Search results for: rabbi-akivas-philosophy-of-love

Rabbi Akiva s Philosophy of Love

Author : Naftali Rothenberg
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This book explores the philosophy of love through the thought and life of Rabbi Akiva ben Joseph. Readers of the Talmud are introduced to Rabbi Akiva through the iconic story of his love for his wife Rachel. From this starting point, Naftali Rothenberg conducts a thorough examination of the harmonious approach to love in the obstacle-laden context of human reality. Discussing the deterioration of passion into simple lust, the ability to contend with suffering and death, and so forth, Rothenberg addresses the deepest and most pressing questions about human love. The readings and observations offered here allow readers to acquire the wisdom of love—not merely as an assemblage of theoretical arguments and abstract statements, but as an analysis of the internal contradictions and difficulties revealed in the context of attempts to realize and implement harmonious love.

Encyclopedia of Love in World Religions

Author : Yudit Kornberg Greenberg
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This is the first comprehensive resource on the subject of love in the teachings of the world's major religions, cultures, and philosophies.

Love as Common Ground

Author : Paul S. Fiddes
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This book explores the way that the study of love creates a "common ground" in religion. For the contributors, common ground is not to be understood as a minimal core of belief, but as a space which scholars from Islam, Judaism, and Christianity occupy in order to consider together the meaning and practice of love.

Wisdom of Love

Author : Naftali Rothenberg
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Challenging the public's negative perception of the Jewish religion's views on love, Naftali Rothenberg shows his readers the fundamental ways in which love forms the foundation of Scriptural meditations on wisdom and achieving nearness with God. Rather than seeking to repress love as a significant part of human interaction, Rothenberg examines how Scripture celebrates love -- particularly love between men and women -- and uses this celebration to deepen our understanding of the love of people for their fellow man and God's love for his people.

Ethical Monotheism

Author : Ehud Benor
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The term Ethical Monotheism is an important marker in Judaism’s tumultuous transition into the modern era. The term emerged in the context of culture-wars concerning the question of whether or not Jews could or should become emancipated citizens of modern European states. It appeared in arguments whether or not Judaism could be considered a Religion of Reason—a symbolic, motivational representation of a universal morality, and in debates about whether or not Judaism could or should reform itself into a Religion of Reason. This book is both a decisive departure from such discussions and an attempt to add a further, post-modern, statement to their ongoing development. As departure, it refuses to take for granted a philosophical conception of Religion of Reason as the standard for Ethical Monotheism according to which Judaism was to be evaluated or reformed. As continuation, the book undertakes a phenomenology of Jewish modes of ethical religiosity that allows it to inquire what kind of ethical monotheism Judaism might be. Through sophisticated analysis of select "snapshots," or "fragments of a hologram," guided by a robust theory of religion, the author discloses Judaic ethical monotheism as an ongoing wrestling with the meaning of justice. By closely examining five main "snapshots" of this long process—the Bible, rabbinic Judaism, Maimonides, The Zohar, and the modern philosophers, Buber and Levinas—the author offers his own constructive philosophy of Judaism and his own distinctive philosophy of religion. Ethical Monotheism offers a new way to think about Judaism as a religion and as a coherent philosophical debate, and demonstrates the need to integrate philosophy, history, cognitive psychology, anthropology, theology, and history of science in the study of "religion."

Women and Gender in Jewish Philosophy

Author : Hava Tirosh-Samuelson
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Women and Gender in Jewish Philosophy is the first systematic attempt to interpret the Jewish philosophical tradition in light of feminist philosophy and to engage feminist philosophy from the perspective of Jewish philosophy. Written by Jewish women who are trained in philosophy, the 13 original essays presented here demonstrate that no analysis of Jewish philosophy (historical or constructive) can be adequate without attention to gender categories. The essays cover the entire Jewish philosophic tradition from Philo, through Maimonides, to Levinas, and they rethink the subdisciplines of Jewish philosophy, including metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, political theory, and theology. This volume offers an invitation for a new conversation between feminist philosophy and Jewish philosophy as well as a novel contribution to contemporary Jewish philosophy. Contributors are Leora Batnitzky, Jean Axelrad Cahan, Idit Dobbs-Weinstein, Claire Elise Katz, Nancy Levene, Sandra B. Lubarsky, Sarah Pessin, Randi Rashkover, Heidi Miriam Ravven, T. M. Rudavsky, Suzanne Last Stone, Hava Tirosh-Samuelson, and Laurie Zoloth.

The Oxford Handbook of the Abrahamic Religions

Author : Adam Silverstein
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The Oxford Handbook of the Abrahamic Religions includes authoritative yet accessible studies on a wide variety of topics dealing comparatively with Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, as well as with the interactions between the adherents of these religions throughout history. The comparative study of the Abrahamic Religions has been undertaken for many centuries. More often than not, these studies reflected a polemical rather than an ecumenical approach to the topic. Since the nineteenth century, the comparative study of the Abrahamic Religions has not been pursued either intensively or systematically, and it is only recently that the comparative study of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam has received more serious attention. This volume contributes to the emergence and development of the comparative study of the Abrahamic religions, a discipline which is now in its formative stages. This Handbook includes both critical and supportive perspectives on the very concept of the Abrahamic religions and discussions on the role of the figure of Abraham in these religions. It features 32 essays, by the foremost scholars in the field, on the historical interactions between Abrahamic communities; on Holy Scriptures and their interpretation; on conceptions of religious history; on various topics and strands of religious thought, such as monotheism and mysticism; on rituals of prayer, purity, and sainthood, on love in the three religions and on fundamentalism. The volume concludes with three epilogues written by three influential figures in the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim communities, to provide a broader perspective on the comparative study of the Abrahamic religions. This ground-breaking work introduces readers to the challenges and rewards of studying these three religions together.

For the Love of God and People

Author : Elliot N. Dorff
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“This is obviously the most significant book of the year for Conservative Jews. But, going further, I think it is a must-read for any Jew who takes his/her relationship to Jewish law seriously.” -- Jewish Herald-Voice; “This book is a serious attempt by a serious scholar to address contemporary issues facing Conservative Jews.” -- Jewish Book World Every generation of Jews in every denomination of Judaism finds itself facing complex legal questions. The status of same-sex unions and the plight of the agunah (a woman who cannot obtain a divorce), are just two of a myriad of thorny questions Jewish legal experts grapple with today. These are not esoteric problems but issues with a profound impact on the daily happiness of countless people. How do the rabbis who draft responses to these questions reach their conclusions? What informs their decisions and their approach to Jewish law? Acclaimed writer and legal expert Elliot Dorff addresses these and other questions in this intelligent, accessible guide to the philosophy behind Jewish law. In his view, Jewish law is an expression of the love we have for God and for our fellow human beings. This theme permeates his discussion of important aspects of the law. For example, what motivates modern Jews to follow Jewish law? How does Jewish law strike the balance between continuity and change? On what grounds and under what circumstances do human beings have the authority to interpret or even change God's laws? Dorff also offers a systematic comparison of Jewish law and U.S. law, based on his course on this subject at UCLA School of Law. Whether you are a lawyer or simply interested in the philosophy behind recent rabbinic decisions, this is a book that will deepen your understanding of the Jewish legal system and its role in the modern world.

Love Your Neighbour

Author : Michael Mocatta M a
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We are all familiar with the commandment to 'love your neighbour as yourself'. But it's difficult to know exactly what it means, There are three main problems - firstly, what is meant by 'love', secondly who is (and is not) your neighbour, and finally what does 'as yourself' mean? It's not as simple as it looks at first glance.Of course, it's not just us, today, who are asking these questions. The commandment has been interrogated and analysed for thousands of years, within the Jewish tradition and within the Christian tradition. Each generation, each new blast of scholarship, added a new layer of meaning to the plain sense of the biblical text.This book serves as a partial biography of the commandment, examining the commandment through three lenses. The first lens is the lens of Biblical scholarship and literary criticism. What does each word mean, on its own and in context. Did the words mean something very different to the Israelites at Sinai or the Judeans who first heard the Torah read out at the time of Ezra? What can we learn from comparing the Biblical text to texts from other cultures from the Ancient Near East. The second lens is the lens of Rabbinic Judaism. In particular, the midrash (legend) recorded three times in ancient Rabbinic texts (from 100 BCE to 700 CE) that the famous Rabbi Akiva debated with his colleague Simeon Ben Azzai as to which commandment was the principal or greatest commandment in Torah. Why might Rabbi Akiva have selected the commandment 'love your neighbour'? Why did Ben Azzai disagree? What can we learn from these ancient Rabbinic texts as to what the commandment meant to the Jews of late antiquity? The final lens is that of twentieth century Jewish philosophy. The commandment 'love your neighbour' was central to the work of two Jewish philosophers - one, Franz Rosenzweig who lived, worked and died in Germany prior to the Second World War; the other, Emmanuel Levinas, the Ethicist and Holocaust survivor. Both Rosenzweig and Levinas lived and worked in a cultural milieu where Jewish, Christian and Secular philosophies intermingled. Rosenzweig's world was one of Christian ascendency, and his life's work was to create a method for Jews and Christians to co-exist. Levinas saw that Philosophy had been used and abused by the Nazis to justify their own warped sense of superiority. He also found himself leading the shocked post-war Jewish community of France into reclaiming and revivifying their Jewish identity. In both cases, the commandment to 'love your neighbour' became a central premise to life in modernity - a premise as important to Jews and Christians as to those of no religion at all.This book provides a deep, scholarly and spiritually sensitive analysis of the commandment to 'love your neighbour'. Funds raised from its sale will enable further research - notably into the intervening centuries between the Rabbinic period and the emergence of modernity. It will be of interest to anyone with a broad inquiring mind into Judaism, Christianity, inter-faith and humanistic ethics.

Pious Irreverence

Author : Dov Weiss
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Judaism is often described as a religion that tolerates, even celebrates arguments with God. In Pious Irreverence, Dov Weiss has written the first scholarly study of the premodern roots of this distinctively Jewish theology of protest, examining its origins and development in the rabbinic age (70 CE-800 CE).

Philosopher and Prophet

Author : Yochanan Silman
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This book relates the various strata of Halevi's Book of Kuzari to the different periods of Halevi's philosophical development.

Philosophy of the Talmud

Author : Hyam Maccoby
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This is a new presentation of the philosophy of the Talmud. The Talmud is not a work of formal philosophy, but much of what it says is relevant to philosophical enquiry, including issues explored in contemporary debates. In particular, the Talmud has original ideas about the relation between universal ethics and the ethics of a particular community. This leads into a discussion on the relation between morality and ritual, and also about the epistemological role of tradition. The book explains the paradoxes of Talmudic Judaism as arising from a philosophy of revolution, stemming from Jewish origins as a band of escaped slaves, determined not to reproduce the slave-society of Egypt. From this arises a daring humanism, and an emphasis on justice in this world rather than on other-worldly spirituality. A strong emphasis on education and the cultivation of rationality also stems from this. Governing the discussion is a theory of logic that differs significantly from Greek logic. Talmudic logic is one of analogy, not classification and is peculiarly suited to discussions of moral and legal human situations. This book will be of interest to those in the fields of philosophy, religion and the history of ideas, whether students, teachers and academics, or the interested general reader.

The Philosophy of Forgiveness Volume III

Author : Gregory L. Bock
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'The Philosophy of Forgiveness, Volume III: Forgiveness in World Religions' is a collection of essays that explores the philosophy of forgiveness in different religions, including Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism. Each chapter scours one of these religions for insights on the concept of forgiveness, asking questions such as whether forgiveness is a virtue, whether it is conditional, whether God has standing to forgive, and whether it is permissible not to forgive some extreme wrongs. In some of the chapters, the concept of forgiveness in one religion is compared with that in another. In other chapters, the ideas of different traditions within a religion are compared and contrasted. Also, some chapters compare a religious concept to the views of a philosophical figure, such as Aristotle, Kant, or Derrida. The contributors to the volume come from various cultural and religious backgrounds and from different disciplines, such as philosophy, religious studies, and psychology. The collection is written for scholars, graduate students, and upper-division undergraduate students interested in forgiveness or comparative religious philosophy.

Judaism and Modernity

Author : Jonathan W. Malino
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In the past quarter-century, David Hartman has established himself as one of the pre-eminent religious and Jewish thinkers of our age. Refusing to be limited by the traditional focus on metaphysics and theology, Hartman has developed a religious philosophy through sustained reflection on the concrete experience of individual, communal and national Jewish life. In Judaism and Modernity, prominent Israeli and American scholars of philosophy, religion, law, political theory, and Judaism engage Hartman's wide-ranging and provocative work. Touched by Hartman's passion for religious dialogue, humanism, and the interplay between traditional texts and modern thought, the contributors advance their own ideas on the philosophy of religion, religious anthropology, pluralism, Zionism, and medieval Jewish philosophy. This is a rich collection for students, professional academicians, and all who seek to incorporate the wisdom of the past into the evolving wisdom of the future.

The Love of God

Author : Jon D. Levenson
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The love of God is perhaps the most essential element in Judaism—but also one of the most confounding. In biblical and rabbinic literature, the obligation to love God appears as a formal commandment. Yet most people today think of love as a feeling. How can an emotion be commanded? How could one ever fulfill such a requirement? The Love of God places these scholarly and existential questions in a new light. Jon Levenson traces the origins of the concept to the ancient institution of covenant, showing how covenantal love is a matter neither of sentiment nor of dry legalism. The love of God is instead a deeply personal two-way relationship that finds expression in God's mysterious love for the people of Israel, who in turn observe God’s laws out of profound gratitude for his acts of deliverance. Levenson explores how this bond has survived episodes in which God’s love appears to be painfully absent—as in the brutal persecutions of Talmudic times—and describes the intensely erotic portrayals of the relationship by biblical prophets and rabbinic interpreters of the Song of Songs. He examines the love of God as a spiritual discipline in the Middle Ages as well as efforts by two influential modern Jewish thinkers—Martin Buber and Franz Rosenzweig—to recover this vital but endangered aspect of their tradition. A breathtaking work of scholarship and spirituality alike that is certain to provoke debate, The Love of God develops fascinating insights into the foundations of religious life in the classical Jewish tradition.

Teaching Mitzvot

Author : Barbara Binder Kadden
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A handbook for Jewish teachers containing teaching information on 41 mitzvot. Each chapter includes an overview with historical background and information, activities organized by grade level, and resources, both print and media.

Maimonides for Moderns

Author : Ira Bedzow
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This book aims to construct a contemporary Jewish philosophy that accounts for virtue ethics or, rather, to give Jewish virtue ethics a contemporary language for its expression. Ira Bedzow draws significantly on the work of Moses Maimonides and his religio-philosophical explanation of Jewish ethics. However, Bedzow moves away from various aspects of Maimonides’s Aristotelian biology, physics, metaphysics, and psychology. The objective of the volume is to integrate the normative principles of the Jewish tradition into everyday life. While the book translates Jewish ethics from a medieval, Aristotelian framework into a contemporary one, it also serves as a means for Judaism to continue as a living tradition.

Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself

Author : Lenn E. Goodman
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In this book, Lenn E. Goodman writes about the commandment to "love thy neighbor as thyself" from the standpoint of Judaism, a topic and perspective that have not often been joined before. Goodman addresses two big questions: What does that command ask of us? and what is its basis? Drawing extensively on Jewish sources, both biblical and rabbinic, he fleshes out the cultural context and historical shape taken on by this Levitical commandment. In so doing, he restores the richness of its material content to this core articulation of our moral obligations, which often threatens to sink into vacuity as a mere nostrum or rhetorical formula. Goodman argues against the notion that we have this obligation simply because God demands it -- a position that too readily makes ethics seem arbitrary, relativistic, dogmatic, authoritarian, contingent or just unpalatable. Rather he proposes that we learn much about how we ought to think about God from what we know about morals. He shows that natural reasoning and appeals to scripture, tradition, and revelation reinforce one another in ethical deliberation. For Goodman, ethics and theology are not worlds apart connected only by a kind of narrow one-way passage; the two realms of discourse can and should inform each other. Engaging the philosophers, including Aristotle, Spinoza, and Kant, and assembling three-thousand years worth of Jewish textual masterpieces, Goodman skillfully weaves his Gifford Lectures, which he delivered in 2005, into an indispensable work.

Ancient Mediterranean Philosophy

Author : Stephen Clark
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Although the Greeks were responsible for the first systematic philosophy of which we have any record, they were not alone in the Mediterranean world and were happy to draw inspiration from other traditions; traditions that are now largely neglected by philosophers and scholars. This book tells the story of 'Greek Philosophy', paying due attention to its historical context and the contributions made by Egyptians, Hebrews, Persians and even barbarians from northern Europe. Stephen Clark provides a narrative history of the philosophical traditions that took shape over several centuries in the Mediterranean world and offers a comprehensive survey of this crucial period in the history of philosophy. The book includes a thorough historical and philosophical overview of all the key thinkers, events and ideas that characterized the period and explores in detail central themes such as the contest of gods and giants, the contrast between the reality and appearance, and the idea of the philosopher. Ideal for undergraduate students, this concise and accessible book provides a comprehensive guide to a fascinating period in the history of philosophy.

Encyclopedia of Judaism

Author : Sara E. Karesh
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An illustrated A to Z reference containing over 800 entries providing information on the theology, people, historical events, institutions and movements related to the religion of Judaism.