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Whose Torah?: A Concise Guide to Progressive Judaism (Whose Religion?) Hardcover – June 1, 2008

3.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Pursuit of tzedek (justice) takes many forms, and Alpert, among the first women to be ordained as a rabbi and current chairperson of the religion department at Temple University, addresses everything from sexuality, gender and race to war, peace, poverty and the environment under tzedek's capacious umbrella. Throughout this concise introduction, Alpert attempts to show how progressive Jews are reshaping questions about activism and justice. While quick to remind readers that among two Jews there will always be at least three opinions, she manages to cover a wide range of perspectives—biblical, historical, political and personal—with a surprising amount of depth, in a very small space. Replete with introductions (and resulting acronyms) to an array of organizations, movements and leaders within the ever-growing progressive community, this is as much a primer to progressive Judaism for both Jews and Gentiles as an inspiration for just living in the 21st century—whether that means treating our neighbors, our environment or even our enemies well. (June)
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About the Author

Rebecca Alpert is the chair of the religion department and an associate professor of religion and women’s studies at Temple University and was one of the first women in Jewish history to be ordained a rabbi. She has written widely on progressive religion and Judaism; among her books are Like Bread on the Seder Plate and Exploring Judaism (with Jacob Straub). She lives in Philadelphia.
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Product Details

  • Series: Whose Religion?
  • Hardcover: 164 pages
  • Publisher: The New Press (June 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159558336X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595583369
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.7 x 7.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,373,816 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By G. J Wiener on August 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Fair account of the world of modern Judiasm. The author seems to want the Jewish faith to be more in touch with the religion. I partially agree. There are many Jews who think being Jewish is donating to Israel. At the moment Israel is the Jewish State and a homeland for all who believe as such. However there are many key rituals which many reform leaning Jews seem to disregard.

The author seems to want people to believe in the Torah and what it says. He emphasizes the importance of understanding poverty and giving charity or as in hebrew Tzeddakah.

The discussion about the holocaust is reasonable. However the author's change in attitude about the formation and development of the state of Israel is mixed. The author at first favor the state of Israel but dislikes much after the 1967 War. The issue is what are the Palestinians and Arabs doing to help keep the peace? The suicide bomber attacks are NOT an answer. Isrel can be a little less aggressive regarding border issues but they have received their share of hardship from the Palestinains. The author needs to discuss this a little more. At least she is not a self hating Jew/Israeli which gives me some hope.

Different strokes for different folks. Good account of Progressive Judiasm. Possibly a broader and slightly more balanced disussion might help.
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I wanted to love this book, especially as a Jew who seeks out a Torah that speaks to its clear message on Peace and Justice. This book just meanders to the author's interests, does little to hit important points, and misses the boat entirely. I was extremely disappointed, Jews looking to deepen their understanding of the Torah should probably look other places.
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