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Judaism: A Way of Being Hardcover – November 24, 2009
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Gelernter means to answer four fundamental questions from a strictly Jewish perspective: How do we understand our place in the universe? Is physical creation all there is? How can we live our lives as human beings? Does life have a greater goal beyond mere survival? Culling from various Jewish sources, he answers by means of thematic images that resonate throughout a “lived Jewish life.” Those image-themes (and questions coordinate with the principal four) include separation (what is the point of Jewish religious law?), the veil (how can we be in touch with the transcendent?), perfect asymmetry (what role does family play?), and inward pilgrimage (how can Judaism reconcile a just and merciful God with evil?). In the appendix, he answers two further questions, Why believe in God? and What makes Judaism the most important intellectual development in Western history?, and offers a brief treatise on Jewish and Christian ethics. Though written for Jews unsatisfied by “usual approaches” to Judaism, the book may fascinate non-Jews interested in its questions, too, regardless of whether they agree with Gelernter’s conclusions. --June Sawyers
Top customer reviews
Don't let that stop you from buying it! The book made me think long and hard, and I've read it multiple times. It's very interesting from the perspective of the "whys" of Jewish observance, the mindset behind the rules. For anyone who has struggled with rabbinical/talmudic style thought, you may enjoy Gelernter's Western, academic, yet true-believer take on things.
need more time to spend with the creative ideas presented
If you're looking for something about Judaism but don't want a list of whys and holidays, you'll like this book.
Most recent customer reviews
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