Creating Judaism: History, Tradition, Practice

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Columbia University Press, Dec 18, 2006 - Religion - 360 pages
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How can we define "Judaism," and what are the common threads uniting ancient rabbis, Maimonides, the authors of the Zohar, and modern secular Jews in Israel? Michael L. Satlow offers a fresh perspective on Judaism that recognizes both its similarities and its immense diversity. Presenting snapshots of Judaism from around the globe and throughout history, Satlow explores the links between vastly different communities and their Jewish traditions. He studies the geonim, rabbinical scholars who lived in Iraq from the ninth to twelfth centuries; the intellectual flourishing of Jews in medieval Spain; how the Hasidim of nineteenth-century Eastern Europe confronted modernity; and the post-World War II development of distinct American and Israeli Jewish identities. Satlow pays close attention to how communities define themselves, their relationship to biblical and rabbinic texts, and their ritual practices. His fascinating portraits reveal the amazingly creative ways Jews have adapted over time to social and political challenges and continue to remain a "Jewish family."

 

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enlightening book, brilliant from start to finish, one of shrek's finest works!

Contents

introduction
1
1 promised lands
22
2 creating judaism
69
3 between athens and jerusalem
96
4 the Rabbis
115
5 Rabbinic concepts
140
6 Mitzvot
164
7 The Rise of Reason
187
8 From moses to moses
209
9 Seeing god
229
10 east and west
250
epilogue Whither Judaism?
288
Glossary
297
Bibliographical Notes
307
index
325
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Michael L. Satlow is associate professor of religious studies and Judaic studies at Brown University. He is the author of Jewish Marriage in Antiquity and Tasting the Dish: Rabbinic Rhetorics of Sexuality.

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