof the text present spellbinding tales from the Talmud, Zohar, the Hasidic masters, and an enormous range of other sources. Here are stories of Shimon bar Yohai, reputed to be the author of the Zohar; Isaac Luria, known as the Ari, who was the central figure among the Safed mystics of the 16th century; Israel ben Eliezer, known as Baal Shem Tov, who founded Hasidism; Elimelech of Lizensk, possessor of legendary mystical powers; and Nachman of Bratslav, the great storyteller whose wandering spirit is said to protect his followers to this day. Together, these tales paint a vivid picture of "a world of signs and symbols, where everything that took place had meaning, a world of mythic proportions....A world in which the spirits of the dead were no longer invisible, nor the angels," where the master and his disciples labor to repair the world so that the footsteps of the Messiah might be heard.
Drawn from rabbinic, kabbalistic, folk, and Hasidic sources, these collected tales form a rich genre all their own. In Gabriel's Palace, the powerful tradition of Jewish mysticism comes to life in clear, contemporary English.
In the late twentieth century, fundamentalism has emerged as one of the most powerful forces at work in the world, contesting the dominance of modern secular values and threatening peace and harmony around the globe. Yet it remains incomprehensible to a large number of people. In The Battle for God, Karen Armstrong brilliantly and sympathetically shows us how and why fundamentalist groups came into existence and what they yearn to accomplish.
We see the West in the sixteenth century beginning to create an entirely new kind of civilization, which brought in its wake change in every aspect of life -- often painful and violent, even if liberating. Armstrong argues that one of the things that changed most was religion. People could no longer think about or experience the divine in the same way; they had to develop new forms of faith to fit their new circumstances.
Armstrong characterizes fundamentalism as one of these new ways of being religious that have emerged in every major faith tradition. Focusing on Protestant fundamentalism in the United States, Jewish fundamentalism in Israel, and Muslim fundamentalism in Egypt and Iran, she examines the ways in which these movements, while not monolithic, have each sprung from a dread of modernity -- often in response to assault (sometimes unwitting, sometimes intentional) by the mainstream society.
Armstrong sees fundamentalist groups as complex, innovative, and modern -- rather than as throwbacks to the past -- but contends that they have failed in religious terms. Maintaining that fundamentalism often exists in symbiotic relationship with an aggressive modernity, each impelling the other on to greater excess, she suggests compassion as a way to defuse what is now an intensifying conflict.
In a remote mountain village in Portugal, an entire Jewish community avoided persecution by keeping their faith and rituals secret, generation after generation, for over 500 years. In Fragile Branches, James Ross explains that while isolated Jewish communities like this one are part of the tree of Jewish life, they have retained and reshaped rituals and traditions that have been lost elsewhere. These fragile branches of the Jewish culture, cut off from mainstream Judaism, exist on every continent and in nearly every country of the world, from the Amazon rainforest to the hills of northeastern India, to the central highlands of Uganda. As modern Jews struggle to revive or reconstruct their traditions, these communities, six of which Ross visits and introduces to us here, can serve as reminders of the diversity and richness of Jewish life.