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“Heaven and Everything Else”

I first read Abraham Joshua Heschel’s The Sabbath: Its Meaning for Modern Man less than twenty years after its publication. It was already a classic among readers who cherished the few works of Jewish thought written in artful, eloquent English for a literate audience. Heschel summoned . . . . Continue Reading »

Letters

God’s Supersessionism David Novak (“Supersessionism Hard and Soft,” February) clearly demonstrates the negative consequences of the “hard” supersessionism and the positive benefits of the “soft.” I consider myself a soft supersessionist, meaning that the covenant God made with the Jews . . . . Continue Reading »

Boy on the Temple Roof

Young Rabbi Binder has opened the floor for a “free discussion” period at the afternoon Hebrew school housed in the synagogue, where the minimal Jewish education he dispenses to postwar Jewish boys is a prerequisite for their bar mitzvah ritual. As usual, most of the kids are indifferent, even . . . . Continue Reading »

Briefly Noted

Jesus and the Jewish Roots of Mary:  Unveiling the Mother of the Messiah  by brant pitre image books, 240 pages, $24 In Jesus and the Jewish Roots of Mary, Brant Pitre challenges the oft-heard charge that the Catholic Church’s Marian beliefs are “unbiblical.” He offers a rich . . . . Continue Reading »

Supersessionism Hard and Soft

Supersessionism describes the theological conviction that the Christian Church has superseded the Jewish people, assuming their role as God’s covenanted people, Israel. At first glance, supersessionism seems to be a core Christian belief, making any fruitful dialogue between Jews and Christians . . . . Continue Reading »

Letters

SEMINARY REFORM I commend Thomas Berg (“Getting Formation Right,” December) for his suggestions for reforming the seminary system in light of the new Ratio Fundamentalis. Nevertheless, by failing to consider the time before and after seminary as a part of the solution, his proposals for . . . . Continue Reading »

After Pittsburgh

One evening in the late 1960s, the students gathered in Yeshiva University’s major study hall to learn Talmud were treated instead to a speech by Rabbi Aharon ­Lichtenstein, the young director of the advanced graduate rabbinic program. The topic was the struggle of Soviet Jews to emigrate. Unlike . . . . Continue Reading »

Progress and Punishment

Modern spokesmen for traditional Judaism have consistently expressed reservations about capital punishment. While the biblical texts seem to provide many opportunities for the death penalty, the normative Talmudic interpretations in effect make these punishments inapplicable. For example, the bar of . . . . Continue Reading »

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