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These Are the Words: A Vocabulary of Jewish Spiritual Life, Second Edition 2nd Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1580234948
ISBN-10: 1580234941
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The ultimate Jewish primer from Judaism's greatest scholar of spirituality. This book is a gem."
Lawrence Kushner, author, I’m God; You’re Not: Observations on
Organized Religion & Other Disguises of the Ego
, and other books

“With his unique vision, Arthur Green uses words to transport us into the heart of Jewish thought, history and emotion. The journey will leave your mind tingling and your soul intoxicated with joyful learning.”
Francine Klagsbrun, author, Jewish Days: A Book of Jewish Life
and Culture Around the Year

“A marvelous mini-encyclopedia of Jewish reli-gious life―concise, clear and remarkably wide-ranging. An absolutely essential book.”
Barry W. Holtz, associate professor of Jewish education,
The Jewish Theological Seminary; editor, Back to the Sources

“I can’t wait to teach These Are the Words in my congregation. Green’s lucid spiritual vocabulary can help transform how Jews think, speak and act―about what we value most.”
Rabbi Sheila Peltz Weinberg, Jewish Community of Amherst, Massachusetts

About the Author

Arthur Green, PhD, is recognized as one of the world's preeminent authorities on Jewish thought and spirituality. He is the Irving Brudnick professor of philosophy and religion at Hebrew College and rector of the Rabbinical School, which he founded in 2004. Professor emeritus at Brandeis University, he also taught at the University of Pennsylvania and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, where he served as dean and president.

Dr. Green is author of several books including Judaism's Ten Best Ideas: A Brief Guide for Seekers; Ehyeh: A Kabbalah for Tomorrow; Seek My Face: A Jewish Mystical Theology; Your Word Is Fire: The Hasidic Masters on Contemplative Prayer and Tormented Master: The Life and Spiritual Quest of Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav (all Jewish Lights). He is also author of Radical Judaism (Yale University Press) and coauthor of Speaking Torah: Spiritual Teachings from around the Maggid's Table. He is long associated with the Havurah movement and a neo-Hasidic approach to Judaism.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Jewish Lights; 2 edition (March 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580234941
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580234948
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 2 x 22.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #740,032 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One of the best investments I've made in my own Jewish literacy! I bring it to Torah study and our Rabbi asks for a word of the week. Others in my chavurah are interested in getting it as well. Some of us are fairly new to Jewish literacy and some have lived immersed in the Jewish world all their lives, but still find this interesting and informative. It always stimulates good discussions about how does this apply to us today? How do we live life into the great lessons passed down to us? Rabbi Green never fails to stimulate interest. If I were starting from scratch all over again, this would certainly rate in my top 5 most useful sources.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am in the process of converting to Judaism and have been trying very unsuccessfully to learn Hebrew. There is no adult Hebrew classes in my area. The Rabbi I am working with for conversion suggested that I purchase this book. The book covers all the important words pertaining to a Jewish spiritual life, and this will have to suffice for me until I can find an Hebrew teacher. The vocabulary is very extensive.
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Format: Paperback
Through this book, I believe the author does a good job educating us on Judaism’s spiritual terms, as well as cast a few personal viewpoints of his own. At one point in the book, (p32), in his explanation of of "Shaddai", according to a Legend, that at creation time God said ‘enough’, which prevented the seas from overtaking the land. Ok...fine. But, he goes on to say that he believes man, through global warming and rising seas, that it is now OUR responsibility to prevent it. (Which has nothing to do with "Shaddai"). I point this out to say that occasionally, he works his own personal political views and opinions in to the writing, which taints the objectivity of the definitions at times. In my humble opinion of course.

That being said, I think Arthur Green does a great job for me (a non-Jew who loves the Jewish people), in understanding a lot of the etymology and views of Jewish thoughts and traditions as far as many of the ‘words’ they may use. I love this book, overall. It’s a bit dry at times and hard to get through the Kabbalistic and mystical views (which gives me a sense that much twisting of Biblical truth has been going on in Judaism throughout the ages...). Perhaps this dryness to me is because of my own lack of interest in weird mystical oriented revelations in the last couple thousand years, but, as to words that he defines that directly relate to Biblical interpretation, this book is a valuable and golden resource and I’m glad I stumbled upon it.
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