At a time when Jewish communities have become increasingly anxious about weakening Jewish identity, one response strategy is to engage with the concept of Jewish peoplehood as a social phenomenon, in its varied contexts and processes. This volume represents the first in-depth effort to address the concept of Jewish peoplehood since the initial attempts of early 20th century Jewish intellectuals Mordechai Kaplan and Salo Baron. Indeed, its substance goes far beyond the range of a contemporary academic anthology, constituting, rather, a dynamic think tank on the concept of Jewish peoplehood through bringing together intellectuals from France, Israel, the UK, and the United States. The collection offers both intellectual and practical frameworks for grappling with the policy outcomes of different understandings of the peoplehood concept. Contributors to this volume include noted figures from diverse walks of life: academic disciplines in the social sciences and humanities, a rabbi, a literary figure, and communal leaders.
"Every reading community has ways of confronting moments of embarrassment in its reading of scriptures. Scripture may be the holy books of religious communities or the foundational texts of civilizations. Contemporary readers of Aristotle who see his writing as foundational for Western philosophy, for example, must confront his views on slavery. This kind of confrontation, whether with religious, philosophical or canonical books of other kinds, may lead readers to reject scripture's claims -- or it may motivate them to re-read or misread scripture so as to eliminate, ameliorate or apologize for the problematic passages. Once this misprision has taken place, the formerly offending scriptures may be re-embraced. A community may also re-embrace scripture by rejecting traditional readings in favor of more originary readings."--Harry Fox, Department for the Study of Religion, University of Toronto
"Embarrassment in all its varieties, but also related emotions it shades into at the borders are explored in the Bible, in talmud and midrash, and in medieval and modern interpretation. Fox himself contributes an essay on the Judaism and genocide: the embarrassment of Jewish jihad. Other topics include a pride of depletion and the ambiguity of address, establishing a sacred church in the New Testament, embarrassment and re-embracement of a midrash on Genesis 2:23, a few interesting cases of rabbinic mindsets within the universal mythic structures of sacred history, making fish for Shabbat, the two layers of thinking and the twofold nature of knowledge in the work of Saadya Gaon, mapping alternate texts of gender difference, and environmental embarrassment in Genesis 1:26-28 versus Genesis 2:15. There are also four Hebrew contributions. No index is provided."--Annotation (c)2010 Book News Inc. Portland, OR