Read e-book online Israelis and the Jewish Tradition: An Ancient People PDF

By David Hartman

During this robust publication the most very important modern Jewish thinkers grapples with concerns that more and more divide Israel's secular Jewish group from its non secular Zionists. Deeply dedicated to spiritual pluralism, David Hartman deals a brand new knowing of what it capacity to be Jewish--one that permits diverse Jewish teams to have fun their very own traditions with no demonizing or patronizing others.The Terry Lectures

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Read Online or Download Israelis and the Jewish Tradition: An Ancient People Debating Its Future (The Terry Lectures Series) PDF

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Extra info for Israelis and the Jewish Tradition: An Ancient People Debating Its Future (The Terry Lectures Series)

Sample text

Undoubtedly, therefore, there are certain actions which are pleasing in themselves [and] not dependent on mere opinions. Otherwise, [consider the fact] that the Christians and the Muslims, who have divided up the [whole] world between themselves, wage war against one another, although each of them has already directed his intention sincerely towards [pleasing] God. 16 15:03 OCV:1 The king feels compelled to challenge the philosopher’s position as failing to account for some of the stubborn facts of religious life; he argues, in effect: If what you say is correct, why then do Christians and Muslims fight one another while serving their own God with pure intention?

Their narratives must be plausible, but they must also be vivid and engaging. It is for this reason that the Exodus from Egypt, the desert experience, and the revelation at Sinai are preserved and transmitted with all their dramatic force and vitality. The creation of the world, according to the Kuzari, was the source of the Jews’ unique spiritual capacity, which explains God’s providential relationship to the people of Israel. When creating Adam, God instilled in him and some of his descendants an attribute, which Halevi calls ’amr ’ilahi, that is not universally shared by human beings (see Pines, ‘‘Shi’ite Terms and Conceptions in Judah Halevi’s Kuzari’’).

This is the reason for the perennial fascination with Maimonides: how is it that the person who was responsible for shaping the structure and ethos of Jewish normative practice was committed to a conception of God, history, and philosophy that, to many, threatened its very foundations? ’’ is the best starting point for distinguishing between the religious outlooks of Maimonides and Halevi. Much depends on whether the controlling metaphor or idea that shapes one’s spiritual universe is drawn from nature and the cosmos or from within the bounds of history.

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