From Publishers Weekly
With the Book of Psalms as a guide, Polish offers Jewish readers a workbook to construct their personal theology. In this sequel to Bringing the Psalms to Life, Polish presents the Psalms as a resource to refine an understanding of God and to shape a religious worldview. "Psalms is more like our own faith experience than other books of the Bible," he posits. "Belief is not `steady-state': unwavering and unchanging." The Book of Psalms, he says, often talks in "questioning tones rather than in terms of certainty." Quoting generously from the Psalms, Polish applies their wisdom to perplexing religious questions: How do we know God? What makes a life righteous? How do we deal with mortality? The idea of an afterlife? The book is divided into three parts: the quest for God in nature, Torah and history; the quest for insight in grappling with dilemmas like the problem of evil; the quest for commitment in living a life of faith, through acts of social justice and devotion to Jerusalem. Each chapter opens with a Yiddish poem (translated into English) that evokes that chapter's theme. Though readers might not regard questions of faith as "intimate and immediate" issues like those that arise from personal crises, they are "every bit as compelling and fundamental to our lives," says Polish. This is a book to peruse not lightly but with great concentration if the texts are to offer messages for our lives.
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About the Author
Daniel F. Polish, frequently teaches interfaith audiences at the Center for Religious Inquiry at St. Bartholomew's Church in New York City. He is author of Talking about God: Exploring the Meaning of Religious Life with Kierkegaard, Buber, Tillich and Heschel (SkyLight Paths), Bringing the Psalms to Life: How to Understand and Use the Book of Psalms and Keeping Faith with the Psalms: Deepen Your Relationship with God Using the Book of Psalms (both Jewish Lights), and has been a congregational rabbi for over thirty years.
Daniel F. Polish is available to speak on the following topics:
- Jewish-Christian Relations: Accomplishments and Challenge
- How to Make the Psalms Work for You
- What Can Four Great Modern Theologians Tell Us about Our Religious Lives?
- Jewish Religion and the Traditions of the East
- Abraham, the Father of Three Faiths
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