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Hillel: If Not Now, When?

by

Hillel: If Not Now, When? Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Part of the Jewish Encounter series

“What is hateful unto you, do not do unto your neighbor. That is the whole Torah, all the rest is commentary. Now, go and study.”

 

This is the most famous teaching of Hillel, one of the greatest rabbis of the Talmudic era. What makes it so extraordinary is that it was offered to a gentile seeking conversion. Joseph Telushkin feels that this Talmudic story has great relevance for us today. At a time when religiosity is equated with ritual observance alone, when few Jews seem concerned with bringing Jewish teachings into the world, and when more than 40 percent of Jews intermarry, Judaism is in need of more of the openness that Hillel possessed two thousand years ago.

 

Hillel’s teachings, stories, and legal rulings can be found throughout the Talmud; many of them share his emphasis on ethical and moral living as an essential element in Jewish religious practice, including his citing the concept of tikkun olam (repairing the world) as a basis for modifying Jewish law. Perhaps the most prominent rabbi and teacher in the Land of Israel during the reign of Herod, Hillel may well have influenced Jesus, his junior by several decades. In a provocative analysis of both Judaism and Christianity, Telushkin reveals why Hillel’s teachings about ethics as God’s central demand and his willingness to encourage the process of conversion began to be ignored in favor of the stricter and less inclusive teachings of his rabbinic adversary, Shammai.

 

Here is a bold new look at an iconic religious leader.

Review:

"A rabbi, lecturer, ethicist, novelist, playwright, and author, Telushkin demonstrates his unusual versatility in this 15th entry in the Jewish Encounters series. This new book about Hillel, 'perhaps the greatest rabbi of the Talmud,' is not a conventional biography, since little is known about Hillel's life. What is known comes as maxims and teachings based on stories in the Talmud and the Midrash; speculation places the period of Hillel's religious leadership from about 30 B.C.E. to 10 C.E. During that time, he and his followers, the School of Hillel, frequently had disputes with the School of Shammai, led by Hillel's adversary. One argument they had dealt was with the attitude to be taken toward a potential convert. Hillel offered this instruction: 'That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. This is the entire Torah! All the rest is commentary. Now, go and study.' Telushkin points out that this response is about ethics, not about rituals or even about God, thereby underlining Judaism's ethical essence. Telushkin's lucid explanations are a model of clarity, enabling readers to better understand and appreciate the significant contributions of Hillel and their contemporary applications. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)

Synopsis:

From the bestelling author of "Jewish Literacy," comes a provocative biography of one of the greatest rabbis of the Talmudic era and a figure of prophetic importance to today's world. This bold new look at Hillel, an iconic religious leader, is certain to generate passionate discussion and debate.

Synopsis:

“What is hateful unto you, do not do unto your neighbor. That is the whole Torah, all the rest is commentary. Now, go and study.”

 

This is the most famous teaching of Hillel, one of the greatest rabbis of the Talmudic era. What makes it so extraordinary is that it was offered to a gentile seeking conversion. Joseph Telushkin feels that this Talmudic story has great relevance for us today. At a time when religiosity is equated with ritual observance alone, when few Jews seem concerned with bringing Jewish teachings into the world, and when more than 40 percent of Jews intermarry, Judaism is in need of more of the openness that Hillel possessed two thousand years ago.

 

Hillel’s teachings, stories, and legal rulings can be found throughout the Talmud; many of them share his emphasis on ethical and moral living as an essential element in Jewish religious practice, including his citing the concept of tikkun olam (repairing the world) as a basis for modifying Jewish law. Perhaps the most prominent rabbi and teacher in the Land of Israel during the reign of Herod, Hillel may well have influenced Jesus, his junior by several decades. In a provocative analysis of both Judaism and Christianity, Telushkin reveals why Hillel’s teachings about ethics as God’s central demand and his willingness to encourage the process of conversion began to be ignored in favor of the stricter and less inclusive teachings of his rabbinic adversary, Shammai.

 

Here is a bold new look at an iconic religious leader.

Video

About the Author

Joseph Telushkin is the author of sixteen books, including Jewish Literacy, The Book of Jewish Values, and A Code of Jewish Ethics, the first volume of which received a National Jewish Book Award in 2006. He is a Senior Associate of CAL, serves on the board of the Jewish Book Council, is the rabbi of the Synagogue for the Performing Art in Los Angeles, and lectures throughout the United States. He lives in New York City.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780805242812
Author:
Telushkin, Joseph
Publisher:
Schocken Books Inc
Subject:
General
Subject:
Jewish - General
Subject:
General Biography
Subject:
Religious
Subject:
Biography-Religious
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20100931
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
7.58x5.46x1.00 in. .81 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Biography » Religious
Religion » Judaism » History
Religion » Judaism » Jewish History
Religion » Judaism » Thought and Culture

Hillel: If Not Now, When? New Hardcover
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Product details 272 pages Schocken Books Inc - English 9780805242812 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "A rabbi, lecturer, ethicist, novelist, playwright, and author, Telushkin demonstrates his unusual versatility in this 15th entry in the Jewish Encounters series. This new book about Hillel, 'perhaps the greatest rabbi of the Talmud,' is not a conventional biography, since little is known about Hillel's life. What is known comes as maxims and teachings based on stories in the Talmud and the Midrash; speculation places the period of Hillel's religious leadership from about 30 B.C.E. to 10 C.E. During that time, he and his followers, the School of Hillel, frequently had disputes with the School of Shammai, led by Hillel's adversary. One argument they had dealt was with the attitude to be taken toward a potential convert. Hillel offered this instruction: 'That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. This is the entire Torah! All the rest is commentary. Now, go and study.' Telushkin points out that this response is about ethics, not about rituals or even about God, thereby underlining Judaism's ethical essence. Telushkin's lucid explanations are a model of clarity, enabling readers to better understand and appreciate the significant contributions of Hillel and their contemporary applications. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"Synopsis" by , From the bestelling author of "Jewish Literacy," comes a provocative biography of one of the greatest rabbis of the Talmudic era and a figure of prophetic importance to today's world. This bold new look at Hillel, an iconic religious leader, is certain to generate passionate discussion and debate.
"Synopsis" by , “What is hateful unto you, do not do unto your neighbor. That is the whole Torah, all the rest is commentary. Now, go and study.”

 

This is the most famous teaching of Hillel, one of the greatest rabbis of the Talmudic era. What makes it so extraordinary is that it was offered to a gentile seeking conversion. Joseph Telushkin feels that this Talmudic story has great relevance for us today. At a time when religiosity is equated with ritual observance alone, when few Jews seem concerned with bringing Jewish teachings into the world, and when more than 40 percent of Jews intermarry, Judaism is in need of more of the openness that Hillel possessed two thousand years ago.

 

Hillel’s teachings, stories, and legal rulings can be found throughout the Talmud; many of them share his emphasis on ethical and moral living as an essential element in Jewish religious practice, including his citing the concept of tikkun olam (repairing the world) as a basis for modifying Jewish law. Perhaps the most prominent rabbi and teacher in the Land of Israel during the reign of Herod, Hillel may well have influenced Jesus, his junior by several decades. In a provocative analysis of both Judaism and Christianity, Telushkin reveals why Hillel’s teachings about ethics as God’s central demand and his willingness to encourage the process of conversion began to be ignored in favor of the stricter and less inclusive teachings of his rabbinic adversary, Shammai.

 

Here is a bold new look at an iconic religious leader.

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