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Book Notes BOOK NOTES 161 Annotations written by Walter Hirsch,Jean-Pierre Herubel, and Paul Miller, all of Purdue University, are identified by their initials. American Jewish Life AmericanJews and the Separationist Faith: The New Debate on Religion in Public Life, edited by David G. Dalin. Washington, DC: Ethics and Public Policy Center, 1993. 169 pp. $19.95. ISBN 0-89633-176-8. During the past half century, most American Jews believed· that religion should be rigorously separated from public life. In recent years this position has been challenged by those who think that the complete secularization of public life amounts to an unhealthy hostility toward religion. This book contains essays by forty Jewish lawyers, rabbiS, professors, writers, and policy analysts who offer varying perspectives on the role of religion in American public life. Between Civil and Religious Law: The Plight of the Agunah in American Society, by Irving A Breitowitz. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1993. 448 pp. $59.95. ISBN 0-313-28471-7. This book deals with the difficult plight of the agunah, a person (usually a woman) who, follOWing a civil divorce, is unable to remarry within her faith because of the unwillingness of the other party to participate in a religious divorce. Some estimates have placed the number of women subject to this status as high as 150,000 in the state of New York alone, although this number is challenged by other authorities. This book describes the Jewish divorce procedure, sketches out the possible halakhic responses to the situation, and considers the possibilities of utilizing the secular judicial system. A New Jewry? America Since the Second World War, edited by Peter Y. Medding. Studies in Contemporary Jewry, Vol. VIII. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992. 409 pp. $45.00. ISBN 0-19-507449-l. The end of the Second World War proved to be a major turning point for American Jews. How they perceived themselves in American society, where they resided, the ways in which they earned their 162 SHOFAR Spring 1994 Vol. 12, No.3 livelihoods, and what they derived from American culture and how they shaped it are studied in this volume. Ancient World and Archaeology Essai sur les origines du judai"sme (Essay on the Origins ofJudaism), by E. Nodet. Paris: Les Editions du Cerf, 1992. 296 pp. 120 F. ISBN 2-20404493 -8. This work constitutes a general account and coming to terms with the origins of Judaism. Written by a biblical scholar in Jerusalem, this readable survey covers historical conditions, religious characteristics, and cultural matrix ofJewish life in ancient times. (French) G.-P.H.) History and Traditions of Early Israel, edited by B. Otzen. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1993. 165 pp. $77.25. ISBN 90-04-09871-8. This book is published as a Festschrift on the occasion of the 70th birthday of professor Eduard Nielsen (Copenhagen). In accordance with the main themes of Nielsen's scholarly works, the articles concentrate on the history of early Israel, i.e., Israel before the classical prophets in the 8th century B.C.E., and on literary traditions referring to this phase of Israelite hiStory. The articles are concerned with topics in the Books of the Pentateuch and with the epoch of King David, as well as with archaeology, Canaanite traditions, etc. Scrolls from the Dead Sea, by Ayala Sussmann and Ruth Peled. New York: George Braziller, 1993. 143 pp. n.p.1. ISBN 0-8076-1333-9. This volume brings together twelve of the best-preserved and leastknown scrolls, in photographs, Hebrew transcriptions, and English translations, as well as a hundred related artifacts excavated at Qumran. Interpretive essays provide a historical background of the scrolls and the Qumran community. Book Notes Biblical and Rabbinic Literature 163 Assimilation versus Separation: Joseph the Administrator and the Politics of Religion in Biblical Israel, by Aaron Wildavsky. New Brunswick, N]: Transaction Publishers, 1993. 236 pp. $32.95. ISBN 1-56000-081-3. The stories of Joseph and Moses demonstrate the alternatives of Judaism: whether to adopt local customs or to remain a God-centered people. Aaron Wildavsky argues that]oseph's assimilative behavior is the reason why he is left out of the rest of the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-5165
Print ISSN
0882-8539
Pages
pp. 161-190
Launched on MUSE
2012-10-03
Open Access
No
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