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Justice in the City: An Argument from the Sources of Rabbinic Judaism (New Perspectives in Post-Rabbinic Judaism) Paperback – May 1, 2013


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is an extremely important, interesting and creative project. Nothing like it really exists. Here is someone who combines erudition in the classical literature of Judaism (especially the Baylonian Talmud) with his passion for social justice, both as an activist and as someone who thinks in highly sophisticated terms about the tradition of political philosophy and of social theory inspired by religious traditions." (Charlotte Fonrobert)

"Ours is an age that aches for justice. Growing disparities of wealth, continuing marginalization of people by ethnicity, faith, gender, and ability, propensity to use violence and power to impose control—these and other blights assault our ability to thrive as human beings on this planet. Fortunately, we have a consummate academic, passionate prophet, and wise sage in Aryeh Cohen, who musters the resources of Jewish tradition as tools for clearer analysis and effective engagement. This is a great book by a master scholar and community activist." (Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies, American Jewish University)

“In a deft exegetical stroke, Cohen turns the rabbis’ idea of ‘accompaniment’ into a metaphor for civic obligation—the space between, on the one hand, the coercive power of the state, and, on the other, the callousness of inconsiderate (and illusory) individualism. In this conception, justice in the city is the accompaniment of strangers.“ (Yehudah Mirsky)

"Rabbi Aryeh Cohen’s book Justice in the City is a. . .compelling, easy-to-read discussion of how rabbinic texts, primarily the Babylonian Talmud, lay out a vision of justice. . . . Every interaction that we have is part of a network of interactions. . . .Cohen continues to expand these interactions and define them, ultimately leaving us with a balanced, coherent, and workable way to view our ties to others and to develop our notions of community in the framework of a world where we will never meet many or most of its inhabitants, and yet must feel some responsibility for them nevertheless." (Rabbi Alama Suskin MyJewishLearning.com)

“Voluntary giving and voluntary organizations are great. But. . .what if charity—giving out of love or noblesse oblige or religious commitment—doesn’t go far enough? To understand what’s wrong with the voluntary model, I suggest reading the recent book Justice in the City by the scholar and activist Aryeh Cohen.” (Gershom Gorenberg Daily Beast)

About the Author

Aryeh Cohen (PhD Brandeis University) is an associate professor of Rabbinic Literature at the American Jewish University. His previous book is Rereading Talmud: Gender, Law and the Poetics of Sugyot (Brown University, 1998).
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Product Details

  • Series: New Perspectives in Post-Rabbinic Judaism
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Academic Studies Press (May 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1618112961
  • ISBN-13: 978-1618112965
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #577,997 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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As an Angeleno I have the luxury of living with some of the greatest Jewish minds of our times. I got to hear the author speak several times at my Temple and thus was inspired to read this book. It takes a convincing stab at showing how the Jewish wisdom of far flung times and places (the first few centuries CE; cities in what is now Iraq) can help us navigate the ethical challenges of modern cities like Los Angeles.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Isaac Stewart on June 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover
A stunning, long-awaited contribution, bound to transform the way we think about our neighbors and ourselves, from one of the most insightful, deep and revolutionary scholars of Jewish ethics today. An absolute must!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Fraad on August 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Justice in the City is a crucial book. More and more Americans and indeed all people live in cities around the world or the slums that surround those cities. In cities we share sidewalks, streets, subways, buses and so much else. In New York City we are at the same time united in sharing public space and confronted with the glut of private wealth in the face of starving the public by cutting funding from Libraries, schools, infants nutrition, child care subsidies ... the list is endless.
America was the most egalitarian Western developed nation in 1970. Now we are the least egalitarian of all. The basic equality that helps people feel that we are all in it together is disappearing in the new America which qualifies as best democracy money can buy. Cohen's book speaks to all the millions of every faith and all the non-believers who live in US cities. It shows us a better way to enjoy our shared lives. The struggle to enjoy those better lives is worth it. Read this book and be inspired!
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Justice in the City: An Argument from the Sources of Rabbinic Judaism (New Perspectives in Post-Rabbinic Judaism)
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