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Jewish Publication Society

Website: http://www.jewishpub.org/

We are the oldest publisher of Jewish books in the United States. Our roots go back to before the Civil War, and our charter to 1888 in Philadelphia. Our legacy includes two acclaimed translations of the Hebrew Bible (the JPS Tanakh), esteemed biblical commentary, and over 120 years of scholarly and popular works of history, philosophy, and literature that have stood the test of time.


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Jewish Publication Society

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Jewish Choices, Jewish Voices

Sex and Intimacy

Edited by Rabbi Elliot N. Dorff and Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg

In the newest addition to the Jewish Choices, Jewish Voices series, co-editors Elliot Dorff and Danya Ruttenberg have brought together a diverse group of Jews to comment on how Judaism affects their views and actions regarding sex. Contributors range from adult movie actor Ron Jeremy, to renowned feminist scholar Martha Ackelsberg, to noted writer and blogger Esther Kustanowitz, as well as rabbis, doctors, social workers, and activists. They discuss issues of monogamy, honesty, and communication in dating and marriage; testing for and disclosure of STDs; abortion, sex education, sex work, and sexuality. Each volume in this series presents hypothetical cases on specific topics, followed by traditional and contemporary sources. Supplementing these are brief essays, written by contributors of various ages, backgrounds, and viewpoints to provoke lively thought and discussion. These voices from Jewish tradition and today’s Jewish community present us with new questions and perspectives, encouraging us to consider our own moral choices in a new light.

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Jewish Choices, Jewish Voices

Social Justice

Edited by Rabbi Elliot N. Dorff and Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg

How do we expand health care coverage to more Americans? Are hate crimes legislation and affirmative action fair? What sacrifices must we make to protect the environment? Is the death penalty morally acceptable? Contributors include Jill Jacobs, of Jewish Funds for Justice; Arthur Waskow, director of The Shalom Center; and TV commentator and UCLA law professor Laurie Levenson.

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Jewish Choices, Jewish Voices

War and National Security

Edited by Rabbi Elliot N. Dorff and Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg

Is it morally acceptable to use surveillance and profiling to protect national security? Should war only be used in self-defense? Is torture in times of war morally acceptable? Contributors include scholar Noam Chomsky, Lt. Col. Seth Milstein, and political philosopher Michael Walzer.

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Jewish Life in the Middle Ages

Authored by Israel Abrahams

This classic work of scholarship illustrates the richness, complexity, and fullness of medieval Jewish life. Readers will discover how much was hidden from the inquisitive and often hostile gaze of Christian Europe. Israel Abrahams vividly details the customs, manners, and mores, and delves into the social culture of Jewish life at this time.

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Jewish Meaning in a World of Choice

Studies in Tradition and Modernity

David Ellenson

Internationally recognized scholar David Ellenson shares twenty-three of his most representative essays, drawing on three decades of scholarship and demonstrating the consistency of the intellectual-religious interests that have animated him throughout his lifetime.

 

These essays center on a description and examination of the complex push and pull between Jewish tradition and Western culture. Ellenson addresses gender equality, women’s rights, conversion, issues relating to who is a Jew, the future of the rabbinate, Jewish day schools, and other emerging trends in American Jewish life. As an outspoken advocate for a strong Israel that is faithful to the democratic and Jewish values that informed its founders, he also writes about religious tolerance and pluralism in the Jewish state.

 

The former president  of Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, the primary seminary of the Reform movement, Ellenson is widely respected for his vision of advancing Jewish unity and of preparing leadership for a contemporary Judaism that balances tradition with the demands of a changing world.

 

Scholars and students of Jewish religious thought, ethics, and modern Jewish history will welcome this erudite collection by one of today’s great Jewish leaders.

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Jewish Traditions

A JPS Guide

Authored by Dr. Ronald L. Eisenberg

This is a comprehensive and authoritative resource with ready answers to questions about almost all aspects of Jewish life and practice: life-cycle events, holidays, ritual and prayer, Jewish traditions and customs, and more. Ronald Eisenberg has distilled an immense amount of material from classic and contemporary sources into a single volume, which provides thousands of insights into the origins, history, and current interpretations of a wealth of Jewish traditions and customs. Divided into four sections--Synagogue and Prayers, Sabbaths and Festivals, Life-Cycle Events, and Miscellaneous (a large section that includes such diverse topics as Jewish literature, food, and plants and animals)- this is an encyclopedic reference for anyone who wants easily accessible, accurate information about all things Jewish. Eisenberg writes for a wide, diversified audience, and is respectful of the range of practices and beliefs within today's American Jewish community--from Orthodox to liberal.

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Jews and Genes

The Genetic Future in Contemporary Jewish Thought

Elliot N. Dorff

Well aware of Jews having once been the victims of Nazi eugenics policies, many Jews today have an ambivalent attitude toward new genetics and are understandably wary of genetic forms of identity and intervention. At the same time, the Jewish tradition is strongly committed to medical research designed to prevent or cure diseases. Jews and Genes explores this tension against the backdrop of various important developments in genetics and bioethics—new advances in stem cell research; genetic mapping, identity, testing, and intervention; and the role of religion and ethics in shaping public policy.
 
Jews and Genes brings together leaders in their fields, from all walks of Judaism, to explore these most timely and intriguing topics—the intricacies of the genetic code and the wonders of life, along with cutting-edge science and the ethical issues it raises.

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Jonah and the Meaning of Our Lives

A Verse-by-Verse Contemporary Commentary

Steven Bob

The Book of Jonah stands unique among the biblical books of the prophets because it is almost entirely narrative. And, in contrast to all the other prophets portrayed as admirable individuals who bravely speak God’s word, Jonah stands out as flawed and fleeing from God. We are drawn to Jonah because God gives him an opportunity to redeem himself. His experience inspires us to find our own second chances—and our own paths to meaningful growth.


Jonah and the Meaning of Our Lives draws on commentaries of Rashi, Ibn Ezra, Kimchi, Abarbanel, and the Malbim, as well as contemporary culture and personal experiences to reveal the hidden meanings of this perplexing biblical story. In so doing, it explores many of the larger questions and topics we face, including human nature, our relationship with God, and how we understand ourselves and lead our lives. Rabbi Steven Bob’s verse-by-verse commentary intimately connects the ancient wisdom of the text with the reality of our own lives, providing us with inspiration and guidance.
 
              

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The JPS Bible Commentary

Ecclesiastes

Authored by Michael V. Fox PhD

The Book of Ecclesiastes is part of the "wisdom literature" of the Bible. It concerns itself with universal philosophical questions, rather than events in the history of Israel and in the Hebrews' covenant with God. Koheleth, the speaker in this book, ruminates on what -- if anything -- has lasting value, and how -- if at all -- God interacts with humankind. Koheleth expresses bewilderment and frustration at life's absurdities and injustices. He grapples with the inequities that pervade the world and the frailty and limitations of human wisdom and righteousness. His awareness of these discomfiting facts coexists with a firm believe in God's rule and God's fundamental justice, and he looks for ways to define a meaningful life in a world where so much is senseless. Ecclesiastes is traditionally read on the Jewish holiday Sukkot, the harvest festival.

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The JPS Bible Commentary

Haftarot

Authored by Michael Fishbane, Ph.D.

The haftarot are an ancient part of Hebrew liturgy. These supplemental readings are excerpted from the Prophets (Nevi'im) and accompany each weekly Sabbath reading from the Torah as well as readings for special Sabbaths and festivals. Noted Bible scholar Michael Fishbane introduces each haftarah with an outline and discussion of how that passage conveys its meaning, and he follows it with observations on how it relates to the Torah portion or special occasion. Individual comments, citing classical rabbinic as well as modern commentators, highlight ambiguities and difficulties in the Hebrew text, which appears in concert with the JPS translation. The haftarot are also put into biblical context by a separate overview of all prophetic books (except Jonah) that are excerpted in the haftarah cycle.

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