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We Jews: Who Are We and What Should We Do
Synopses & Reviews
Praise for Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz's The Miracle of the Seventh Day and Opening the Tanya
"In this modest but powerful book the great teacher and scholar Adin Steinsaltz brings the gift of Shabbat's rest and joy to all readers, whether or not they are Jewish or, for that matter, whether or not they call themselves religious at all."
—Robert Pollack, professor of biological sciences and director of the Center for the Study of Science and Religion, Columbia University
"Rabbi Steinsaltz has written an inspiring and illuminating introduction to the Tanya."
"Adin Steinsaltz's insights into the Sabbath could not be more timely. The light he casts on Judaism's reflective, receptive surrender to the holy day of rest will open both Jewish and Christian readers' eyes to long-lost dimensions of their own spiritual traditions."
—Stephen J. Dubner, author, Turbulent Souls and Confessions of a Hero Worshiper
"For decades, Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz has come to be relied upon by countless Jews throughout the world as our teacher and spiritual guide. With The Miracle of the Seventh Day, Rabbi Steinsaltz once again reveals both the basic information we need to know as well as a doorway to the beauty, inner depths, and profound nature of his subject. This is an essential book for every Jewish home where the Sabbath is remembered and observed."
—Arthur Kurzweil, author and teacher
"Based in Jerusalem, Steinsaltz is an internationally influential rabbi who is best known for his prodigious project of translating and reinterpreting the Talmud. This book is a series of 12 essays, each attempting to answer a perplexing and formidable question: What are the implications of the Jewish capacity to identify with the surrounding culture? Why do Jews have no united leadership? Are Jews a nation, a religion, an ethnic group or a race? Do Jews have unique character traits? Why do Jews want to save the world? Are Jews too emotional or too intellectual? What does it mean to be the 'chosen' people? How is it that Jews have made such impressive contributions to artistic and intellectual achievement? What is the basis for anti-Semitism? What will become of the Jewish people? Most of these questions will apply more to Diaspora Jews than to those living in Israel. The issues Steinsaltz identifies are tough conundrums that do not lend themselves to easy answers; he struggles valiantly but often vainly to come up with satisfactory solutions, suggesting that the value is in raising the questions, not necessarily in answering them. His elucidation of each subject demonstrates his profound erudition, not only enabling readers to see a great mind at work but also challenging them to seek their own resolution of the hard dilemmas that have been so clearly posed." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
In We Jews, Rabbi Steinsaltz explores the most important issues that concern Jews today as Jews. He provides wise and uplifting answers to Jews everywhere, whether they are secular and assimilated or orthodox–Are we a nation or a religion? Are the stereotypes of Jews really true? Why are Jews so controversial? How can we navigate the opposing forces of diversity, culture, and politics? Can we survive intermarriage and the loss of tradition? Do we still worship the Golden Calf? In this book, Rabbi Steinsaltz sees causes and consequences, achievements and failures, looks at the contemporary world, and observes the dreams and longings of modern Jewish people. Written as an intimate and inspiring internal memo to the whole Jewish family, We Jews answers these questions and many more in a way that is at once insightful and inspiring.
Thirteen million Jews throughout the United States and the world are famously divided and contentious about their identity, political position, social role, and spiritual goals. However, if there is one authentic voice of leadership in the Jewish community, it is scholar, teacher, mystic, scientist, and social critic Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz. He is internationally regarded as one of the greatest rabbis of this century and of the last.
In We Jews, Rabbi Steinsaltz explores the most important issues that concern Jews today as Jews. He provides wise and uplifting answers to Jews everywhere, whether they are secular and assimilated or orthodox—Are we a nation or a religion? Are the stereotypes of Jews really true? Why are Jews so controversial? How can we navigate the opposing forces of diversity, culture, and politics? Can we survive intermarriage and the loss of tradition? Do we still worship the Golden Calf?
In this book, Rabbi Steinsaltz sees causes and consequences, achievements and failures, looks at the contemporary world, and observes the dreams and longings of modern Jewish people. Written as an intimate and inspiring internal memo to the whole Jewish family, We Jews answers these questions and many more in a way that is at once insightful and inspiring.
About the Author
Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz is internationally regarded as one of the greatest rabbis of this century and of the last. Scholar, teacher, mystic, scientist, and social critic—and hailed by Time magazine as a "once-in-a-millennium scholar"—Rabbi Steinsaltz has been a resident scholar at Yale University, at the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton, and at the Woodrow Wilson Institute in Washington, D.C. Best known for his monumental translation of and commentary on the Talmud, Rabbi Steinsaltz has also founded a network of educational institutions and outreach programs in the United States, Israel, the former Soviet Union, Great Britain, and Australia. He is the recipient of the Israel Prize and of the French Order of Arts and Literature. The author of many books including Opening the Tanya and Learning from the Tanya, Rabbi Steinsaltz is widely known throughout the world as an extraordinary teacher.
Table of Contents
FOREWORD BY ARTHUR KURZWEIL.
I. Are We Actors with Masks?
Our Ability to Assimilate Has Been Too Effective for Our Own Good.
II. Are We Shattered into Pieces?
Despite What Anti-Semites Have Said, Our Infighting and Historical Circumstances Have Never Allowed Unity nor a Unified Leadership.
III. Are We a Nation or a Religion?
Our People Are Not a Religion, nor a Nation, nor an Ethnic Group, nor a Race.
IV. Do We Have Our Own Set of Character Traits?
Yes, But Sometimes We Use Them and Sometimes We Abuse Them.
V. Is Money Our God?
The Slander, Lies, and Misunderstandings Regarding Jews and Money.
VI. Why Do We Want to Save the World?
Exploring the Jewish Messiah Complex.
VII. Are We Excessively Warm or Excessively Cold?
The Seemingly Contradictory Phenomena of Jewish Emotionalism and Intellectualism.
VIII. Why Are Our People Involved in Idolatry?
Our Theocentric Nature and Our Temptation to Create and Worship Idols.
IX. What Is Our Role in the World?
Our “Chosen” Status Demands That We Be the Priests to the World.
X. How Does Our Jewishness Influence Our Thinking Process?
Marx, Freud, Einstein, and the Jewish Search for Unifying Principles.
XI. How Does Anti-Semitism Affect Other People?
The Correlation Between a Country’s Health and How Well It Treats Its Jews.
XII. What Will Become of the Jewish People?
What Our Readers Are Saying
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