The Genius of Judaism

Author: Bernard-Henri Lévy

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 0679643796

Category: Religion

Page: 256

View: 4795

From world-renowned public intellectual Bernard-Henri Lévy comes an incisive and provocative look at the heart of Judaism. “A smart, revealing, and essential book for our times.”—The Washington Post For more than four decades, Bernard-Henri Lévy has been a singular figure on the world stage—one of the great moral voices of our time. Now Europe's foremost philosopher and activist confronts his spiritual roots and the religion that has always inspired and shaped him—but that he has never fully reckoned with. The Genius of Judaism is a breathtaking new vision and understanding of what it means to be a Jew, a vision quite different from the one we’re used to. It is rooted in the Talmudic traditions of argument and conflict, rather than biblical commandments, borne out in struggle and study, not in blind observance. At the very heart of the matter is an obligation to the other, to the dispossessed, and to the forgotten, an obligation that, as Lévy vividly recounts, he has sought to embody over decades of championing “lost causes,” from Bosnia to Africa’s forgotten wars, from Libya to the Kurdish Peshmerga’s desperate fight against the Islamic State, a battle raging as we speak. Lévy offers a fresh, surprising critique of a new and stealthy form of anti-Semitism on the rise as well as a provocative defense of Israel from the left. He reveals the overlooked Jewish roots of Western democratic ideals and confronts the current Islamist threat while intellectually dismantling it. Jews are not a “chosen people,” Lévy explains, but a “treasure” whose spirit must continue to inform moral thinking and courage today. Lévy’s most passionate book, and in many ways his most personal, The Genius of Judaism is a great, profound, and hypnotic intellectual reckoning—indeed a call to arms—by one of the keenest and most insightful writers in the world. Praise for The Genius of Judaism “In The Genius of Judaism, Lévy elaborates on his credo by rebutting the pernicious and false logic behind current anti-Semitism and defends Israel as the world’s most successful multi-ethnic democracy created from scratch. Lévy also makes the case for France’s Jews being integral to the establishment of the French nation, the French language, and French literature. And last, but certainly not least, he presents a striking interpretation of the Book of Jonah. . . . A tour de force.”—Forbes “Ardent . . . Lévy’s message is essentially uplifting: that the brilliant scholars of Judaism, the authors of the Talmud, provide elucidation into ‘the great questions that have stirred humanity since the dawn of time.’ . . . A philosophical celebration of Judaism.”—Kirkus Reviews “Lévy (Left in Dark Times), a prominent French journalist and politically engaged philosopher, turns his observations inward here, pondering the teachings of Judaism and the role they have played in contemporary European history as well as in his own life and intellectual inquiry. . . . [Lévy’s] musings on the meaning of the story of Jonah and the relevance of symbolic Ninevahs in our time are both original and poetic. . . . A welcome addition to his oeuvre.”—Publishers Weekly

Juden und Worte

Author: Amos Oz,Fania Oz-Salzberger

Publisher: Suhrkamp Verlag

ISBN: 3633734171

Category: Fiction

Page: 285

View: 6906

Juden und Worte bilden von jeher eine enge Verbindung. Amos Oz und seine Tochter Fania Oz-Salzberger, die als Historikerin lehrt, erkunden jüdische Wortwelten, Wörter, ihre alten wie neuen Bedeutungen, Auslegungen und Wandlungen, die 22 Buchstaben des hebräischen Alphabets. Kontinuität im Judentum war immer ans mündlich geäußerte und geschriebene Wort geknüpft, an ein ausuferndes Geflecht von Interpretationen, Debatten, Streitigkeiten. In der Synagoge wie in der Schule, vor allem aber zu Hause umspannte es zwei oder drei ins Gespräch vertiefte Generationen. Was Juden untereinander verbindet, sind Texte. Es ist mit Händen zu greifen, in welchem Sinne Abraham und Sara, Rabban Gamiel, Glückel von Hameln und zeitgenössische jüdische Autoren demselben Stammbaum angehören. Vater und Tochter zeigen anhand verschiedener Themen wie Kontinuität, Frauen, Zeitlosigkeit, Individualität quer durch die Zeiten, von der namenlosen, möglicherweise weiblichen Verfasserin des Hohenliedes bis zu den Talmudisten, Gelehrten und Künstlern die Verbindung von Juden und Wörtern. Sie zeigen, dass jüdische Tradition, auch jüdische Einzigartigkeit nicht von zentralen Orten, Erinnerungsstätten, heroischen Figuren oder Ritualen abhängt, sondern vielmehr von geschriebenen Worten, deren Auslegungen und Debatten zwischen den Generationen. Gelehrt, behände und humorvoll bietet »Juden und Worte« einen einzigartigen Streifzug durch die jüdische Geschichte und Kultur und lädt jeden Leser, jede Leserin zum Gespräch ein, zu Fragen, Einwänden, Entdeckungen in einem Buch.

A Radical Jew

Paul and the Politics of Identity

Author: Daniel Boyarin

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 9780520920361

Category: Religion

Page: 400

View: 8984

Daniel Boyarin turns to the Epistles of Paul as the spiritual autobiography of a first-century Jewish cultural critic. What led Paul—in his dramatic conversion to Christianity—to such a radical critique of Jewish culture? Paul's famous formulation, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, no male and female in Christ," demonstrates the genius of Christianity: its concern for all people. The genius of Judaism is its validation of genealogy and cultural, ethnic difference. But the evils of these two thought systems are the obverse of their geniuses: Christianity has threatened to coerce universality, while ethnic difference is one of the most troubled issues in modern history. Boyarin posits a "diaspora identity" as a way to negotiate the pitfalls inherent in either position. Jewishness disrupts categories of identity because it is not national, genealogical, or even religious, but all of these, in dialectical tension with one another. It is analogous with gender: gender identity makes us different in some ways but not in others. An exploration of these tensions in the Pauline corpus, argues Boyarin, will lead us to a richer appreciation of our own cultural quandaries as male and female, gay and straight, Jew and Palestinian—and as human beings.

The Genius

Elijah of Vilna and the Making of Modern Judaism

Author: Eliyahu Stern

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300179308

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 322

View: 1667

Elijah ben Solomon, the "Genius of Vilna,” was perhaps the best-known and most understudied figure in modern Jewish history. This book offers a new narrative of Jewish modernity based on Elijah's life and influence. While the experience of Jews in modernity has often been described as a process of Western European secularization—with Jews becoming citizens of Western nation-states, congregants of reformed synagogues, and assimilated members of society—Stern uses Elijah’s story to highlight a different theory of modernization for European life. Religious movements such as Hasidism and anti-secular institutions such as the yeshiva emerged from the same democratization of knowledge and privatization of religion that gave rise to secular and universal movements and institutions. Claimed by traditionalists, enlighteners, Zionists, and the Orthodox, Elijah’s genius and its afterlife capture an all-embracing interpretation of the modern Jewish experience. Through the story of the “Vilna Gaon,” Stern presents a new model for understanding modern Jewish history and more generally the place of traditionalism and religious radicalism in modern Western life and thought.

The Genius of the Jewish Joke

Author: Arthur Asa Berger

Publisher: Transaction Publishers

ISBN: 9781412824439

Category: Humor

Page: 184

View: 1703

The Genius of the Jewish Joke focuses on what is distinctive and unusual about Jewish jokes and Jewish humor. Jewish humor is humor by Jews and about Jews, in whatever medium this humor is found. Jokes are defined as short stories, meant to amuse, with a punch line, though Jewish humor exists in many other forms—riddles, comic definitions, parodies—as well. The book makes a "radical" suggestion about the origin of Jewish humor—namely, that Sarah and Abraham's relation to God, and the name of their son Isaac (which, in Hebrew, means laughter), recognizes a special affinity in Jews for humor. Abraham does not sacrifice Isaac (humor) and, thus, humor and the Jews are linked early in Jewish history. Berger discusses techniques of humor and how they can be used to analyze jokes. He also compares "Old World Jewish Humor"—the humor of the shtetl, with its fabulous schlemiels, schlimazels, schnorrers, and other characters—and "New World Humor"—the humor of Jewish doctors, lawyers, accountants, and other professional types living mostly in the suburbs nowadays. Jewish humor is contrasted with other forms of ethnic humor, such as Polish jokes and Italian American jokes. This humor, in addition to providing pleasure, reveals a great deal about Jewish character and culture and, in addition, the human condition. Now available with a new introduction by the author, The Genius of the Jewish Joke is an entertaining and informative inquiry into Jewish humor that explores its distinctiveness, its unique spirit, and its role in Jewish identity.

Teuflischer Held


Author: Catherine Jinks,Jacob Schmidt

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9783426501122

Category: Australia

Page: 508

View: 1371


The History and Philosophy of Judaism

Or, A Critical and Philosophical Analysis of the Jewish Religion. From which is Offered a Vindication of Its Genius, Origin, and Authority, and of the Connection with the Christian, Against the Objections and Misrepresentations of Modern Infidels

Author: Duncan Shaw

Publisher: N.A


Category: Apologetics

Page: 388

View: 5190


Die Erzählungen der Chassidim

Author: Martin Buber

Publisher: Manesse Verlag

ISBN: 3641147824

Category: Fiction

Page: 784

View: 1773

Ein Buch zur religiösen und spirituellen Inspiration Die von Martin Buber gesammelten Geschichten aus der Welt des osteuropäischen Judentums begeistern durch ihre Lebensweisheit, durch Humor und gelebte Religiosität. Zum fünfzigsten Todestag des bedeutenden Religionsforschers erscheint Bubers populärstes Werk in einer liebevoll edierten Jubiläumsausgabe. Der Chassidismus, die im 18. Jahrhundert entstandene religiöse Bewegung der Juden Osteuropas, hat eine Fülle legendenhafter Erzählungen hervorgebracht. Teils mündlich, teils schriftlich niedergelegt, hatten diese Geschichten lange Zeit keinerlei Anspruch auf literarische Gültigkeit. Es ist das Verdienst Bubers, sie nicht nur gesammelt, sondern auch sprachlich geformt und philosophisch eingeordnet zu haben. Den Band «Die Erzählungen der Chassidim» hat er 1949 persönlich für den Manesse Verlag zusammengestellt. Zum Jubiläum veröffentlichen wir eine um Register, Anmerkungen und Glossar erweiterte Ausgabe. Michael Brocke, einer der renommiertesten deutschen Judaisten, beleuchtet mit einem neuen Nachwort Bubers epochales Werk aus heutiger Sicht. Großformatige Geschenkausgabe, gebunden in bedrucktes Leinen, mit Rundum-Farbschnitt Mit neuem Nachwort und erstmals mit Register und Glossar

Judaism and Human Rights

Author: Milton Ridvas Konvitz

Publisher: Transaction Publishers

ISBN: 9781412827003

Category: Religion

Page: 427

View: 1674

Areligion or a culture like Judaism, at least three thousand years old, cannot be expected to be all of one piece, homogeneous, self-contained, consistent, a neatly constructed system of ideas. If Judaism were that, it would have died centuries ago and would be a subject of interest only to the historian and archaeologist. Judaism has been a living force precisely because it is a teeming, thundering, and clamoring phenomenon, full of contrary tendencies and inconsistencies. Although there are no words or phrases in Hebrew Scriptures for "human rights," "conscience," or "due process of law," the ideals and values which these concepts represent were inherent in the earliest Jewish texts. This volume begins with four essays on the concept of man's being born "free and equal," in the image of God. The underpinning of this concept in Jewish law is explored in Section 2, entitled "The Rule of Law." Section 3, "The Democratic Ideal," traces the foundations of democracy in the Jewish teachings in the Bible and the Talmud, which in turn influenced the whole body of Western political thought. Relations between man and man, man and woman, employer and employee, slave and master are all spelled out. Section 4 presents essays analyzing man's freedom of conscience, and his God-given rights to dissent and protest. Section 5 deals with aspects of personal liberty, including the right of privacy. Section 6, entitled "The Earth is the Lord's," deals with the Jewish view of man's transient tenancy on God's earth, his obligations not to destroy anything that lives or grows, and to share the earth's bounty with the poor, the widowed, and the orphaned. Section 7 delivers an analysis of the "end of days" vision of Micah and man's continuing need to strive for peace and not for war. The volume concludes with three new essays, dealing with contemporary issues: "In God's Image: The Religious Imperative of Equality under Law"; "The Values of a Jewish and Democratic State: The Task of Reaching a Synthesis"; and "Religious Freedom and Religious Coercion in the State of Israel." This enlarged edition is accessibly written for a general and scholarly audience and will be of particular interest to political scientists, historians, and constitutional scholars.

Die Nacht

Erinnerung und Zeugnis

Author: Elie Wiesel

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9783451060144


Page: 157

View: 4170


Many Heavens, One Earth

Readings on Religion and the Environment

Author: Clifford Chalmers Cain

Publisher: Lexington Books

ISBN: 0739172964

Category: Religion

Page: 202

View: 9228

Many Heavens, One Earth is a collection of first-person voices from nine of the world religions. In fifteen articles, devotees and scholars reveal the contributions these traditions make to informing and motivating an ecological response to the environmental issues that beset planet earth.

Holy War in Judaism

The Fall and Rise of a Controversial Idea

Author: Reuven Firestone

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199977151

Category: Religion

Page: 384

View: 6009

Holy war, sanctioned or even commanded by God, is a common and recurring theme in the Hebrew Bible. Rabbinic Judaism, however, largely avoided discussion of holy war in the Talmud and related literatures for the simple reason that it became dangerous and self-destructive. Reuven Firestone's Holy War in Judaism is the first book to consider how the concept of ''holy war'' disappeared from Jewish thought for almost 2000 years, only to reemerge with renewed vigor in modern times. The revival of the holy war idea occurred with the rise of Zionism. As the necessity of organized Jewish engagement in military actions developed, Orthodox Jews faced a dilemma. There was great need for all to engage in combat for the survival of the infant state of Israel, but the Talmudic rabbis had virtually eliminated divine authorization for Jews to fight in Jewish armies. Once the notion of divinely sanctioned warring was revived, it became available to Jews who considered that the historical context justified more aggressive forms of warring. Among some Jews, divinely authorized war became associated not only with defense but also with a renewed kibbush or conquest, a term that became central to the discourse regarding war and peace and the lands conquered by the state of Israel in 1967. By the early 1980's, the rhetoric of holy war had entered the general political discourse of modern Israel. In Holy War in Judaism, Firestone identifies, analyzes, and explains the historical, conceptual, and intellectual processes that revived holy war ideas in modern Judaism.

Transgression and the Inexistent

A Philosophical Vocabulary

Author: Mehdi Belhaj Kacem

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 147252862X

Category: Political Science

Page: 256

View: 1785

A contemporary philosopher of Tunisian origin, Mehdi Belhaj Kacem is here published in English for the first time. His new book, Transgression and the Inexistent: A Philosophical Vocabulary, is a comprehensive foray into Kacem's elaborate philosophical system in twenty-seven discreet chapters, each dedicated to a single concept. In each chapter, he explicates a critical re-thinking of ordinary lived experiences - such as desire, irony, play - or traditional philosophical ideas – such as catharsis, mimesis, techne – in light of 'the spirit of nihilism' that marks the contemporary human condition. Kacem gained notoriety in the domain of critical theory amid his controversial break with his mentor and leading contemporary philosopher, Alain Badiou. Transgression and the Inexistent lays out the essential concepts of his philosophical system: it is the most complete and synthetic book of his philosophical work, as well as being one of the most provocative in its claims. As a Francophone author engaging with contemporary world thought, he is able to develop novel philosophical perspectives that reach beyond the Middle East or the Continental, and the East/West binary. This is the book's first publication in any language, constituting a much-awaited first translation of Kacem into English.