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Dying in the Law of Moses

Crypto-Jewish Martyrdom in the Iberian World

Miriam Bodian

Miriam Bodian's study of crypto-Jewish martyrdom in Iberian lands depicts a new type of martyr that emerged in the late 16th century -- a defiant, educated judaizing martyr who engaged in disputes with inquisitors. By examining closely the Inquisition dossiers of four men who were tried in the Iberian peninsula or Spanish America and who developed judaizing theologies that drew from currents of Reformation thinking that emphasized the authority of Scripture and the religious autonomy of individual interpreters of Scripture, Miriam Bodian reveals unexpected connections between Reformation thought and historic crypto-Judaism. The complex personalities of the martyrs, acting in response to psychic and situational pressures, emerge vividly from this absorbing book.

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Eight Questions of Faith

Biblical Challenges That Guide and Ground Our Lives

Niles Elliot Goldstein

Eight Questions of Faith is a spiritual exploration of some of life’s biggest questions—questions that have been asked by prophets and kings, mystics and sinners, and that continue to be asked by every one of us today. 
 
Niles Elliot Goldstein uses eight questions found in the Bible to explore the human journey from cradle to grave, confronting such important existential experiences and themes as mortality, responsibility, forbidden knowledge, sin, and the afterlife. By interweaving texts from the Bible, commentaries, philosophy, psychology, and literature with his own experiences, Goldstein also meditates on midlife. This book will appeal to believers and nonbelievers alike and is aimed at anyone who has ever faced a challenge or wondered what life is all about.

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Elie Wiesel

Jewish, Literary, and Moral Perspectives

Edited by Steven T. Katz and Alan Rosen

Nobel Peace Prize recipient Elie Wiesel, best known for his writings on the Holocaust, is also the accomplished author of novels, essays, tales, and plays as well as portraits of seminal figures in Jewish life and experience. In this volume, leading scholars in the fields of Biblical, Rabbinic, Hasidic, Holocaust, and literary studies offer fascinating and innovative analyses of Wiesel's texts as well as illuminating commentaries on his considerable influence as a teacher and as a moral voice for human rights. By exploring the varied aspects of Wiesel's multifaceted career—his texts on the Bible, the Talmud, and Hasidism as well as his literary works, his teaching, and his testimony—this thought-provoking volume adds depth to our understanding of the impact of this important man of letters and towering international figure.

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The Emergence of Modern Hebrew Creativity in Babylon, 1735- 1950

by Lev Hakak

This book begins with a brief history about the Jews in Babylon (Iraq), their Hebrew creativity and the fact that this creativity was excluded from the history of Modern Hebrew literature because it was unknown to the scholars. The book focuses on the years 1735-1950 and presents the secular Hebrew poetry written in Babylon at that time, the folktales, journalistic articles, and epistles, research of Hebrew literature, a story and a play.

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The En Yaaqov

Jacob ibn Habib’s Search for Faith in the Talmudic Corpus

Marjorie Lehman

Examines the origins of the En Yaaqov in the tumultuous medieval period and the motivations of its creator, exiled Spanish rabbi Jacob ibn Habib.

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Encountering the Jewish Future

with Wiesel, Buber, Heschel, Arendt, Levinas

By Marc H. Ellis

Marc Ellis maintains that the most vital questions about Judaism are prefigured in the work of Elie Wiesel, Martin Buber, Abraham Joshua Heschel, Hannah Arendt, and Emmanuel Levinas. Ellis's work is framed by encounters with each thinker's work, focusing on topics of God, the Holocaust, the prophetic legacy, philosophical and ethical standpoints, and Jewish empowerment and dissent.

Two generations after the Holocaust and Israel's founding, Ellis argues that the uncertain future of Judaism requires a deeply personal and intellectual exploration of Jewish tradition and identity, in conversation with the best philosophical and theological minds of recent years.

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Enforced Marginality

Jewish Narratives on Abandoned Wives

Bluma Goldstein

This illuminating study explores a central but neglected aspect of modern Jewish history: the problem of abandoned Jewish wives, or agunes ("chained wives")—women who under Jewish law could not obtain a divorce—and of the men who deserted them. Looking at seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Germany and then late nineteenth-century eastern Europe and twentieth-century United States, Enforced Marginality explores representations of abandoned wives while tracing the demographic movements of Jews in the West. Bluma Goldstein analyzes a range of texts (in Old Yiddish, German, Yiddish, and English) at the intersection of disciplines (history, literature, sociology, and gender studies) to describe the dynamics of power between men and women within traditional communities and to elucidate the full spectrum of experiences abandoned women faced.

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Essays in Jewish Thought

A fascinating and eclectic collection of twenty-two essays, Essays in Jewish Thought examines and explores divers topics of Jewish thought and history. From Judaism’s view of ancient Rome at its imperial apogee and the Dead Sea Scrolls to Jewish thought in Europe’s revolutions of 1848 and Franz Kafka, the collection offers a rich compendium of essays of interest to scholars, historians, philosophers, and students. 


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Ethics of Maimonides

Hermann Cohen, Translated by Almut Sh. Bruckstein

    Hermann Cohen’s essay on Maimonides’ ethics is one of the most fundamental texts of twentieth-century Jewish philosophy, correlating Platonic, prophetic, Maimonidean, and Kantian traditions. Almut Sh. Bruckstein provides the first English translation and her own extensive commentary on this landmark 1908 work, which inspired readings of medieval and rabbinic sources by Leo Strauss, Franz Rosenzweig, and Emmanuel Levinas.
    Cohen rejects the notion that we should try to understand texts of the past solely in the context of their own historical era. Subverting the historical order, he interprets the ethical meanings of texts in the light of a future yet to be realized. He commits the entire Jewish tradition to a universal socialism prophetically inspired by ideals of humanity, peace, and universal justice.
    Through her own probing commentary on Cohen’s text, like the margin notes of a medieval treatise, Bruckstein performs the hermeneutical act that lies at the core of Cohen’s argument: she reads Jewish sources from a perspective that recognizes the interpretive act of commentary itself.

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Eve's Journey

Feminine Images in Hebraic Literary Tradition

By Nehama Aschkenasy

In Eve's Journey, Nehama Aschkenasy traces the migration of several female images and feminine situations from their early appearances in Biblical writings to their incarnations in modern Hebraic literature. Focusing on the evolution of early female archetypes and prototypes, Aschkenasy uncovers the ancient roots of modern female characters and traces the changing cultural perceptions of women in Hebraic letters.

The author draws on the vast body of Hebraic literary documents to illustrate how the female character is a mirror of her times as well as being a product of her creator''s imagination and conception of the woman's role in society and in fiction. The historical spectrum, provided by a discussion of Biblical narratives, Midrashic sources, documents of the Jewish mystics, Hasidic tales, and modern Hebrew works, allows an understanding of the metamorphosis that the female figure has experienced in her literary odyssey.

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