Martin S. Cohen
The ancient Jewish text of the Mishnah is not often thought of as a source for spiritual guidance, but in this groundbreaking work, Rabbi Martin Cohen uses the sketchy characters found in the Mishnah as personal spiritual guides. He defines the concept of Mishnah as escort – “Virgil to every Jew's inner Dante.” This meditation on finding meaning in the Mishnah is steeped in scholarship, yet salted with wit and a distinctly modern slant. For readers of Rabbi Cohen's other popular books, this book offers a rare glimpse into the life of a scholar and rabbi whose career has been informed by a personal engagement with ancient Jewish texts.
In this study of the psalms of the Jewish liturgy, Rabbi Miriyam Glazer brings these well-known psalms alive. She focuses on each psalm's pathos, power, richness of imagery, and spiritual beauty. This work concentrates on the psalm-as-prayer, showing how lines are connected with one another and how each psalm can take its reader on an inner journey. The author also explains the role each psalm plays in its liturgical setting. This volume is essential for anyone seeking to understand Jewish prayer, and the liturgical role of the psalms.
Martin S. Cohen
Throughout the generations, the Book of Psalms has been a perennial source of inspiration and solace for the Jewish community. Our Haven and Our Strength: The Book of Psalms, featuring the Hebrew text with a fresh gender-neutral translation, invites readers to experience fully the poetry of each psalm. Martin Samuel Cohen's probing commentary focuses on each psalm's spiritual intent, thus bridging the gap between the worldview of the psalmist and the perspective of the modern reader. Appropriate for devotional and study use, this book inspires readers to embrace the beauty of the Psalms in their individual quests for spirituality and faith.
Elliot N. Dorff
The Unfolding Tradition: Jewish Law After Sinai analyzes the biblical and rabbinic roots of Jewish law as interpreted by leading rabbis of the Conservative movement. The book includes readings by Zachariah Frankel, Solomon Schechter, Mordecai Kaplan, Robert Gordis, Jacob Agus, Abraham Joshua Heschel, David M. Gordis, Louis Jacobs, Joel Roth, Neil Gillman, Edward Feld, Alana Suskin, Raymond Scheindlin and Gordon Tucker, as well as theorists on the right and the left of the Conservative movement. The book also compares Jewish and American law, and asks questions about the nature of legal systems, the relationship between law and religion, and the evolution of law.
This landmark volume is an indispensable resource for anyone who wants to understand the roots, development and interpretation of Jewish law in general, and for those who wish to know how Conservative Judaism evolved and what it represents.
Ira F. Stone
“Love your neighbor” is the central obligation of Jewish life. Mussar, a late 19th century Jewish renewal movement, focused on this precept as a means of self-improvement and spiritual growth. Through the practical applications of Mussar, one can learn how to awaken to a spirituality that is compassionate, moral, and generous. In this book, Rabbi Ira Stone provides a contemporary theological framework for understanding Mussar and describes how participation in a Mussar group can offer support and guidance for this powerful spiritual practice.
Jonathan P. Slater
HC ISBN: 0-916219-23-2
PPB ISBN: 978-0-916219-23-9
The practice of mindfulness is defined as "the capacity to see clearly, with calm and awakened mind and heart, the truth of each moment of our lives." This awareness is both liberating and compelling. When we recognize the truth of what is - without imposing bias or preference, without rejecting it in pain or grasping it in fear - we are free to embrace the fullness of all that life presents, both joyous and painful. Jewish thought and practice, particularly when viewed through the lens of Hasidic teaching and theology, undergird a mindful spirituality. In laying the foundation for mindful Jewish practice, Rabbi Jonathan Slater examines Jewish sources and applies their teachings to the practices of meditation and mindfulness. Drawing from Hasidic texts, largely from the circle of R. Dov Baer, the Maggid of Mezritch, as well as liturgical, talmudic, and midrashic sources, Rabbi Slater demonstrates how Jewish teachings help to sustain a mindful practice. The book is introduced by Sylvia Boorstein.
"All people seek the secret of their own continuity," writes Jonathan Wittenberg. "The light of where we come from shines into the uncertainty of who we are. For where we come from is always at the heart of who we are, and until we understand the greater journey of our family and people we cannot recognize the direction of our own life." In this series of lyrical essays organized around the Jewish calendar, Rabbi Wittenberg engages with moral and theological questions - the relationship between God and the Holocaust, humanity's responsibility for its actions, the transience of life - in language that is both precise and passionate. His meditations on the wonders of the natural world and the impact of intergenerational memory invite readers to consider the religious essence of everyday life. Weaving in quotations from Isaac Babel, Osip Mandelstam, Wordsworth, Keats, and Coleridge, as well as biblical and talmudic insights, Rabbi Wittenberg sheds a universalistic light on the particularities of Jewish tradition. Taken as a whole, this series of provocative essays touches on themes that are not only reflective of the Jewish community's eternal journey, but on the eternal journey shared by all of humanity.
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"The word of God, unlike the language of humans, was deemed to bear an infinity of meanings," writes Dr. Ismar Schorsch. Throughout the ages, rabbis and scholars have embraced this open-ended approach to Torah, participating in an ongoing dialogue with the text. While serving as Chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary, Dr. Schorsch composed these commentaries, reaching an international readership. Organized by the weekly Torah portion, with special readings for the holidays, this landmark collection demonstrates how reverence for tradition and modern Jewish scholarship can combine to deepen the religious meaning of Torah.
"A treasury of rabbinic wisdom. This is midrash at its best, connecting the insights of ages past to the concerns of today."
- Rabbi Harold Kushner, author and derash editor, Etz Hayim Commentary
"Professor Schorsch's weekly commentaries make an inspiring contribution to the contemporary Jewish library. These commentaries combine the quest for holiness with critical scholarship, as well as faith with spiritual vision."
- Avraham Shapira, Professor of Jewish History, Tel Aviv University
"A deep and eloquent commentary, Canon Without Closureembodies the expansive, authentic dialogue between Jews and God."
- Jacob Milgrom, Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies, University of California at Berkeley
"One of the finest collections of comments on the Torah readings I have come across; they add immeasurably to one's pleasure in reviewing the Sidrah."
- Rabbi David Lieber, President Emeritus, University of Judaism
"This remarkable volume richly illustrates the author's insistence that 'in the ever-fertile imagination of the Rabbis there are no arid texts.' Building upon traditional rabbinic exegesis, it presents the reader with persuasive examples of the continuing fruitfulness of Torah commentary even in our own time."
- Michael A. Meyer, Adolph S. Ochs Professor of Jewish History, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
"Chancellor Schorsch's Torah commentaries provide learned and insightful thought for scholarly and lay readers alike. Combining textual analysis, rabbinic teaching, traditional exegesis, modern scholarship, and personal experience, he demonstrates both the Torah’s wisdom and its contemporary relevance. Dr. Schorsch has indeed created a 'modern midrash', one which will inspire both his long-term students and first-time readers for decades to come."
- Steven Bayme, National Director, Contemporary Jewish Life Department, American Jewish Committee