"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).