Taking Hold of Torah

Taking Hold of Torah

Jewish Commitment and Community in America
Arnold M. Eisen
Distribution: World
Publication date: 01/22/2000
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-253-21381-5
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Description

A Selection of the Jewish Book Club

Now in paperback!
Taking Hold of Torah
Jewish Commitment and Community in America
Arnold M. Eisen

A personal meditation on the meaning of Judaism today and a vision for revitalizing Jewish community and tradition in America.

Arnold M. Eisen offers a personal plea for—and a vision of—the revitalizing of American Judaism through a renewed relationship to Jewish tradition and the strengthening of Jewish communities." —Jewish Book News

...required reading for Jewish communal professionals, [Taking Hold of Torah] spells out the discontents and dreams of the baby boomers and their children who are reinventing Jewish communal life for the modern world." —Jewish Exponent

Melding autobiography with biblical exegesis, philosophical speculation and a program for Jewish educational reform, the book is an unbuttoned riff on what's ailing modern Jews." —Forward

...a personal story of a modern Jew trying to make sense of Judaism in a time when Jews can choose whether and how to be Jewish...." —The Jewish Advocate

Jews, like other Americans, have both benefitted and suffered from the fraying of traditional loyalties that has come to characterize modern American culture. In each of the five chapters, Arnold M. Eisen examines a major issue or theme related to his vision for the renewal of Jewish communities—in terms of one of the five books of the Torah. What is the meaning and purpose of Jewish tradition? What is the significance of faith and covenant? What are the contemporary uses of ritual? What should a new agenda for politics in American Jewish life include? What legacy is to be left to future generations? This encouraging work is essential reading for anyone concerned with questions of Jewish faith and the future of Judaism in America.

Arnold M. Eisen is Professor and Chair of Religious Studies at Stanford University, a frequent speaker on issues related to contemporary Jewish life before lay and scholarly audiences through

Reviews

““ . . . persuasive. . . Eisen’s aspirations strike a note of hope and longing.” —Hadassah Magazine “[Eisen] offers the reader not an academic volume but a personal struggle in a lifelong journey . . . a truly helpful book .” —Jewish Book World “This encouraging work is essential reading for anyone concerned with issues of Jewish faith and the future of Judaism in America.” —Jewish Book News How to prevent the dissolution of American Judaism in an era that lacks the integral communities and vibrant religious traditions of an earlier age? To cope with these challenges, Arnold Eisen seeks guidance in the living legacy of the five books of Torah. Through personal readings of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, Eisen examines issues relating to the meaning and purpose of Jewish tradition, the significance of faith and covenant, the contemporary uses of ritual, a new agenda for politics in American Jewish life, and the legacies to be left to future generations.”

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Table of Contents

Introduction
1. Genesis: Taking on Tradition
2. Exodus: History, Faith, and Covenant
3. Leviticus: Ritual and Community
4. Numbers: Politics in the Wilderness
5. Deuteronomy: Legacies