A national bestseller, this brilliant 4000 year survey covers not only Jewish history but he impact of Jewish genius and imagination on the world. By the author of Modern Times: The World From the Twenties to the Eighties.
Scattered over much of the world throughout most of their history, are the Jews one people or many? How do they resemble and how do they differ from Jews in other places and times? What have their relationships been to the cultures of their neighbors? To address these and similar questions, some of the finest scholars of our day have contributed their insights to Cultures of the Jews, a winner of the National Jewish Book Award upon its hardcover publication in 2002.Constructing their essays around specific cultural artifacts that were created in the period and locale under study, the contributors describe the cultural interactions among different Jews-from rabbis and scholars to non-elite groups, including women-as well as between Jews and the surrounding non-Jewish world. What they conclude is that although Jews have always had their own autonomous traditions, Jewish identity cannot be considered the fixed product of either ancient ethnic or religious origins. Rather, it has shifted and assumed new forms in response to the cultural environment in which the Jews have lived. Mediterranean Origins, the first volume in Cultures of the Jews, describes the concept of the "People" or "Nation" of Israel that emerges in the Hebrew Bible and the culture of the Israelites in relation to that of neighboring Canaanite groups. It also discusses Jewish cultures in Babylonia, in Palestine during the Greco-Roman and Byzantine periods, and in Arabia during the formative years of Islam.
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.
This important study shows how the early movement centred on Jesus is best seen as Christian Judaism'. Only with the Epistle to the Hebrews did the profile of a new and distinct Christian religion emerge.
Although the roots of Christianity run deep into Hebrew soil, many Christians are regrettably uninformed about the rich Hebrew heritage of the church. This volume delineates the link between Judaism and Christianity, between the Old and the New Testament, and calls Christians to reexamine their Hebrew roots so as to effect a more authentically biblical lifestyle.As an introduction to the world of Hebrew thought, Our Father Abraham is biblical, historical, and cultural in nature. At the same time, the writing is personal and passionate, reflecting Marvin Wilson's own spiritual pilgrimage and his extensive dialogue with Jews. The book (1) develops a historical perspective on the Jewish origins of the church, (2) sets forth the importance and nature of Hebrew thought, (3) discusses how the church can become more attuned to the Hebraic mind-set of Scripture, and (4) offers practical suggestions for interaction between Jews and Christians. The study questions at the end of each chapter enhance the book's usefulness as a text and also make it suitable for Bible-study and discussion groups. All Christians--and Jews too--will profit from Wilson's sensible treatments of biblical texts, his thorough understanding of both the Christian and the Jewish faith, and his honest historical analysis of the general failure of the Christian church to acknowledge and understand its relation to Judaism.
From caring for the dying to honoring the dead, Anita Diamant explains the Jewish practices that make mourning a loved one an opportunity to experience the full range of emotions--grief, anger, fear, guilt, relief--and take comfort in the idea that the memory of the deceased is bound up in our lives and actions. In Saying Kaddish you will find suggestions for conducting a funeral and for observing the shiva week, the shloshim month, the year of Kaddish, the annual yahrzeit, and the Yizkor service. There are also chapters on coping with particular losses--such as the death of a child and suicide--and on children as mourners, mourning non-Jewish loved ones, and the bereavement that accompanies miscarriage. Diamant also offers advice on how to apply traditional views of the sacredness of life to hospice and palliative care. Reflecting the ways that ancient rituals and customs have been adapted in light of contemporary wisdom and needs, she includes updated sections on taharah (preparation of the body for burial) and on using ritual immersion in a mikveh to mark the stages of bereavement. And, celebrating a Judaism that has become inclusive and welcoming. Diamant highlights rituals, prayers, and customs that will be meaningful to Jews-by-choice, Jews of color, and LGBTQ Jews. Concluding chapters discuss Jewish perspectives on writing a will, creating healthcare directives, making final arrangements, and composing an ethical will.