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Judaism’s Promise, Meeting the Challenge of Modernity

Seymour W. Itzkoff

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 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.


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A Abba, Rabbi, 73 abortion, 138, 139 Abraham, Israel, 89 Adath Jeshurun, 92 Adler, Felix, 24, 95, 180 Ahab, King, 35 Ahlwardt, Herman, 120 Altman, Alexander, 89 American Hebrew College, 95 am ha arez, xii, 35, 36, 48, 106, 156, 193 ammei ha arets, 56 Amon, 34 amoraim, 71, 72 anti-Semitism, 118–21, 195 Aquinas, Thomas, 170 Arabs, 141 Arafat, Yasser, 140 Aristotle, 148 Armenia, 132 Ashkenazi Jews, 4, 139, 166, 169 Ashkenazim, 76–78, 85 Aufklärung, 86–88 Averroes, 170 B Babylonia, 40 Bamberger, Seligman Ber, 94 Baron, S.W., 65 Beginnings of Jewishness, The, xiv Bet Din, 52, 68 Bickerman, E.J., 39 Boeckel, Otto, 120 Book of Beliefs and Convictions, 74 Buddhism, 4, 24 C Cambodia, 133 Cassirer, Ernst, 20 Catholicism, 181 Centralverein deutscherStaatsburger judischer Glaubens, 121 Chabad, 8 Chamberlain, Houston Stewart, 120 Itzkoff_Book.indb 213 23/10/12 5:43 PM 214 | judaism’s promise, meeting the challenge of modernity China, 183 Christianity, 2, 4 abortion and, 138 Papal, 8 right wing of, 138 rise to power, 195 scholasticism and, 71, 113 South Korea and, 5 as an underground religion, 70 Cincinnati movement, 179 circumcision, 149–51, 176–177 Codex Theodosius, 77 Cohen, Shaye, xiv, 162 Communism, 189 Confusionism, 24 Conservative movement, 181 Contra Apion, 108 Copernicus, Nicholas, 83 Costa, Uriel da, 84 Cro-Magnon man, 14–16, 17, 18, 21 D Darwin, Charles, 124 Delmedigo, Joseph, 89 Deutsche Volksage, Die, 120 Diaspora, 56 Discourse on the Status of the Jews, 83, 87 E economic crisis, 194 Edomites, 41 Einhorn, David,...

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