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The Purim Anthology (The JPS Holiday Anthologies)

by Rabbi Philip Goodman

Back by popular demand, the classic JPS holiday anthologies remain essential and relevant in our digital age. Unequaled in-depth compilations of classic and contemporary writings, they have long guided rabbis, cantors, educators, and other readers seeking the origins, meanings, and varied celebrations of the Jewish festivals. The Purim Anthology recounts the origins of the first Purim, then examines festival observances in different eras throughout the world, laws and rites, and finally provides plays and poems, stories and songs. This treasury includes “The Origin of Purim” by Solomon Grayzel, “The Esther Story in Art” by Rachel Wischnitzer, “Purim in Music” by A. W. Binder (including an extensive compilation of Purim songs), “The History of Purim Plays” by Jacob Shatzky, Purim celebrations in Tel Aviv by Mortimer J. Cohen, and Purim in humor by Israel Davidson—all together a thoughtful and fun-filled literary feast.

The Torah: The Five Books of Moses, the New Translation of the Holy Scriptures According to the Traditional Hebrew Text

by Jewish Publication Society, Inc.

Read our customer guideThe Torah is the essence of Jewish tradition; it inspires each successive generation. The current JPS translation, based on classical and modern sources, is acclaimed for its fidelity to the ancient Hebrew.

Stolen Words: The Nazi Plunder of Jewish Books

by Rabbi Mark Glickman

Stolen Words is an epic story about the largest collection of Jewish books in the world—tens of millions of books that the Nazis looted from European Jewish families and institutions. Nazi soldiers and civilians emptied Jewish communal libraries, confiscated volumes from government collections, and stole from Jewish individuals, schools, and synagogues. Early in their regime the Nazis burned some books in spectacular bonfires, but most they saved, stashing the literary loot in castles, abandoned mine shafts, and warehouses throughout Europe. It was the largest and most extensive book-looting campaign in history. After the war, Allied forces discovered these troves of stolen books but quickly found themselves facing a barrage of questions. How could the books be identified? Where should they go? Who had the authority to make such decisions? Eventually the military turned the books over to an organization of leading Jewish scholars called Jewish Cultural Reconstruction, Inc.—whose chairman was the acclaimed historian Salo Baron and whose on-the-ground director was the philosopher Hannah Arendt—with the charge of establishing restitution protocols. Stolen Words is the story of how a free civilization decides what to do with the material remains of a world torn asunder, and how those remains connect survivors with their past. It is the story of Jews struggling to understand the new realities of their post-Holocaust world and of Western society’s gradual realization of the magnitude of devastation wrought by World War II. Most of all, it is the story of people —of Nazi leaders, ideologues, and Judaica experts; of Allied soldiers, scholars, and scoundrels; and of Jewish communities, librarians, and readers around the world.

The Rise of Reform Judaism: A Sourcebook of Its European Origins (JPS Anthologies of Jewish Thought)

by Rabbi W. Gunther Plaut Dr Solomon B. Freehof Rabbi Howard A. Berman

This fiftieth anniversary edition of W. Gunther Plaut’s classic volume on the beginnings of the Jewish Reform Movement is updated with a new introduction by Howard A. Berman. The Rise of Reform Judaism covers the first one hundred years of the movement, from the time of the eighteenth-century Jewish Enlightenment leader Moses Mendelssohn to the conclusion of the Augsburg synod in 1871.In these pages the founders who established liberal Judaism speak for themselves through their journals and pamphlets, books and sermons, petitions and resolutions, and public arguments and disputations. Each selection includes Plaut’s brief introduction and sketch of the reformer. Important topics within Judaism are addressed in these writings: philosophy and theology, religious practice, synagogue services, and personal life, as well as controversies on the permissibility of organ music, the introduction of the sermon, the nature of circumcision, the observance of the Sabbath, the rights of women, and the authenticity of the Bible.

A Kabbalah and Jewish Mysticism Reader (JPS Anthologies of Jewish Thought)

by Daniel M. Horwitz

An unprecedented annotated anthology of the most important Jewish mystical works, A Kabbalah and Jewish Mysticism Reader is designed to facilitate teaching these works to all levels of learners in adult education and college classroom settings. Daniel M. Horwitz’s insightful introductions and commentary accompany readings in the Talmud and Zohar and writings by Ba'al Shem Tov, Rav Kook, Abraham Joshua Heschel, and others. Horwitz’s introduction describes five major types of Jewish mysticism and includes a brief chronology of their development, with a timeline. He begins with biblical prophecy and proceeds through the early mystical movements up through current beliefs. Chapters on key subjects characterize mystical expression through the ages, such as Creation and deveikut (“cleaving to God”); the role of Torah; the erotic; inclinations toward good and evil; magic; prayer and ritual; and more. Later chapters deal with Hasidism, the great mystical revival, and twentieth-century mystics, including Abraham Isaac Kook, Kalonymous Kalman Shapira, and Abraham Joshua Heschel. A final chapter addresses today’s controversies concerning mysticism’s place within Judaism and its potential for enriching the Jewish religion.

Modern Orthodox Judaism: A Documentary History (JPS Anthologies of Jewish Thought)

by Zev Eleff Dr Jacob J Schacter

Modern Orthodox Judaism offers an extensive selection of primary texts documenting the Orthodox encounter with American Judaism that led to the emergence of the Modern Orthodox movement. Many texts in this volume are drawn from episodes of conflict that helped form Modern Orthodox Judaism. These include the traditionalists’ response to the early expressions of Reform Judaism, as well as incidents that helped define the widening differences between Orthodox and Conservative Judaism in the early twentieth century. Other texts explore the internal struggles to maintain order and balance once Orthodox Judaism had separated itself from other religious movements. Zev Eleff combines published documents with seldom-seen archival sources in tracing Modern Orthodoxy as it developed into a structured movement, established its own institutions, and encountered critical events and issues—some that helped shape the movement and others that caused tension within it. A general introduction explains the rise of the movement and puts the texts in historical context. Brief introductions to each section guide readers through the documents of this new, dynamic Jewish expression.

The JPS B'nai Mitzvah Torah Commentary: The Jps B'nai Mitzvah Torah Commentary (JPS Study Bible)

by Rabbi Jeffrey K. Salkin

For too many Jewish young people, bar/bat mitzvah has been the beginning of the end of their Jewish journeys. When students perceive the Torah as incomprehensible or irrelevant, many form the false impression that Judaism has nothing to say to them. Enter the game-changer: the JPS B’nai Mitzvah Torah Commentary shows teens in their own language how Torah addresses the issues in their world. The conversational tone is inviting and dignified, concise and substantial, direct and informative. The narrative summaries, “big” ideas, model divrei Torah, haftarot commentaries, and discussion questions will engage teens in studying the Torah and haftarot, in writing divrei Torah, and in continuing to learn Torah throughout their lives—making it the book every rabbi, cantor, parent, and tutor will also want to have. Jewish learning—for young people and adults—will never be the same.

The Heart of Torah, Volume 1: Essays on the Weekly Torah Portion: Genesis and Exodus

by Rabbi Shai Held Rabbi Yitz Greenberg

In The Heart of Torah, Rabbi Shai Held’s Torah essays—two for each weekly portion—open new horizons in Jewish biblical commentary. Held probes the portions in bold, original, and provocative ways. He mines Talmud and midrashim, great writers of world literature, and astute commentators of other religious backgrounds to ponder fundamental questions about God, human nature, and what it means to be a religious person in the modern world. Along the way he illuminates the centrality of empathy in Jewish ethics, the predominance of divine love in Jewish theology, the primacy of gratitude and generosity, and God’s summoning of each of us—with all our limitations—into the dignity of a covenantal relationship.

The Heart of Torah, Volume 2: Essays on the Weekly Torah Portion: Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy

by Rabbi Shai Held Rabbi Yitz Greenberg

In The Heart of Torah, Rabbi Shai Held’s Torah essays—two for each weekly portion—open new horizons in Jewish biblical commentary. Held probes the portions in bold, original, and provocative ways. He mines Talmud and midrashim, great writers of world literature, and astute commentators of other religious backgrounds to ponder fundamental questions about God, human nature, and what it means to be a religious person in the modern world. Along the way, he illuminates the centrality of empathy in Jewish ethics, the predominance of divine love in Jewish theology, the primacy of gratitude and generosity, and God’s summoning of each of us—with all our limitations—into the dignity of a covenantal relationship.

The Sabbath Anthology (The JPS Holiday Anthologies)

by Abraham E. Millgram

Back by popular demand, the classic JPS holiday anthologies remain essential and relevant in our digital age. Unequaled in-depth compilations of classic and contemporary writings, they have long guided rabbis, cantors, educators, and other readers seeking the origins, meanings, and varied celebrations of the Jewish festivals. The Sabbath Anthology delves into one of the earliest Jewish institutions—the holiday the prophet Isaiah characterized as “the day of delight”—elucidating its history, laws, customs and traditions, religious and ethical insights, and observances in different eras throughout the world. A wealth of Jewish creativity past and present—“The Sabbath in Judeo-Hellenistic Literature” by Flavius Josephus and Philo Judaeus; Talmud and midrashim; medieval Jewish literature by Judah Halevi, Abraham ibn Ezra, and Moses Maimonides; modern Jewish literature by Solomon Schechter, Mordecai Kaplan, Sholom Asch, Hayyim Nahman Bialik, and Ahad Ha’am; short stories by S. Y. Agnon, I. L. Peretz, Meyer Levin, and Martin Buber; ceremonial and decorative art; musical compilations and programming—will yield delight for many Sabbaths to come.

The Passover Anthology (The JPS Holiday Anthologies)

by Rabbi Philip Goodman

Back by popular demand, the classic JPS holiday anthologies remain essential and relevant in our digital age. Unequaled in-depth compilations of classic and contemporary writings, they have long guided rabbis, cantors, educators, and other readers seeking the origins, meanings, and varied celebrations of the Jewish festivals. The Passover Anthology describes the varied experiences of the Jewish Passover throughout the lands and the ages: the story, the many facets of its celebration in the Jewish home and community, the laws and the prayers, the seder plate and the songs, the art and the dances, and—of course—the games. Showcasing modern writings by Winston Churchill, Heinrich Heine, Hayyim Nahman Bialik, and others, the volumeis a rich resource that today’s reflective readers will not wish to pass over.

Jewish Traditions: JPS Guide (A JPS Guide)

by Dr. Ronald L. Eisenberg

Thanks to these generous donors for making the publication of this book possible: Miles z&”l and Chris Lerman; David Lerman and Shelley WallockThe bestselling guide to understanding Jewish traditions, now in paperbackThis is a comprehensive and authoritative resource with ready answers to questions about almost all aspects of Jewish life and practice: life-cycle events, holidays, ritual and prayer, Jewish traditions and customs, and more. Ronald Eisenberg has distilled an immense amount of material from classic and contemporary sources into a single volume, which provides thousands of insights into the origins, history, and current interpretations of a wealth of Jewish traditions and customs.Divided into four sections—Synagogue and Prayers, Sabbaths and Festivals, Life-Cycle Events, and Miscellaneous (a large section that includes such diverse topics as Jewish literature, food, and plants and animals)—this is an encyclopedic reference for anyone who wants easily accessible, accurate information about all things Jewish. Eisenberg writes for a wide, diversified audience, and is respectful of the range of practices and beliefs within today's American Jewish community—from Orthodox to liberal.

The Land of Truth: Talmud Tales, Timeless Teachings

by Jeffrey L. Rubenstein

Making the rich narrative world of Talmud tales fully accessible to modern readers, renowned Talmud scholar Jeffrey L. Rubenstein turns his spotlight on both famous and little-known stories, analyzing the tales in their original contexts, exploring their cultural meanings and literary artistry, and illuminating their relevance. Delving into both rabbinic life (the academy, master-disciple relationships) and Jewish life under Roman and Persian rule (persecution, taxation, marketplaces), Rubenstein explains how storytellers used irony, wordplay, figurative language, and other art forms to communicate their intended messages. Each close reading demonstrates the story’s continuing relevance through the generations into modernity. For example, the story “Showdown in Court,” a confrontation between King Yannai and the Rabbinic judges, provides insights into controversial struggles in U.S. history to balance governmental power; the story of Honi’s seventy-year sleep becomes a window into the indignities of aging. Through the prism of Talmud tales, Rubenstein also offers timeless insights into suffering, beauty, disgust, heroism, humor, love, sex, truth, and falsehood. By connecting twenty-first-century readers to past generations, The Land of Truthhelps to bridge the divide between modern Jews and the traditional narrative worlds of their ancestors.

The Talmud of Relationships, Volume 1: God, Self, and Family

by Amy Scheinerman

How can I tame my ego? How might I control my anger? How might I experience the spirituality of sexual intimacy? How can I bestow appropriate honor on a difficult parent? How might I accept my own suffering and the suffering of those whom I love? Enter the Talmudic study house with innovative teacher Rabbi Amy Scheinerman and continue the Jewish values–based conversations that began two thousand years ago. The Talmud of Relationships, Volume 1 shows how the ancient Jewish texts of Talmud can facilitate modern relationship-building—with parents, children, spouses, family members, friends, and ourselves. Scheinerman devotes each chapter to a different Talmud text exploring relationships—and many of the selections are fresh, largely unknown passages. Overcoming the roadblocks of language and style that can keep even the curious from diving into Talmud, she walks readers through the logic of each passage, offering full textual translations and expanding on these richly complex conversations so that each of us can weigh multiple perspectives and draw our own conclusions. Scheinerman provides grounding in why the selected passage matters, its historical background, a gripping narrative of the rabbis’ evolving commentary, insightful anecdotes and questions for thought and discussion, and a cogent synopsis. Through this firsthand encounter with the core text of Judaism, readers of all levels—Jews and non-Jews, newcomers and veterans, students and teachers, individuals and chevruta partners and families alike—will discover the treasure of the oral Torah.

Bere'shit: The JPS B'nai Mitzvah Torah Commentary (JPS Study Bible)

by Rabbi Jeffrey K. Salkin

Bere'shit (Genesis 1:1-6:8) and Haftarah (Isaiah 42:5-43:10): The JPS B’nai Mitzvah Torah Commentary shows teens in their own language how Torah addresses the issues in their world. The conversational tone is inviting and dignified, concise and substantial, direct and informative. Each pamphlet includes a general introduction, two model divrei Torah on the weekly Torah portion, and one model davar Torah on the weekly Haftarah portion. Jewish learning—for young people and adults—will never be the same. The complete set of weekly portions is available in Rabbi Jeffrey K. Salkin’s book The JPS B’nai Mitzvah Torah Commentary (JPS, 2017).

Noah: The JPS B'nai Mitzvah Torah Commentary (JPS Study Bible)

by Rabbi Jeffrey K. Salkin

Noah (Genesis 6:9-11:32) and Haftarah (Isaiah 54:1-55:5): The JPS B’nai Mitzvah Torah Commentary shows teens in their own language how Torah addresses the issues in their world. The conversational tone is inviting and dignified, concise and substantial, direct and informative. Each pamphlet includes a general introduction, two model divrei Torah on the weekly Torah portion, and one model davar Torah on the weekly Haftarah portion. Jewish learning—for young people and adults—will never be the same. The complete set of weekly portions is available in Rabbi Jeffrey K. Salkin’s book The JPS B’nai Mitzvah Torah Commentary (JPS, 2017).

Va-yeshev: The JPS B'nai Mitzvah Torah Commentary (JPS Study Bible)

by Rabbi Jeffrey K. Salkin

Va-yeshev (Genesis 37:1-40:23) and Haftarah (Amos 2:6-3:8): The JPS B’nai Mitzvah Torah Commentary shows teens in their own language how Torah addresses the issues in their world. The conversational tone is inviting and dignified, concise and substantial, direct and informative. Each pamphlet includes a general introduction, two model divrei Torah on the weekly Torah portion, and one model davar Torah on the weekly Haftarah portion. Jewish learning—for young people and adults—will never be the same. The complete set of weekly portions is available in Rabbi Jeffrey K. Salkin’s book The JPS B’nai Mitzvah Torah Commentary (JPS, 2017).

Shemot: The JPS B'nai Mitzvah Torah Commentary (JPS Study Bible)

by Rabbi Jeffrey K. Salkin

Shemot (Exodus 1:1-6:1) and Haftarah (Isaiah 27:6-28:13; 29:22-23): The JPS B’nai Mitzvah Torah Commentary shows teens in their own language how Torah addresses the issues in their world. The conversational tone is inviting and dignified, concise and substantial, direct and informative. Each pamphlet includes a general introduction, two model divrei Torah on the weekly Torah portion, and one model davar Torah on the weekly Haftarah portion. Jewish learning—for young people and adults—will never be the same. The complete set of weekly portions is available in Rabbi Jeffrey K. Salkin’s book The JPS B’nai Mitzvah Torah Commentary (JPS, 2017).

Balak: The JPS B'nai Mitzvah Torah Commentary (JPS Study Bible)

by Rabbi Jeffrey K. Salkin

Balak (Numbers 22:2-25:9) and Haftarah (Micah 5:6-6:8): The JPS B’nai Mitzvah Torah Commentary shows teens in their own language how Torah addresses the issues in their world. The conversational tone is inviting and dignified, concise and substantial, direct and informative. Each pamphlet includes a general introduction, two model divrei Torah on the weekly Torah portion, and one model davar Torah on the weekly Haftarah portion. Jewish learning—for young people and adults—will never be the same. The complete set of weekly portions is available in Rabbi Jeffrey K. Salkin’s book The JPS B’nai Mitzvah Torah Commentary (JPS, 2017).

Ki Tavo': The JPS B'nai Mitzvah Torah Commentary (JPS Study Bible)

by Rabbi Jeffrey K. Salkin

The JPS B’nai Mitzvah Torah Commentary shows teens in their own language how Torah addresses the issues in their world. The conversational tone is inviting and dignified, concise and substantial, direct and informative. Each pamphlet includes a general introduction, two model divrei Torah on the weekly Torah portion, and one model davar Torah on the weekly Haftarah portion. Jewish learning—for young people and adults—will never be the same. The complete set of weekly portions is available in Rabbi Jeffrey K. Salkin’s book The JPS B’nai Mitzvah Torah Commentary (JPS, 2017).

A New Hasidism: Roots

by Arthur Green Ariel Evan Mayse

Neo-Hasidism applies the Hasidic masters’ spiritual insights—of God’s presence everywhere, of seeking the magnificent within the everyday, in doing all things with love and joy, uplifting all of life to become a vehicle of God’s service—to contemporary Judaism, as practiced by men and women who do not live within the strictly bounded world of the Hasidic community. This first-ever anthology of Neo-Hasidic philosophy brings together the writings of its progenitors: five great twentieth-century European and American Jewish thinkers—Hillel Zeitlin, Martin Buber, Abraham Joshua Heschel, Shlomo Carlebach, and Zalman Schachter-Shalomi—plus a young Arthur Green. The thinkers reflect on the inner life of the individual and their dreams of creating a Neo-Hasidic spiritual community. The editors’ introductions and notes analyze each thinker’s contributions to Neo-Hasidic thought and influence on the movement. Zeitlin and Buber initiated a renewal of Hasidism for the modern world; Heschel’s work is quietly infused with Neo-Hasidic thought; Carlebach and Schachter-Shalomi re-created Neo-Hasidism for American Jews in the 1960s; and Green is the first American-born Jewish thinker fully identified with the movement. Previously unpublished materials by Carlebach and Schachter-Shalomi include an interview with Schachter-Shalomi about his decision to leave Chabad-Lubavitch and embark on his own Neo-Hasidic path.

Masada Will Not Fall Again: A Novel

by Sophie Greenspan

The mighty epic of Masada tells of Jews who preferred liberty to life itself. Their story centers on the bleak fortress of Masada in the Judean Desert after the conquest of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Holy Temple by the Romans in 70 CE. Here, in a last stand, Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes laid aside the differences that had crippled their resistance to the Romans and united in their zeal for God and country. Their leader was Eleazar ben Ya’ir, one of the great freedom fighters of Jewish history. This story brings to vivid life people who might have taken part in this great episode of Jewish history. It tells of the bridal couple, Adin and Ohada, from distant Babylonia; the winsome Urzillah from Nabatea, child of the caravan trails of the East; and Justus from Alexandria in Egypt, with his faithful wife, Sara, a convert to Judaism. Survivors from Jerusalem may well have included boys such as Iddo, of the priestly tribe; his friend and rival Aviel; and little Yitzhak, orphaned by the Romans and protected by Hannah, his grandmother and only surviving relative. Faith and courage belonged to them all—as they held a mighty Roman army at bay for three years. Even in their extremity they practiced and treasured the rites of their religion—blessing the new moon, circumcising the newborn infant, bathing in the mikveh (the ritual bath), and reciting the daily prayers. When all hope was gone they resolved to die as free men, women, and children. In turning their swords against themselves they ultimately denied victory to the Romans and the general Flavius Silva, for their memory has prevailed over that of their oppressors.

A Year with the Sages: Wisdom on the Weekly Torah Portion (JPS Daily Inspiration)

by Rabbi Reuven Hammer

A Year with the Sages uniquely relates the Sages’ understanding of each Torah portion to everyday life. The importance of these teachings cannot be overstated. The Sages, who lived during the period from the fifth century BCE to the fifth century CE, considered themselves to have inherited the oral teachings God transmitted to Moses, along with the mandate to interpret them to each subsequent generation. Just as the Torah and the entire Hebrew Bible are the foundations of Judaism, the Sages’ teachings form the structures of Jewish belief and practice built on that foundation. Many of these teachings revolve around core concepts such as God’s justice, God’s love, Torah, Israel, humility, honesty, loving-kindness, reverence, prayer, and repentance. You are invited to spend a year with the inspiring ideas of the Sages through their reflections on the fifty-four weekly Torah portions and the eleven Jewish holidays. Quoting from the week’s Torah portion, Rabbi Reuven Hammer presents a Torah commentary, selections from the Sages that chronicle their process of interpreting the text, a commentary that elucidates these concepts and their consequences, and a personal reflection that illumines the Sages’ enduring wisdom for our era.

Typically Jewish

by Ms. Nancy Kalikow Maxwell

Is laughter essential to Jewish identity? Do Jews possess special radar for recognizing members of the tribe? Since Jews live longer and make love more often, why don’t more people join the tribe? “More deli than deity” writer Nancy Kalikow Maxwell poses many such questions in eight chapters—“Worrying,” “Kvelling,” “Dying,” “Noshing,” “Laughing,” “Detecting,” “Dwelling,” and “Joining”—exploring what it means to be “typically Jewish.” While unearthing answers from rabbis, researchers, and her assembled Jury on Jewishness (Jewish friends she roped into conversation), she—and we—make a variety of discoveries. For example: Jews worry about continuity, even though Rabbi Mordechai of Lechovitz prohibited even that: “All worrying is forbidden, except to worry that one is worried.” Kvell-worthy fact: About 75 percent of American Jews give to charity versus 63 percent of Americans as a whole. Since reciting Kaddish brought secular Jews to synagogue, the rabbis, aware of their captive audience, moved the prayer to the end of the service. Who’s Jewish? About a quarter of Nobel Prize winners, an estimated 80 percent of comedians at one point, and the winner of Nazi Germany’s Most Perfect Aryan Child Contest. Readers will enjoy learning about how Jews feel, think, act, love, and live. They’ll also schmooze as they use the book’s “Typically Jewish, Atypically Fun” discussion guide.

A New Hasidism: Branches

by Arthur Green Ariel Evan Mayse

You are invited to enter the new-old pathway of Neo-Hasidism—a movement that uplifts key elements of Hasidism’s Jewish revival of two centuries ago to reexamine the meaning of existence, see everything anew, and bring the world as it is and as it can be closer together. This volume brings this discussion into the twenty-first century, highlighting Neo-Hasidic approaches to key issues of our time. Eighteen contributions by leading Neo-Hasidic thinkers open with the credos of Zalman Schachter-Shalomi and Arthur Green. Or Rose wrestles with reinterpreting the rebbes’ harsh teachings concerning non-Jews. Ebn Leader assesses the perils of trusting one’s whole being to a single personality: can Neo-Hasidism endure as a living tradition without a rebbe? Shaul Magid candidly calibrates Shlomo Carlebach: how “the singing rabbi” transformed him and why Magid eventually walked away. Other contributors engage questions such as: How might women enter this hitherto gendered sphere created by and for men? How can we honor and draw nourishment from other religions’ teachings? Can the rebbes’ radiant wisdom guide those who struggle with self-diminishment to reclaim wholeness? Together these intellectually honest and spiritually robust conversations inspire us to grapple anew with Judaism’s legacy and future.

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