The University of Alabama Press

Judaic Studies Series

John Smith, Will Wordsworth

Published by: The University of Alabama Press


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Judaic Studies Series

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Rabbi Esriel Hildesheimer and the Creation of a Modern Jewish Orthodoxy

and the Creation of a Modern Jewish Orthodoxy

Written by David Ellenson

The story of modern Orthodox Judaism is usually told only from the perspective of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch. Ellenson’s work, a thorough examination of the life and work of one of Hirsch’s contemporaries, Rabbi Esriel Hildesheimer, reveals another important contributor to the creation of a modern Jewish Orthodoxy during the late 1800s. like Hirsch, Hildesheirmer felt the need to continue certain traditions while at the same time introducing certain innovations to meet the demands of a modern society. This original study of an Orthodox rabbinic leader shows how Hildesheirmer’s flexible and pragmatic approach to these problems continues to be relevant to modern Judaism. The way in which this book draws upon response literature for its comprehension of Hildesheimer makes it a distinctive work in modern Jewish historiography and sociology.


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Rabbi Max Heller

Reformer, Zionist, Southerner, 1860-1929

This biography of a pioneering Zionist and leader of American Reform Judaism adds significantly to our understanding of American and southern Jewish history.

Max Heller was a man of both passionate conviction and inner contradiction. He sought to be at the center of current affairs, not as a spokesperson of centrist opinion, but as an agitator or mediator, constantly struggling to find an acceptable path as he confronted the major issues of the day--racism and Jewish emancipation in eastern Europe, nationalism and nativism, immigration and assimilation. Heller's life experience provides a distinct vantage point from which to view the complexity of race relations in New Orleans and the South and the confluence of cultures that molded his development as a leader. A Bohemian immigrant and one of the first U.S.-trained rabbis, Max Heller served for 40 years as spiritual leader of a Reform Jewish congregation in New Orleans--at that time the largest city in the South. Far more than a congregational rabbi, Heller assumed an activist role in local affairs, Reform Judaism, and the Zionist movement, maintaining positions often unpopular with his neighbors, congregants, and colleagues. His deep concern for social justice led him to question two basic assumptions that characterized his larger social milieu--segregation and Jewish assimilation. 

Heller, a consummate Progressive with clear vision and ideas substantially ahead of their time, led his congregation, his community, Reform Jewish colleagues, and Zionist sympathizers in a difficult era.



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Separation of Church and State

Dina de-Malkhuta Dina in Jewish Law

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Sephardim in the Americas

Studies in Culture and History

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To Come to the Land

Immigration and Settlement in 16th-Century Eretz-Israel

Written by Abraham David and translated by Dena Ordan

To Come to the Land makes available in English a vast body of research,
previously available only in Hebrew, on the early history of the land now
known as Israel.

Abraham David here focuses on the Spanish and Portuguese Jews who fled
the Iberian Peninsula during the 16th century, tracing the beginnings of
Sephardic influence in the land of Israel.

After the Ottoman Turks conquered Syria, Palestine, and Egypt in 1516,
the Ottoman regime, unlike their Mamluk predecessors, encouraged economic
development and settlement throughout the region. This openness to immigration
offered a solution to the crisis Iberian Jews were undergoing as a result
of their expulsion from Spain and the forced conversions in Portugal. Within
a few years of the Ottoman conquest, Jews of Spanish extraction, many of
them clustered in urban areas, dominated the Jewish communities of Eretz-Israel.

In this carefully researched study, David examines the lasting impression
made by these enterprising Jewish settlers on the commercial, social, and
intellectual life of the area under early Ottoman rule. Of particular interest
is his examination of the cities of Jerusalem and Safed and David's succinct
biographies of leading Jewish personalities throughout the region.

This first English translation of a ground-breaking Hebrew work provides
a comprehensive overview of a significant chapter in the history of Israel
and explores some of the factors that brought to it the best minds of the
age. Essential for scholars of late Medieval Jewish history, To Come to
the Land
will also be an important resource for scholars of intellectual
history, as it provides background crucial to an understanding of the intellectual
flourishing of the period.



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Tormented Master

A Life of Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav

Written by Arthur E. Green

“If Hasidism begins in the life-enhancing spirituality of the Baal Shem Tov, it concludes in the tortuous, elitist and utterly fascinating career of Nahman of Bratslav (1722–1810) whose biography and teaching Arthur Green has set forth in his comprehensive, moving, and subtle study, Tormented Master.

            “Arthur Green has managed to lead us through the thickets of the Bratslaver discourse with a grace and facility thus far unequaled in the English language literature on Hasidism. Tormented Master is a model of clarity and percipience, balancing awed respect and honor for its subject with a ruthless pursuit of documented truth. . . . Tormented Master is sufficiently open to the agonies of religion in general and the issues of modern religion in particular to make Nahman a thinker utterly relevant to our time.

            “Nahman of Bratslav is unique in the history of Judaism, Green emphasizes, for having made the individual’s quest for intimacy with God the center of the religious way. He was a Kierkegaard before his time, believing in the utter abandon of the life of faith and the risk of paradoxicality. . . . He was, more than all others, the predecessor of Kafka, whose tales, like Nahman’s, have no explicit key and rankle, flush and irritate the spirit, compelling us—even in our failure to understand—to acknowledge their potency and challenge.”

—New York Times

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Travail In An Arab Land

 "Samuel Romanelli was a free spirit who spent most of his life traveling in search of adventure, knowledge, and patrons for his literary endeavors. . . [D]uring a voyage to Italy in 1786, he became stranded in Gibraltar . . . and circumstances forced him to join a merchant traveling to Morocco. Through misadventure, he lost his passport and was retained in that country for four years, the story of which forms Travail in an Arab Land. This first-person account is an important and unique work treating the life and culture of Jews in 18th-century Morocco."

--Jewish Book News

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Twilight of a Golden Age

Selected Poems of Abraham Ibn Ezra

Weinberger, Leon J.

Other titles by Leon J. Weinberger:
Anthology of Hebrew Poetry in Greece, Anatolia, and the Balkans
Early Synagogue Poets in the Balkans
Jewish Poets in Crete
Jewish Prince in Moslem Spain: Selected Poems of Samuel ibn Nagrela
Rabbanite and Karaite Liturgical Poetry in Southeastern Europe
Romaniote Penitential Poetry

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