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Book Reviews 149 form ofReform Judaism, when he said, "We cannot import our special brand ofReform Judaism into Israel. Our spiritual apparel may not be suitable raiment for them" (p. 30). However, Michael Meyer, in his essay, "Abba Hillel Silver as Zionist within the Camp of Reform Judaism," correctly points out that Silver was still a classical Reform Jew whose Reform Jewish ideology was very much patterned after prophetic Judaism rather than, as now evidenced within Reform Judaism, increased ritual and tradition. One of the major strengths of this book is its emphasis on the strong connection between American liberalism and Zionism in Silver's life. The influence of the ancient prophets with their clarion call for justice and righteousness was manifested in Silver's assertion, made again and again, that Zionism and liberal democracy are co-partners in giving meaning to people's lives. Thus his impassioned efforts to promote effective prolabor legislation and to further the cause of women suffrage, as well as his espousal of other liberal causes, emanated from his perception that the Jewish values of social ethics, which he also saw in Zionism, would be most effective in the democratizing of American society. As a chronicle of the life, the work, and the ideals which motivated Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver, Abba Hillel Silver and American Zionism is a valuable resource. It is also a well written and carefully crafted treatment of one of the most profound, powerful, and articulate Jewish leaders of the twentieth century. Rabbi Samuel Weingart Temple Israel West Lafayette, Indiana Judaism in the First Centuries of the Christian Era: The Age of Tannaim, by George Foot Moore. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1997. 3 vols. 552,486, 206 pp. $59.95 set. Hendrickson Publishers has rendered a great service in reissuing George Foot Moore's classic work, Judaism, first published in 1927. Though seventy years old, this encyclopedic mine of clearly written information will continue to be useful to all who want a thorough introduction to Judaism in the first century of the Common Era. The standard criti~ism ofMoore's Judaism has been that he described a "normative Judaism" when, in truth, Judaism had many varieties of expression even in the first century. This derives from his stated objective at the beginning of the second section, the chapter entitled "Critical Principles": The aim of the present work is to exhibit the religious conceptions and moral principles of Judaism, its modes of worship and observance, and its distinctive piety, in the fonn in 150 SHOFAR Summer 1999 Vol. 17, No.4 which, by the end of the second century of the Christian era, they attained general acceptance and authority. The evolution of this normative Judaism and the causes of its supremacy has been outlined in the historical part of this Introduction (I, 125, emphasis mine). But the criticism ofMoore's "normative Judaism," as though he channeled all the multitudinous information into a description of one sect, may be seen as a construct contradicted by the detailed evidence Moore provided. The validity of the criticism has been over-drawn in being repeated so often, so as to lead to the impression that Moore was not aware ofhow multiform "Judaism" was and to short-change his nuanced view of Judaism. While writing about a "normative Judaism" that "gained supremacy," he did not neglect forms of Judaism that did not gain supremacy. It is clear to me that he was describing what later scholars did not blush to call "Rabbinic Judaism," theJudaism reflected in the Mishnah and Talmuds. Rabbinic Judaism, one of Rebecca's Children, as Alan Segal described "Judaism and Christianity in the Roman World," was, in fact, the foundation for nearly all subsequent forms of Judaism. Moore was keenly aware that there was variety in first-century Judaism. Subsequent scholarship has emphasized this variety more, using the considerable additional knowledge that has come from archaeology, numismatics, and further studies of the literature. The study of Judaism as a discipline has blossomed, so that it is no wonder that refmements of earlier scholarship have been written. But to suggest that Moore was unaware of the varieties of expression of Judaism is to sell him short...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-5165
Print ISSN
0882-8539
Pages
pp. 149-150
Launched on MUSE
2012-10-03
Open Access
No
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