Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
One People, Two Worlds: A Reform Rabbi and an Orthodox Rabbi Explore the Issues That Divide Them Paperback – August 26, 2003
All Books, All the Time
Read author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more at the Amazon Book Review. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From Publishers Weekly
Correction: In the April 29 review of Karen Volkman's Spar, the poet was incorrectly identified as having attended the University of Iowa's MFA program. Volkman is a graduate of Syracuse University's program.From January 21, 2000, to October 1, 2001, two learned and articulate rabbis exchanged 39 lengthy e-mail messages in a spirited but ultimately failed effort to find common ground between Orthodox and Reform Judaism. Through the exchange, they became friends who respected each other even though they firmly rejected each other's points of view. Addressing a number of fundamental issues, they eloquently explain and criticize their opinions in a lively and spirited debate. Both erudite rabbis extensively cite the Bible and Talmud as well as the writings of philosophers and rabbis to support their stances, exploring such issues as women's status, Zionism, homosexuality, assimilation and Israel. Neither interlocutor is swayed by the arguments of the other. For example, while Hirsch, the Reform rabbi, says he will not preside at a homosexual wedding, he argues for tolerance. Reinman, the Orthodox rabbi, quotes the biblical condemnation of homosexuality and asserts the necessity of trying to convert gay people to a straight lifestyle. Hirsch contends that Israel needs religious pluralism, while Reinman retorts that "religious struggle in Israel will only roil and muddy the waters." Readers who are privileged to observe this enlightening disputation will be impressed by the outstanding scholarship of these two rabbis and by their superb capacity to express their views with clarity and determination.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Rabbi Hirsch is executive director of the Association of Reform Zionists of America/World Union of Progressive Judaism, and Rabbi Reinman is an Orthodox theologian whose biblical commentaries and studies in Talmudic law are used in yeshivas. In their provocative but specialized work, they use a series of e-mails (reproduced chronologically) to debate the issues that divide the Jewish community. At the beginning, the authors are barely acquaintances, but nearly a year and a half later, they are friends despite the deep disagreements that form the basis of the volume. Argued herein are key issues, including the role of women in Judaism, matrilineal vs. patrilineal descent in determining who is a Jew, the basic tenets of Judaism, and the role of modern scholarship. Informed Jewish and non-Jewish readers will appreciate the lucidly presented arguments and the engaging personal details, though some will find parts ponderous. This book would seem to have appeal, as few other popular titles articulately set forth the debate between these contrasting viewpoints. Still, it will challenge beginners, who will be better served by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin's Jewish Literacy: The Most Important Things To Know About the Jewish Religion, Its People, and Its History. This book is most appropriate for most medium and larger libraries serving a diverse clientele. Paul Kaplan, Lake Villa Dist. Lib., IL
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
The main perspective of Reform Judaism is that the Torah is probably of human origin, but throughout thousands of years there have been discussions and decisions of how to adapt the torah to current life. This includes the Talmud which presented a snapshot of feelings of the time from over a thousand years ago; there is no summary of Jewish laws. It is better to have laws and morals that align with society.
Some of the "arguments" in this book include the following
Is the torah divine?
Are men and women the same (and not in the physical or emotional sense)?
Do values (including financial status and career prestige) originate in surrounding society?
Is religious history relevant to current practice?
Should labels be used to describe groups of people and if so should these labels based on character or based on physical activities.
In terms of the "debate" though a lot is left to be desired.
The Orthodox Rabbi often quotes text of other documents and shows how the translation has been understood for thousands of years.
The Reform Rabbi often says that he has a different interpretation; which makes thousands of years of history irrelevant.
The Reform Rabbi is often convincing that he personally knows what he is doing is right, even though he can't explain why.
The Orthodox Rabbi is often convincing that he knows what he is doing follows the actions of millions of Jews over thousands of years and therefore must be right. This makes the Orthodox Rabbi a much better debater if you give him the benefit of the doubt that there might be such a thing as a Torah. If you reject the existence of a Torah then the Reform Rabbi is a superior debater.
The key basis of the book comes down to this:
Orthodox Rabbi: I trace my activities to the Torah and i can show you why/when and how.
Reform Rabbi: I trace my heritage to the Torah but i can act how I know is right.
The points are not really in conflict as much as the title page would have you believe.
In terms of the scientific method. There isn't a major statistical analysis here. However the Reform Rabbi makes more claims based on emotion, therefore his arguments are more easily refuted.
In terms of writing style the Reform Rabbi is a bit more hostile. The Orthodox Rabbi is harder to follow.
This was a fun book to read but you would be better off with a single book from each perspective. The Orthodox Rabbi presents a list of these such books in his closing statements. I am not aware that any book has been written summarizing Reform Judaism but i will edit this review to include a summary when i find it; but it might be hard to find a good book that says you have to make your own decisions all the time.
Lightning Round- name calling edition:
Reform: Moral Relativist
Reform Judaism: Personal
Orthodox Judaism: True