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Peace, Justice, and Jews: Reclaiming Our Tradition Hardcover – July 1, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 338 pages
  • Publisher: Bunim & Bannigan Ltd; Ill edition (July 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933480157
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933480152
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1.3 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,852,537 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Unabashedly left-leaning, but by no means homogenous, this literate, thought-provoking collection examines from all angles, in some four dozen essays, the idea that editors Polner and Merken believe "reflects the most basic attitude in our Jewish heritage": Shalom, "much more than the absence of war... it encompasses wholeness, grace, and truth." Covering everything from scriptural imperative to Israel to Arab-Jewish relations to animal rights, this is an excellent addition for libraries and classrooms. Standouts include Kenny Freeman's Middle East dispatches, in which friendships with Arabs illustrate how "Jews and Arabs could live together... if their primary allegiance was to a unified Holy Land, rather than to their own nationalist needs." Claudia Freeman contributes a remarkable elegy, recalling trips to Germany on which she pieced together the story of 14 family members killed by the Nazis. Helen Fein's vital essay addresses the false "Articles of Faith" that form part of the Holocaust's legacy, such as the lingering myths that "our existence is always in peril," and that Jewish victims "went dumbly... to their deaths, 'like sheep to the slaughter.' " Calls to action include Richard Schwartz admonishing readers "not to wait for the right opportunity to come along... but to actively seek opportunities to practice justice." Though some essays feel slight-especially in the opening section, "What We Believe"-there is much to learn here for anyone, Jew or Gentile, interested in global issues of peace and justice.
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Review

Unabashedly left-leaning, but by no means homogenous, this literate, thoughtprovoking collection examines from all angles, in some four dozen essays, the idea that editors Polner and Merken believe ''reflects the most basic attitude in our Jewish heritage:'' Shalom, ''much more than the absence of war… [it encompasses] wholeness, grace, and truth.'' Covering everything from scriptural imperative to Israel to Arab-Jewish relations to animal rights, this is an excellent addition for libraries and classrooms. . . . There is much to learn here for anyone, Jew or Gentile, interested in global issues of peace and justice. --Publishers Weekly

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Arthur Waskow on August 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Like all anthologies, the book is a little uneven. But its best dozen essays are VERY good. If you have been wondering what your sunday school teacher or your rabbi refused to tell you about Jewish critiques of Israeli policy or US policy, about failures to seek peace & pursue it or to seek just goals by just means, this book will open a locked closet filled with unexpected light. (Disclosure: I wrote 2 of the essays included.) -- Rabbi Arthur Waskow, The Shalom Center -- [...] -- Awaskow@shalomctr.org
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bill S. on November 5, 2007
Format: Hardcover
As a conscientious objector imprisoned for refusing to soldier during the Vietnam War, I revisited----while reading these essays----the questions encountered whenever we face life and death decisions. Not just our own life and death, but that of our fellow human beings, particularly those designated, by whichever leader happens to be in power, as enemies of our nation. As less than human. As legitimate targets for hatred and destruction.

Living in a culture that aims to draw us away from contemplating the tougher, more significant issues of being human, and into entertainment and consumption, it is refreshing to encounter writers like these who wrestle with essentials. These essays helped me recall the sense of vitality and passion experienced during my own struggle as a conscientious objector.

Anyone who wrestles with issues of peace and justice, is interested in a peaceful resolution of hostilities in the Middle East, or wants to know more of the diversity and depth of Jewish thought on peace and justice, will be wise to read this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S. E. Hunt on February 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover
As an American and a conscientious objector, I have long been troubled by the partisanship of my own government and the apparent lack of basic human understanding demonstrated by all sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I have often wondered, where the bridge builders are so desperately needed to span these raging waters. I am pleased to find many of them speaking with passion and eloquence from the pages of this worthy book. I recommend Peace, Justice, and Jews to anyone in search of hope, not only in this, but in all struggles in which people seem to have forsaken the noblest principles of their own faiths.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Claire Gorfinkel on December 16, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I especially appreciated David Howard's essay "Why I Won't Go to Israel." Many thanks to all the authors for reminding us of the Jewish calling to do justice, and to speak the truth about these central issues of our time.
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