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At the turn of the twenty-first century, the central question confronting Jewish leaders in America is simple: Why be Jewish? Jonathan D. Sarna, acclaimed scholar of American Judaism, believes that "Why be Jewish?” is the wrong question. Judaism, he believes, is not so much a "why” as a way--a way of life, a way of marking time, a way of relating to the environment, to human beings, to family, and to God. Judaism is experienced through doing--doing things Jewish, doing things for fellow Jews in need, doing things as a Jew to improve the state of the world. The more Judaism one does, the more one comes to appreciate what Judaism is. Using the Jewish calendar as his starting point, Sarna reflects on the major themes of Jewish life as expressed in a full year of holidays--from Passover in the spring to Purim eleven months later. Passover, for instance, yields a discussion of freedom; Shavuot, a discussion of Torah; Yom Kippur, the role of the individual within the Jewish community; Chanukah, issues of assimilation and anti-assimilation. An essential brief introduction--or reintroduction--to the major practices of Jewish life as well as the many complexities of the American Jewish experience, this book will be essential reading for American Jews and the perfect gift for the holiday season.
Sunday is more like Monday than it used to be. The Fourth of July is more like the third. Although time is a feature of the natural world, it is at the same time not natural, but given its meaning by human action and, in our contemporary world, primarily through the law. Rakoff argues that legal regulation of the law has become weaker, with unfortunate results for both individuals and families.
What if God exists? What if angels are real? What if we treated religious tracts, including the Bible, as empirical evidence of the supernatural world? Karl Ove Knausgaard's major novel, A Time For Everything, is about God and his angels. It posits that angels are real, and that God exists. It posits, further, that heavenly beings evolve, and that even God may be subject to change. Written with Knausgaard's characteristic style - level, patient, and intensely readable - it is a dazzling and innovative examination of the relationships between human, angels and God.
In this expert commentary on Ecclesiastes, Peter Enns neither disregards nor attempts to resolve the book's many theological tensions and ambiguities. Rather, he shows how these form the backdrop against which the author struggles to show readers the proper path forward in their journeys of faith -- remaining true to the tradition to "fear God and keep the commands" despite the apparent futility of human existence. --from publisher description
King James VI and I provides a broad representative selection of King James's writings on a range of secular and religious topics. Each text is provided in full, creating an invaluable reference tool for 16th and 17th century scholars working in different disciplines and a fascinating collection for students and general readers interested in early modern history and literature. In contrast to other editions of James's writings, which have been confined to a single aspect of his work, the present edition brings together for the first time his poetry and his religious writing, his political works and his treatises on witchcraft and tobacco, in a single volume. While several other monarchs engaged in literary composition, King James VI and I stands out as an inveterate scribbler and is certainly the most extensively published of all British rulers.
It's the 1560s and Antinous Bellori, a boy of eleven, is exploring the woods above his home in the north Italian mountains when night falls. Suddenly fearful, the boy wanders blindly through the trees, sensing danger at every turn, until he comes, unseen, upon a clearing in which there stand two glowing beings, one carrying a spear, the other a flaming torch: angels ... This event is decisive in Bellori's life, just as encounters with angels have been for others throughout history. Beginning in the Garden of Eden and soaring right through to the present day, we revisit key moments when men have come face to face with these intermediaries of the divine: Cain and Abel cultivating their differences murderously; Lot's shame in Sodom; Noah's isolation before the Flood; Ezekiel tied to his bed, prophesying fiercely; and the death of Christ. Alighting upon these dramatic scenes - from the Bible and beyond - Knausgaard's imagination takes flight: the result is a dazzling display of storytelling at its majestic, spellbinding best.

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