Synopses & Reviews
In 1999, the Central Conference of American Rabbis wrote a Statement of Principles in response to the question, "Where is Reform Judaism heading in the twenty-first century?" A Vision of Holiness is an explication of those Principles written by Rabbi Levy, the man who guided the writing of the document. Levy's brilliant work both illumines the manner in which this vibrant group of Jews envisions its purposes in the world and sets forth challenges for Reform Judaism's ongoing engagement with mitzvot.
"Since 1885, when a group of Reform rabbis promulgated the radical Pittsburgh Platform, Reform Judaism has been moving steadily rightward toward traditional Jewish thinking and observance a trend culminating in the new 'statement of principles' the denomination adopted in 1999. This book includes the 1999 document as well as earlier declarations of a Reform creed, enabling the reader to see the remarkable shift in how Reform Jews define themselves. These changes have contributed to Reform Judaism being America's largest Jewish denomination today. Levy, who has served as a rabbi and is currently director of a Reform rabbinical school in California, analyzes and explains each of the principles that were adopted in the 1999 report, which he helped create. He organizes them into three categories of Reform belief and behavior with regard to God, Torah and the Jewish people. The material is clearly presented, and Levy displays a strong historical perspective, such as when he describes the transformation of Reform views from anti-Zionist to Zionist. Complicated theological issues are lucidly explicated, sometimes using helpful homespun illustrations. The book will appeal to Reform Jews but also to others interested in the development of religious creeds and their influence on American society." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)