Sadly millions of Jews have left the faith. Others venture forth only hesitantly into a synagogue, now a bastion of fossilized ritual and conspicuous consumption. These millions needed more from the orthodoxy, and this book attempts to show them the way back by giving renewed life to the heritages of Judaism, and, consequently, to its meaning for the modern world. Judaism’s Promise argues for a return to the synagogue’s originating Hellenistic commitment «to come together» in intellectual and moral study. As Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan argued, Judaism must once more become in the 20–21st century the civilization that it once represented to the wider world, and not a fossilized ceremonialism.
ILLUSTRATION BY JULES ITZKOFF Praise for Seymour W. Itzkoff’s WHO ARE THE JEWS? SERIES “Recommended for academic libraries, libraries hosting Jewish studies programs, and synagogues and public libraries.” Association of Jewish Libraries “Scholarly…Erudite…Brilliant.” Jewish Book World “Not just another Jewish history, but one which stands alone.” The Jewish Press Vol. 1: Soul of the Israelites Vol. 2: A Nation of Philosophers Vol. 3: Fatal Gift: Jewish Intelligence and Western Civilization WWW.PETERLANG.COM JUDAISM’S PROMISE, MEETING THE CHALLENGE OF MODERNITY JU D A ISM ’S PRO M ISE,M EETIN G TH E C H A LLEN G E O F M O D ERN ITY SEYMOUR W. ITZKOFF Itzkoff_jacket_cpi:Jacket.qxd 11/27/2013 6:09 AM Page 1 JUDAISM’S PROMISE, MEETING THE CHALLENGE OF MODERNITY follows Seymour W. Itzkoff’s well- received three-book series, Who Are the Jews? Judaism’s Promise confronts the many revolutions that have reshaped Judaism over the centuries allowing it and its people a path of leadership into the modern world. It takes the writings of the Torah, Holy Scriptures, and Talmud seriously as exemplars of the human search for civilizational and moral intellectuality. The book’s basic concern is with the withering of Judaism as a force in contemporary Western civilization. Sadly millions of Jews have left the faith. Others venture forth only hesi- tantly into a synagogue, now a bas- tion of fossilized ritual and conspicu- ous consumption. These millions need- ed more from the orthodoxy, and this book attempts to show them the way back...
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