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Emerson on man & God
Emerson on man & God
by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Edition: Hardcover
8 used & new from $0.96

5.0 out of 5 stars Great thoughts by a thoughtful man, September 30, 2014
This review is from: Emerson on man & God (Hardcover)
Emerson (1803-1882) was a champion of individualism. He led the Transcendentalist Movement of mid-nineteenth century America. Transcendentalism was a protest against the ideas of the majority about spirituality and intellectualism. It stressed self-reliance over tradition and the acceptance of ancient outdated ideas.
Emerson wrote about the ability of people to realize almost everything, what he called “the infinitude of the private man.” “What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside you.” “Whoso would be a man,” he wrote, “must be a nonconformist.” “We will walk on our own feet; we will work with our own hands.” We will “look at the world with new eyes…what is truth?...what is good?” Nothing,” he wrote, is “as sacred (as) the integrity of your own mind.”
He served as a minister in a church as a young man, but later abandoned the tenets of Christianity, rejected the notion of Jesus being divine, miracles, revelation, indeed everything that was not rational. He felt that truth can be learned from nature, not revelation. The following are some of his ideas from the selections contained in “Emerson: On Man and God.”
• Difficulties exist to be surmounted…. A strenuous soul hates cheap successes. (Elsewhere, he wrote: The greatest glory in living lies not in never failing, but rising every time we fail.)
• The great majority of men are not original…when they die they occupy themselves to the last with what others think, and whether Mr. A and Mr. B will go to their funeral.
• Masses! The calamity is in the masses. I do not wish any mass at all, but honest men only, lovely, sweet, accomplished women only…. If government knew how, I would like to see it check, not multiply the population…every man that is born will be hailed as essential.
• The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common. What is day? What is a year? What is summer? What is a woman? What is a child? What is sleep?
• In going down into the secrets of his own mind (a person) has descended into the secrets of all minds…. The poet, in utter solitude remembering his spontaneous thoughts and recording them, is found to have recorded that which men in crowded cities find true for them also.
• In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts; they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty. Great works of art have no more affecting lesson for us than this. They teach us to abide by our spontaneous impression with good-humored inflexibility then most when the whole city of voices is on the other side. Else tomorrow a stranger will say with masterly good sense precisely what we have thought and felt all the time, and we shall be forced to take with shame our own opinion from another.
• Great geniuses have the shortest biographies. Their cousins can tell you nothing about them. They lived in their writings, and so their house and street life was trivial and commonplace. If you would know their tastes and complexions, the most admiring of their readers most resembles them. Plato especially has no external biography. If he had lover, wife, or children, we hear nothing of them. He ground them all into paint.
• I think myself more of a man than some men I know, inasmuch as I see myself to be open to the enjoyment of talents and deeds of other men, as they are not. When a talent comes by, which I cannot appreciate and other men can, I am inferior. With all my ears I cannot detect unity or plan in a strain of Beethoven. Here is a man who draws from it a frank delight. So much is he more a man than I.
• The religion of one age is the literary entertainment of the next.
• The test of a religion or philosophy is the number of things it can explain: so true is it. But the religion of our churches explains neither art nor society nor history, but itself needs explanation.
• Our age is retrospective. It builds the sepulchers of the fathers. It writes biographies, histories, and criticism. The foregoing generations beheld God and nature face to face; we, through their eyes. Why should not we also enjoy an original relation to the universe? Why should we not have a poetry and not a tradition, and a religion by revelation to us, and not the history of theirs?


The Three Musketeers
The Three Musketeers
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unexpectantly enjoyable, September 18, 2014
I found this free amazon classic to be radically different than what I expected. I found it to be full of subtle humor, adultery, and very enjoyable. Dumas admits in the book that the men and women did things at the time that people do not do today – of course. While the book’s title seems to indicate that the principle heroes of the tale are the three Musketeers during the era of King Louis XIII of France and Cardinal Richelieu, the story actually focuses on D’Artagnan, the youngest of the four men who was not a Musketeer. He was young, only about twenty, impetuous, apparently more intelligent than his friends, head-strong, who came to Paris from a small town to make money and a reputation. He fell in love frequently. Each of the three Musketeers was different, Athos, the oldest, had a history that he was trying to hide. Porthos was a womanizer. Aramis was a frustrated want-to-be priest. Each of the four drank to excess, but rarely became drunk. Their adventures are fun to read.


The Crucible (Heinemann Plays for 14-16+)
The Crucible (Heinemann Plays for 14-16+)
by Arthur Miller
Edition: Hardcover
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is a very engaging drama with many points worthy of consideration, September 14, 2014
I read this play years ago, but when I found it in a used book store, I decided to reread it. I enjoyed it again and recommend that others reread it as well.

The story can be read on many delightful levels. It is (1) a well-crafted drama, (2) that explores the psychologies of revenge and the effect that one person can have upon another to the extent of making that person believe what he or she would not otherwise believe and act contrary to what is rational, (3) it helps clarify the Salem witch trials of 1692, “one of the strangest and most awful chapters of human history,” (4) reminds us of the similarity to the McCarthyism which gripped America in the 1950s, (5) a phenomenon that reoccurs even today in many respects, (6) describes a culture of self-denial that forbade anything related to joy, including Christmas, (7) showed how Puritans who came to America to escape persecution persecuted fellow Puritans and even frequently mistreated members of their own family, (8) shows how the witch trials were precipitated by lies designed for personal gain, and much else.


The Sages Volume II: From Yavne to the Bar Kokhba Revolt
The Sages Volume II: From Yavne to the Bar Kokhba Revolt
Price: $8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very readable and informative book, September 10, 2014
Lau, a respected Orthodox rabbi with a PhD, approaches his subject, the history of Judaism after the Roman destruction of the Jewish Temple in 70 CE until after the Bar Kokhba revolt of 132-135 with a scientific and historical manner. He cites numerous sources, including stories in the Talmuds and Midrashim about the rabbis who lived during this period. He doesn't dismiss these stories as fables or accept them as altogether true accounts, but sifts through them with the recognition that although they are filled with legendary material, they express some truths.

This is his second in a three volume series. The first examined "The Second Temple Period" the third "The Galilee Days." The books were written in Hebrew. This one was published in Hebrew in 2007. Ilana Kurshan translated the work in readable English.

I discussed Lau's world view and literary approach in my review of his first volume. For example, when he discussed the traditions about the miracle worker "Honi the circle-maker," who like Rip Van Winkle, is said to have slept for seventy years, Lau calls it "an exaggeration." Likewise, in discussing the Talmudic understanding of history, he stated: "The sages were indeed not concerned about historical accuracy." He noted that in sifting "through the sources of (the second Temple) period, one is struck by the discrepancy between the sources of the Babylonian Talmud and those of the Jerusalem Talmud." "The nature of Hanukkah," he wrote, differs in the two books (of the Maccabees), each version reflecting its author and his culture," and there is a third radically different version in the Talmud. Most significantly, he discussed the famous disputes between the sages Hillel and Shammai and pointed out that the opinions of Shammai were "representing the `early halakha,' prior to the changes resulting from Hillel's innovations."

I wrote that "Lau presents an historical survey of Judaism that recognizes the need to further the development of the Oral Law to address the problems of the modern world. We need: `Leadership that stands up and takes responsibility (and leads) toward the direction of repair and growth.' We need to stop being `afraid of issuing judgments.' The power of Judaism `does not derive from addiction to the world of nostalgia.'"

Lau continues this outlook in this volume. He tells how in 70 CE Rabbi Yohanan ben Zakkai realized that changes must be made in Judaism as a result of the Roman destruction of Israel and the ending of sacrifices that had been a central element in Judaism. Ben Zakkai with the help of some but not all of the surviving sages settled in the city of Yavneh and stressed the role of study as a replacement for sacrifices and the synagogue for the Temple. They emphasized the need for religious unity. While in the past, Jews followed whatever opinion satisfied them, ben Zakkai and his colleagues ruled that the conservative teachings of the school of Shammai were not the law, but instead the more innovative and people-oriented decisions of Hillel's school, and they enacted new laws. But they had opposition. Then as now there were sages who insisted on maintaining the ancient practices. Lau discusses the opposition of rabbis such as the conservative Rabbi Eliezer ben Hyrcanus, the "plastered well that never loses a drop," but who had no refreshing new water from an "ever-flowing spring." He tells how and why the majority who followed ben Zakkai's leadership excommunicated Eliezer ben Hyrcanus.

In this first section, Lau discusses the kind of authority ben Zakkai had and whether, as some suppose, he was a patriarch, his role after Rabbi Gamliel came to Yavneh, why Gamliel didn't come sooner, what approaches to Judaism the various students of ben Zakkai took, and much more, including an eleven page discussion on the relevance of Eliezer ben Hyrcanus' conservative world view today.

Part two of five parts analyses the community in Yavneh from the patriarch Rabban Gamliel to Rabbi Yehoshua. Among many subjects, it examines the authority of the patriarch. The patriarch was primarily the secular leader, for he wasn't always the most learned sage. It also examines this second generation's attempts to stop disputes in Israel, the struggle against heretics and Christians, and ends by considering when contemporary Jews need to obey authority and when they can resort to creative license.

Part three focuses on the famous Rabbi Akiva. It reveals, among other matters, that contrary to some legends, the rabbi may have had three wives, not necessarily at the same time, and he was married and had a son when he joined his son and went to school for the first time. Lau examines whether every rabbi agreed with Akiva that Bar Kokhba was the messiah, whether Akiva had a significant role in the 132-135 revolt, an earlier revolt against Rome in three separate non-Israeli sites, the important views of sages such as Rabbi Yishmael and Ben Azzai, and concludes with a look at whether Torah study is more important than behavior.

The fourth part considers what precipitated the 132-135 revolt, the prior smaller uprisings by "bandits" in Israel, what kind of man was Bar Kokhba, and since Lau shows that he was not religious, he concludes by discussing "Religion and Nationalism - Strange Bedfellows?"

In the last part, Lau investigates the aftereffects of the revolt, the Roman Emperor Hadrian's decrees, the results of these decrees, the mass exodus from Israel, what really happened during the days of the counting of the omer, did Rabbi Akiva really have 24,000 students that died during a seven week period, and what lessons from the Bar Kokhba revolt "Still Ring True Although Beitar Did Fall?"

In sum this is an important book because it is filled with a wealth of significant, well-documented, and thoughtfully analyzed material, and whether one agrees with the author or not, readers will find his ideas informative and thought provoking.


The Jewel Box
The Jewel Box
Price: $2.99

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating tale with very interesting characters, September 8, 2014
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This review is from: The Jewel Box (Kindle Edition)
I enjoyed this book because it reads well and has humor, drama, and interesting characters, especially the heroine Jill.

Her story begins in earnest in 1969 and continues for three decades. She goes from one boyfriend to another. She had a daughter with the first one. He abandoned her and gave no child support for years, then gave some money and abandoned her again. He “thought parenting ended with conception.” The second brutalized her and hounded and threatened her after she left him. “He drank himself into a stupor and called me vile names.” He was very controlling. He even monitored her soda intake. He spent a fortune on liquor and narcotics, using his own and Jill’s money. The third, Gabriel, became the love of her life. He treated her well. But he was married to a spendthrift wife and had two daughters whom he loved and did not want to leave. She became pregnant by him, but he didn’t want the child. The fourth was Phil who she married because he was so persistent, but she really didn’t like him. She still loved Gabriel. Phil was dull. He “found mathematical equations erotic.” The fifth was a very rich lawyer who wanted to marry her after she divorced Phil. And so on…. Each is very interesting.

Jill had several jobs during the three decades. Her first significant job was at “The Jewel Box,” a topless bar run by a wealthy, very friendly man, Beau, who worked behind the bar. He was very helpful to Jill. He was old enough to be her father. He suggested that she adopt the name Cherie. She did so because “it sounded enchanting flowing from his lips.” At first she “felt embarrassed to the core of my being as I watched (girls with their nipples covered) dancing almost naked in front of these guys.” But soon, besides waiting tables and serving drinks, she also danced. She received lots of money, as much as over $200 a night. “Education certainly isn’t necessary for making money in this place. My last job didn’t pay this much in a month.”

Beau was careful that his bar would not become a place of prostitution. He allowed his girls to get a kiss but “a kiss on the lips is incontrovertibly taboo.” He fired girls he caught soliciting sex. Yet Jill/Cherie did not fell that comfortable working in a topless bar.

The book is filled with many interesting characters. Beau was well-educated and well-read. He quoted Shakespeare, Emerson, Aristophanes, Plato, Byron, Dorothy Parker, among others. There was Al, Gabriel’s partner, who was married, who came to the bar weekly and fell in love with one dancer after another. There was a dancer who everyone thought was one of the most beautiful of the dancers who was actually a man. McCarty also describes the idiosyncratic behavior of quite a few of the other dancers.

All in all, this is a fascinating tale with appealing attention-grabbing characters. Readers will enjoy finding out the details of what I sketched out above, what happens next, and discovering whether Jill/Cherie found joy in her life.


The Legacy of Cain
The Legacy of Cain
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An unusual and delightful book, August 28, 2014
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Wilkie Collins (1824-1889), a friend and sometime co-author of Charles Dickens, wrote enjoyable books. He was the inventor of detective novels. He is best known for his books “The Woman in White” and “Moonstone.” His plots are unusual and suspenseful. Even some plots of his non-detective tales have the flavor of that genre. He has a keen understanding of psychology, which is reflected frequently in his tales. In this book two sisters grow up not knowing that they are not related biologically, and turn out differently.

The story begins when a female prisoner who was sentenced to be hung for the horrible way she killed her husband persuades a minister, Mr. Gracedieu, to adopt her infant daughter. The minister and his wife have no children and do not expect to be able to have any. A doctor warns him that human nature causes physical and personality traits of parents to be inherited by their children, and tries to persuade the minister not to take the child because he will face horrors when the child grows up because she will have her mother’s despicable traits. The minister disagrees and states that his Christian lessons and pious home habits will assure the child grows into a responsible woman. The plot therefore focuses on what causes evil: heredity or environment or, to put it simply, is there a legacy of Cain?

The plot is amplified when the minister’s wife unexpectantly gives birth to a daughter and, unknown to her husband, tells the head of the prison in a venomous manner that she does not want the hung woman’s child and will do all she can to dispose of the child even though her husband wants her. She tries to gain his help in the enterprise, but he refuses. She dies before she can carry out her plan. The minister does all he can to hide that his adopted daughter is the child of a sinister murderess. He refuses to reveal to his daughters that one of them is adopted, and for unusual reasons asserts that he does not want to say which of the two is older. This act raises the curiosity of people who hear about it. He names his adopted daughter Eunice, which, not mentioned or even hinted by Collins, is based on the Greek “eu,” meaning “good,” while the minister’s wife names her daughter Helena against his wishes, a name that is reminiscent of Helen of Troy. Is this meant to be ironic?

The plot swells by the entrance of several characters into the lives of the children, including the mistress of the murdered husband, Miss Chance, who strongly disliked his wife who killed him and her daughter, who is determined to harm the daughter. Another is the entrance into the minister’s home of the minister’s cousin, Miss Jillgall, who Helena thinks is mean-hearted and duplicitous, while Eunice considers her a nice person. The well-meaning minister brought her into his home because she had nowhere else to live. One of her friends is Miss Chance. Jillgall is overly curious and a busy-body. Still another character introduced into the tale is the rich husband of the murderess’s sister who was no longer alive, who offered to help place the child, but refused to bring the child into his home lest his son fall in love with this tainted girl and want to marry her. He is not told that the minister adopted her.

Years later, the two girls are eighteen. Helena, the minister’s natural daughter is far smarter, prettier, and with a warmer personality than Eunice. While Helena is away, Eunice and the son meet, neither knowing the history, and they fall in love. Eunice thinks that the only problem that she might have with this young man is that his father is exceedingly rich while her father is poor, but she is wrong.


Mug Recipes, fast and delicious recipes for everyone
Mug Recipes, fast and delicious recipes for everyone

4.0 out of 5 stars Easy to make foods in coffee mugs, August 26, 2014
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People who like to make quick sweet items in a coffee mug will enjoy this easy to read book. It contains eleven recipes, including minute chocolate cake, peanut butter cookies, and peanut butter mug cake. The author shows pictures of each food, ingredients, and detailed cooking directions. Each food is cooked in a microwave.


I Kings: Torn in Two
I Kings: Torn in Two
Price: $8.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb discussions on a very interesting biblical book, August 26, 2014
Too few people read the early historical books of the Hebrew Bible – Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings – and those who do fail to get as much out of the books as they can. Alex Israel’s new book focuses on the first half of the book Kings, called I Kings because the Greek translation of the book divided the book in two, a convention that was accepted by Jews in 1517. I Kings is comprised of twenty-two chapters and covers the history of ancient Judah and Israel from the coronation of King Solomon in 967 BCE through the reign of King Jehoshaphat who died in 846 BCE. The book of Kings as a whole deals with “the four hundred years of history from Solomon to the exile, from the advent of the Temple to its destruction” in 586 BCE. It describes the kings of the two nations, Judah and Israel, the politics, wars, and a significant problem of the era, idolatry.

Alex Israel’s book is subtitled “Torn in Two” because after Solomon’s death in 928 BCE, his son Rehoboam refused to accept the demands of the ten northern tribes to reduce taxation. When he rebuffed them, they withdrew from the nation of Judah and formed their own country, which they called Israel. In the final chapter of I kings, King Ahab of Israel formed a short-lived alliance with King Jehoshaphat of Judah, but a prophet criticized the alliance. Israel lasted for about 200 years until it was conquered by Assyria. The ten tribes were driven into exile, and became known in history as “the ten lost tribes,” although some of the inhabitants escaped south to Judah; so all the tribes continued to exist, although only Levites and the family of Aaron, the priests, know their lineage today.

This book describes the reign of thirteen kings, five from Judah and eight from Israel. Three of the thirteen stand out; one from Judah, Solomon, and two from Israel, Jeroboam, who organized the split from Judah, and Ahab, the husband of Jezebel who repeatedly repented his wrongs and then, perhaps provoked by Jezebel, reverted to the performance of improper acts. Solomon attempted to strengthen the unity of Israel, but his son destroyed his goal. Solomon began his reign as a man devoted to God, he built Israel’s first temple, but he ended his life seduced by his foreign wives to worship idols. “Each of these kings suffered from divided loyalties, finding religious orientation at variance with his national agenda…making singular adherence to God’s law impossible.” Additionally, quite a few chapters in I Kings as well as II Kings deal with the famed prophet Elijah, the only prophet who resigned his prophetic position, an overly-zealous man, who begged God to kill him, who is described with great insight by Alex Israel. The biblical Elijah is radically different than the Elijah known through post-biblical legends.

Alex Israel offers readers an explanation of each of the twenty-two chapters, discussing each in turn, in an easy to read, comprehensive, and insightful manner. For example, among much else, in explaining chapter 1, Israel answers why it was necessary to seek a virgin from “the entire country” to lay in King David’s bed to warm him; couldn’t “a suitable candidate have been found in a more limited local – the province of Judah, for instance?” Israel explains that this was part of the plot of one of David’s sons who wanted to succeed him; he was publicizing David’s infirmity.

In his explanation of chapter 2, again among much else, Israel explains why this son of David felt he could escape Solomon’s attempt to kill him by seeking asylum by leaning on the altar. The Torah states that the altar is not an asylum for a murderer. He also explains why Solomon felt he had to kill his brother.

In his discussions of chapters 9 and 10, which describe the wealth and opulence of Solomon’s reign, Israel warns readers that the Solomon chapters “bear a double reading.” In an initial reading, readers are “impressed and overwhelmed by the power and accomplishments of this king…. But as one revisits these chapters a second time, especially with the awareness of Solomon’s failures at the end of his reign, one appreciates that he did not fail overnight; darker strands are revealed, indicating the deep flaws that threatened the impressive national enterprise.” For example, in the twenty-fourth year of his reign, the country that had been so rich was now suffering a deficit and Solomon had to buy food from the kingdom of Tyre and had to pay for it by giving the Tyre king twenty cities.

In chapter 11, Israel gives readers an insightful even-handed picture of Jeroboam who rebelled against Solomon’s son and established a new kingdom for ten of the twelve tribes. In chapter 12, he shows that the rivalry between Judah and Joseph - Jeroboam was from Joseph - goes back unabated to the time of Jacob’s sons. “The fiercest manifestation of their feud is the terrible sale of Joseph to Egypt, instigated by Judah.” In 12, he also discusses whether the two temples that Jeroboam established in Dan and Beth El, placing calves at the entrances to the temples, changing the date of Sukkot, and allowing the general public to function as priests was idolatry.

While all the kings of Judah were descendants of David, the kings of the northern kingdom came from various tribes and repeatedly suffered untimely ends through bloody assassinations. Jeroboam’s son succeeded him but was assassinated by Baasha after ruling only two years. Baasha’s son followed him as king but was also assassinated by Zimri after two years, and Zimri lasted only seven days. The history of these kings of Israel as well as the kings of Judah is a fascinating tale, especially with Alex Israel’s explanations of the events. Readers will enjoy this book and look forward to its sequel.


Thump
Thump
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An engrossing and suspenseful drama with original ideas by a very fine author, August 26, 2014
This review is from: Thump (Kindle Edition)
It takes some time for most good novelists to be recognized by the public. Avraham Azrieli, a lawyer like many good crime novelists, is just beginning to be recognized as a very fine crime writer. He is the author of seven fictional books and two non-fiction works. One non-fiction book “One Step Ahead” inspired the musical “By Wheel and by Wing.” His latest 2014 drama is “The Bootstrap Ultimatum.” I read all of his seven fictional works and recommend them. Azrieli will most likely be a number one bestselling author very soon.

“Thump” was published in 2013. Besides being a suspenseful tale, the book shows Azrieli’s clever original imagination. The protagonist is T. M. Jefferson, a black man known as Thump because of his alleged sexual skills. Thump was hired by Henrietta Kingman, a white female partner of a highly respected investment firm in Baltimore, Maryland, because she found him to be very attractive, but mostly because Thump was willing to service her sexually several times a week. Kingman also used Thump to seduce rich widows to invest with her firm.

Thump realized that if he refused Kingman’s insistence that he have sex with her and the firm’s clients and potential clients, he would lose his job, so he complied for five years. But then he fell in love with a young nurse who made him vow that he would be faithful to her. When Thump told Kingman he could no longer have sex with her, he was fired. Thump responded by hiring Ruth O’Connor to represent him in a lawsuit claiming sexual harassment.

Besides the drama, what makes this tale fascinating is that O’Connor is a white woman who had to resign her position as a judge because of several statements she made about black people. Readers can decide whether they are prejudicial. A second interesting situation in the novel is that the sexual harassment suit is brought by a man, not a woman as these suits are usually brought, Thump had agreed to have sex for five years, and Thump and O’Connor have no physical evidence to prove their case against a highly respected firm run by pillars of society.

In short, this is an engrossing and suspenseful drama with well-drawn unusual characters by a very fine author.


All The World: Universalism, Particularism and the High Holy Days (Prayers of Awe)
All The World: Universalism, Particularism and the High Holy Days (Prayers of Awe)
by Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman PhD
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.56
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is filled with interesting information about High Holiday prayers, August 24, 2014
This is the fifth informative volume edited by Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman that focuses on Jewish High Holiday prayers, the holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Many Jews recognize that these prayers are very important because of their history and content, although they know neither. Rabbi Hoffman collected several dozen rabbis and scholars who explain the prayers. The prior books focused on Un’taneh Tokef, Kol Nidre, Ashamnu and Al Chet, and Yizkor. This volume contains articles written by thirty-seven rabbis and scholars of all Jewish denominations, men and women. The book is divided into five parts: universalism and particularism, views from philosophy and literature, the impact of “all the world,” the liturgy, and interpretations.

Among much else, the chapters discuss why be Jewish, universalism and particularism, the Jewish golden rule, being a “light unto the nations,” is there one true religion, hope, repentance, what we can all believe, and one contains some significant High Holiday prayers in the original Hebrew with new translations and explanatory notes.

For example, Rabbi Jack Riemer discusses the three Uv’khen prayers, tells us why they remind him of the three-time repetition of the Beatles song, “Let it be, let it be, let it be,” and explains the three-part vision of the prayer: that all the world unite to serve God in love, the Jewish people be restored the dignity it deserves, and wickedness disappear so that the wicked can become good. Dr. Erica Brown focuses on v’khol ma’aminim, “everyone believes,” and the impact that the list of beliefs has upon congregants with more liberal ideas. Rabbi Andrew Goldstein discusses Israel Zangwill’s Victorian rhyme that used to be sung in liberal synagogues in his youth, and tells us why the payer is no longer recited. Rabbi Jonathan Magonet explains why many High Holiday prayers speak about “we” and “they” and not “me.”

Anyone reading the many articles will learn much about the holiday prayers and about Judaism generally.


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