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Below are
some classic, new and obscure books that you may find interesting.


[book] Josephus's Interpretation of the Bible (Hellenistic Culture and Society, No 27) by Louis H. Feldman, Professor of Classics at Yeshiva University.
Hardcover - 750 pages (December 1998) University of California Press. Josephus, the Jewish priest, Jewish general, Jewish turncoat??, Roman general under Titus, and pro-Roman historian wrote his eye-witness histories after the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans. Louis H. Feldman examines the principles that guided Josephus in his understanding of the Bible, investigating his creative contribution in the rewriting of biblical accounts. This comprehensive study evaluates Josephus as a historian and demonstrates the originality and consistency of his work as an author. The first part of Feldman's work attempts to understand Josephus's purposes and techniques in retelling the Bible. The second part reviews Josephus's treatment of twelve key biblical figures. Did the biblical characters acquire the aura of Greek cosmopolitans due to the popular culture? In addition to its reevaluation of an important early historian, this unique compendium provides a mine of information on the reassessment of the most important biblical figures. Click to read more reviews of this book.
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[book cover] The Mythic Past: Biblical Archaeology and the Myth of Israel by Thomas L. Thompson of the University of Copenhagen
Hardcover - 425 pages (April 1999). Is the Bible historically reliable? Can one even answer the question given that we have tons of data from Egypt, but very little from the period of the Israelite Kingdoms? That is the question many scholars and archaeologists have been asking in the 20th Century. Don't get your underwear in a bunch. The myth of Israel does not mean that Israel is a myth. Myth means that the story is not an accurate record but may reflect the central concerns of the period. Members of the Sheffield-Copenhagen school of thought argue that the 600 year history of Israel and Canaan in the period of 1200 to 600 BCE do not resemble the Hebrew biblical account.The book is best in its 3rd and 4th chapters. The third reflects upon the influences between the Hebrews, Phoenicians, Ammonites, Moabites, Philistines, and early Canaanites. The fourth chapter focuses on dating the authorship of the Hebrew Bible. Thompson dates it later than current scholars, so his hypothesis will be one of many.
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[book] Listen to Her Voice : A Woman's Journey Through Hebrew Scripture by Miki Raver
($28 before discount) Hardcover - 176 pages (October 1998) Chronicle Books. A bible book for the coffee table. Reproductions of classical paintings and bible excerpts on women, such as Sarah, Miriam, Devorah, Hannah, Jezebel.
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[book] Thinking About Creation : Eternal Torah and Modern Physics by Andrew Goldfinger
Hardcover - Jason Aronoson (December 1998). This is Andrew Goldfingers autobiography. He is both a Hasidic Jew, a lover of Torah, a lover of science, and a physicist at the Applied Phiysics Laboratory at John Hopkins University. Goldfinger marvels at Torah and science, and discusses some aspects of both that excite him. For example, life is based on a relation between DNA and RNA, which have four and five aspects between them, just as the names of God (mercy) has four letters and God (justice) has five. Goldfinger goes on to discuss a variety of sciences and their aspects to Torah, as well as the beauty of physics, the universe, God, and Torah.
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[book] The Death of Death : Resurrection and Immortality in Jewish Thought by Neil Gillman
List Price: $24. Hardcover - 336 pages (May 1997) Jewish Lights Pub. Is there a heaven? Where does the idea for an afterlife come from? Does this idea exist in Judaism at all? With his pipe dangling from his lips, I sometimes see Professor Gillman, a professor of Jewish philosophy at the Jewish Theological Seminary, dropping by my local newsstand on the Upper West Side. Just as one dives into a Sunday New York Times, Gillman dives into the quagmire and confusion and takes on the idea of death in Judaism. This survey starts in the Garden of Eden. After the expulsion, he examines the various ways Judaism has confronted death, dying, and afterlife. Throughout, he compares the doctrines of bodily resurrection and spiritual immortality. If you have ever wondered what Judaism "believes" about death and afterlife, read this study.
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[book] Moses: A Life by Jonathan Kirsch
Hardcover - 464 pages (November 1998). Click below to read dozens of reviews.
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[book] The Harlot by the Side of the Road: Forbidden Tales of the Bible by Jonathan Kirsch
Paperback - 400 pages. Click below to read more about this hummdinger.
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[book] The Road to Redemption : Lessons from Exodus on Leadership and Community by Rabbi Burton L. Visotzky
Hardcover - 208 pages (November 1998). Visotzky, JTS Professor and Bill Moyers's TV star, a scaler of "Mount Sinai," presents the idea that the lesson of Exodus is that God is a God to all people, the creator of the universe that hates all forms of tyranny. Given that, what can we learn about redemption and how can we better lead our communinites.
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[book] From Text to Tradition : A History of Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism by Lawrence H. Schiffman
Hardcover (June 1991) Ktav Publishing House. You've seen him on A&E's "Mysteries of the Bible," now read from the book he uses in his NYU course. I recommend it highly.
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[book] From Text to Tradition : A Source Reader for the Study of Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism edited by Lawrence H. Schiffman
Paperback (November 1997) Ktav Publishing House. Let me tell you. If you are studying the Bible and the creation of Rabbinic Judaism, you better buy and read this work. Nuf said. As long as we are on the subject, Go to the SEARCH function and take a gander at other works by Rabbi Schiffman
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[book] Archaeology of the Land of the Bible : 10,000-586 B.C.E. (The Anchor Bible Reference Library) by Amihai Mazar
Paperback - 576 pages Reprint (1992) Doubleday. A handy reference.
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[book] Messengers of God: A Jewish Prophets Who's Who. By Ronald Isaacs
(Aronson, 248 pages. $25 before discount) Overview of the lives, works, and themes of the prophets, and a review of how later sages used and incorporated their messages in later teachings.
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[book] Saving The World Entire: And 100 Other Beloved Parables from the Talmud. By Bradley N. Bleefield and Robert L. Shook
(Plume, 256 pages. $12 before discount) Rabbi Bleefield, rabbi of Congregation Keneseth Israel in Philadelphia and Robert Shook have collected over 100 talmudic teachings in three sections. The first section contains parables on values and destiny. The second section, titled, "Living As A Community", contains stories about respect, fairness, harmony, and compassion. The third section, titled "Our Covenant with God", contains stories about faith.
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[book] The Hidden Book In The Bible: The Discovery of the First Prose Masterpiece. Introduced by Richard Elliot Friedman.
(Harper San Francisco, October 1998, $25 retail). Richard Elliot Friedman is a bible scholar and the best selling author of "Who Wrote The Bible?" He is a Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at UC-San Diego. In The Hidden Book In The Bible, Professor Friedman parses apart the Five Book of Moses, the prophets, and the writings, and reconstructs from them the single, narrative story written by a single author. He posits that "J" wrote a much longer work than just Bereshit and Shemot. Whether or not you will find his research and findings credible, they provide a new insight into the teachings of the Bible. Friedman segments his book into three sections. In the first, he retells the narrative story, which he entitles, "In the Day..." It begins with the creation of the World in Genesis, Chapter 2, and ends with the creation of a Kingdom under Solomon. In the second section, Friedman presents an Afterword in which he elucidates on the teachings and the symbols. For example, why does Genesis mention the River Gihon in the Garden of Eden, why is Solomon made king at Gihon, and why is the serpent in Eden cursed to live on its belly (G'honka in Hebrew)? Or Amnon uses the same phrase as Joseph and Potiphar did centuries earlier, and Tamar wears a coat of many colors. Section three consists of Notes on the preceding text. I found the book fascinating.
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[book] Rosh Hashanah Yom Kipper Survival Kit by Shimon Apisdorf)
Hardcover - 130 pages Revised edition (September 1997) Leviathan Press. Do you know someone who just mumbles their way through the High Holy Day services? Do you need a refresher in understanding the symbolism and the goals of you and your community during the New Year season? Read this. The Rosh Hashanah Yom Kippur Survival Kit allows you to understand the prayers before saying them; appreciate the hidden meaning behind the sounds of the shofar; gain insights into Yom Kippur as an opportunity for personal growth; access new keys to your ultimate potential; follow the services, discover their relevance to life - and - never be bored again.
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[book] Beginning Anew: A Woman's Companion to the High Holy Days by Gail Twersky Reimer, editor
($14 list before discount) Paperback-384 pages (September 1997) Touchstone Books. Provides illuminating commentaries on the biblical texts read on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kipper by a number of contemporary female authors, scholars, theologians, and educators offer a fresh perspective on Jewish history, tradition, and religion, especially focused on Sarah, Hagar, Hannah, and chidbirth.
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[book] The Five Books of Miriam: A Woman's Commentary on the Torah by Ellen Frankel
($16 before discount) Paperback - 384 pages (January 1998) Harper San Francisco. A summary of the weekly Torah reading (parshat) with a commentary written from the female perspective and told through the voices of biblical women.
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[book] Hassidic Thought. The Religious Thought of Hasidism: Text and COmmentary by Rabbi Norman Lamm (Yeshiva University)
Paperback (March 1999) Ktav Publishing. Rabbi Norman Lamm, President of Yeshiva University, provides the reader with a history of Hassidic thought. Many in the Haskalah would find the title an oxymoron, but minds have cooled down over the past 200 years, and these 18 chapters are a valuable resource as they examine the concepts of the soul, god, exile, evil, suffering, providence, and messianism to name a few. Each chapter includes primary documents authored by such notables as the Lubavitch founder, Shneur Zalman; Nachman (of Bratslav); the Maggid of Mezeritch; and Elimelekh of Lizhensk. Click below to read more about it.
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[book] The Dispersion of Egyptian Jewry : Culture, Politics, and the Formation of the Modern Diaspora (Contraversions, Critical Studies in Jewish Literature, by Joel Beinin
Hardcover - 318 pages (June 1998) Univ California Press. Joel is a specialist in modern Egyptian History and Marxist Politics. Click below to read more about it
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[book] The Curse of Cain : The Violent Legacy of Monotheism by Regina M. Schwartz
Hardcover - 240 pages (May 1997). Provocative... the problems posed by God's exclusion of Cain in the biblical story, arguing that the very concept of monotheism has led to a violent nationalism and an ""us-versus-them"" mentality and offering an alternative ethics. Click below to read more about it
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[book] Saint Veneration Among the Jews in Morocco (Raphael Patai Series in Jewish Folklore and Anthropology) by Isschar Ben-Ami
Hardcover - 384 pages (March 1998) Wayne State University. How many people do you know who have a photo of the Baba Sal in their car, or one of the Baby Baba? Among Moroccan Jews, saint worship is an important cultural characteristic, practiced throughout the population. This book contains essential information about Moroccan Jewry not available anywhere else. The Hebrew edition, published by Magnes Press in 1984, has become a standard classic in the study of the history, culture, and religious practices of Moroccan Jewry. Click below to read more about it
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[book] Torah Lishmah : Torah for Torah's Sake : In the Worlds of Rabbi Hayyim of Volozhin and His Contemporaries (Sources and Studies in Kabbalah, Hasidism,) by Rabbi Norman Lamm
Hardcover (April 1989). Ktav Publishing. Click below to read more about it
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[book] Torah Umadda : The Encounter of Religious Learning and Wordly Knowledge in the Jewish Tradition by Rabbi Norman Lamm
Hardcover - 253 pages (September 1990). Aronson Publishing. Written for a general audience, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva University, Rabbi Lamm explores the relationship between Torah (Jewish learning) and Madda (secular knowledge). He explores six models of Torah Umadda, the intersection of Torah and wisdom, providing overviews of Jewish thinkers such as Moses Maimonides (a physician), Samson Raphael Hirsch, and Abraham Isaac Kook. Click below to read more about it.
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[book] Encyclopedia of Biblical Personalities : Anthologized from the Talmud, Midrash and Rabbinic Writing by Yishai Chasidah
Hardcover (June 1994). Click below to read more about it
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[book] The Last Trial : On the Legends and Lore of the Command to Abraham to Offer Isaac As a Sacrifice : The Akedah by Shalom Spiegel and Judah Goldin
Paperback - 208 pages Reprint edition (September 1993) Jewish Lights Publishing. An eminent Jewish scholar examines the total body of texts, legends, and traditions referring to the Binding of Isaac and weaves them all together into a definitive study of the Akedah as one of the central events in human history. Click below to read more about it
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[book] The Wiles of Women/the Wiles of Men : Joseph and Potiphar's Wife in Ancient Near Eastern, Jewish, and Islamic Folklore by Shalom Goldman
Paperback - 189 pages (November 1995). SUNY Press. Click below to read more about it
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[book] Shema: Spirituality and Law in Judaism by Rabbi Norman Lamm
($30 before discount) Hardcover - 214 pages (December 1998) Jewish Publication Society. An in-depth study of Judaism seminal prayer, the Shema, by the President of Yeshiva University.
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[book] Jewish Perspectives on Christianity : Leo Baeck, Martin Buber, Franz Rosenzweig, Will Herberg, and Abraham J. Heschel by Fritz A. Rothschild (Editor)
Paperback - 367 pages (September 1996).
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[book] Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible by Karel Van Der Toorn (Editor)
A WHOPPING $120 BUCKS, but you get 30% off. Hardcover - 998 pages 2 edition (February 1999) W.B. Eerdman's Pub. Co. Also edited by Bob Becking nd Pieter W. van der Horst. The Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible is designed as a major work of reference on the gods, angels, demons, spirits and semi-divine heroes whose names occur in the biblical books. Arranged in the order of the Latin alphabet, the more than four-hundred names are those found in the books of the Hebrew and the Greek Bible, Old and New Testament, including the Apocrypha. There are entries on divine names recognized as such by the biblical authors; divine names in theophoric toponyms and anthroponyms; secular terms which occur as divine names in neighbouring civilizations, conjectural divine names, at times based on textual emendation, proposed by modern scholarship; and humans who acquired a semi-divine status in tradition. A full-fledged entry contains a discussion of the pertinent name, its meaning, the religio-historical background, relevant biblical passages and an up-to-date bibliography. Owing to the comprehensive coverage of names and its religio-historical emphasis, the Dictionary of Deities and Demons provides crucial information concerning the spiritual world in which the Peoples of the Book have lived. Extensive indices and cross-references provide easy access to the rich information of the dictionary. More than 100 scholars from a variety of traditions contributed. Chosen for their special competence, the contributors write about those deities or demons for which their research makes them eminently qualified. Click below to read more about it
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[book] Isaiah Berlin : A Life by Michael Ignatieff
Hardcover - 480 pages (December 1998). In this admirable, clearheaded and readable biography, Michael Ignatieff explains not only why Berlin is celebrated, but also why the celebration is justified
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[book] Unheroic Conduct : The Rise of Heterosexuality and the Invention of the Jewish Man by Daniel Boyarin
$19 before discount. Paperback - 424 pages (April 1997) U Cal Press. Is the ideal Jewish man passive and not aggressive? According to Daniel Boyarin, Taubman Professor of Talmudic Culture, who teaches in Near Eastern Studies and Women's Studies at The University of California at Berkeley, the ideal traditional Jewish man is a passive scholar, while women are active participants in the affairs of the world and business. Is the sissy Jewish male a product of antisemitism or something that was promoted by Jewish culture. How did Zionism and the image of the strong, pioneer Jewish man affect the traditional image of the Jewish male?
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[book] Rethinking Modern Judaism : Ritual, Commandment, Community (Chicago Studies in the History of Judaism) by Arnold M. Eisen
(Professor of Religious Studies at Stanford University). Price: $35.00. Hardcover - 352 pages (June 1998) University of Chicago Press. Arnold M . Eisen is Professor and Chair of Religious Studies at Stanford. He is the author of "Galut: Modern Jewish Reflection on Homelessness and Homecoming" in addition to other books. In this book, Professor Eisen asks for a rethinking of the story of modern Judaism. Today, most scholars view write that Judaism changed in response to the Enlightenment. Eisen writes that the practice of Judaism fundamentally changed, in the past 200 years, in response to the civil rights and economic changes brought on by Emancipation. Among the forces of change were the social pressure to conform, the view of commandments with respect to universal truths, nostalgia, and the search for authority.
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[book] Founder of Hasidism : A Quest for the Historical Ba'al Shem Tov (Contraversions) by Moshe Rosman, Murray Jay Rosman
($45, no discount) Hardcover (June 1996) Univ California Press. I bought this book while perusing the shelves at the Co-op Seminary Bookstore at the University of Chicago. It was one of my best purchases, even though it was $45. Professor Rosman succeeds at portraying the Ba'al Shem Tov, Israel ben Eliezer of Miedzyboz, in his environment of the Polish-Lithuanian shtetls and in the midst of the politics and economics of the Jewish kahal, and the Polish, post-Russo-Swedish War nobility. He also succeeds in separating the BeShT fables from the realities, and succinctly disproves the authenticity of the "BeShT's letters." Rosman also delves into the roots of the Besht's power and his role in the community. This book will be a new foundation for future studies in Hasidism, and will be up there with the works of Martin Buber and Gershom Scholem. A must for anyone studying Eastern European Jewish History or Hasidism.
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[book] The Faith of the Mithnagdim: Rabbinic Reponsnes to Hasidic Rapture, by Allan Nadler
($35) Hardcover - 264 pages (June 1997) Johns Hopkins Univ Pr. Nadler brings us the varieties of religious Jewish practice: the spiritual vs. the intellectual. A study of Mithnagdism (hitnagdut), that was a reaction to the growth of Hasidism. An interesting focus on their austere pessimism in life on Earth. Nadler recovers the works of Rabbi Elijah ben Solomon, the Gaon (Great One) of Vilna (Vilnius); Rabbi Pinheas ben Judah, Maggid of Polotsk; and Zevi Hirsch Katzenellenbogen. In the words of the New Republic, "(Nadler) has unearthed with erudition, imagination, and care the spitual universe."
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[book] The Seven Chabad-Lubavitch Rebbes by Chaim Dalfin
($30 before discount) Hardcover-304 pages (August 1998) Aronson.
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[book] Judaism As Philosophy : The Method and Message of the Mishnah by Jacob Neusner
Paperback (April 1999) Johns Hopkins University Press $19 before discount.
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The Transformation of Judaism. From Philosophy to Religion by Jacob Neusner
Paperback (middle of 1999) Johns Hopkins University Press $19 before discount.

[book] Spinoza : A Life by Steven M. Nadler
$35 before discount. Hardcover (April 1999). Cambridge Univ Press. Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677) was one of the most important philosophers of the past 400 years. This is the first complete biography of Spinoza in any language and is based on detailed archival research. Though the book will be an invaluable resource for philosophers, historians, and scholars of Jewish thought, it has been written for any member of the general reading public with a serious interest in philosophy, Jewish history, 17th-century European history, and the culture of the Dutch Golden Age
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[book] Abraham Joshua Heschel: Prophetic Witness by Edward K. Kaplan and Samuel H. Dresner.
$35 before discount. Hardcover-416 pages (June 1998) Yale Univ. Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907-1972) was one of the outstanding Jewish thinkers of the 20th century. A renowned American theologian and interpreter, he was a living example of holiness, compassion, and vehement dedication to social justice. This book, the first of two volumes, is the only comprehensive biography of the preeminent religious thinker.
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[book] Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays by Abraham Joshua Heschel, Edited by his daughter, Professor Susannah Heschel.
$15 before discount. Paperback - 464 pages (May 1997) Noonday Press. Susannah Heschel, the Abba Hillel Silver Chair in Jewish Studies at Case Western Reserve University, has edited this brilliant book on her father, Dr. Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907-1972), was one of the foremost Jewish savants of our time. Martin Luther King, Jr., at whose side Rabbi Heschel marched from Selma to Montgomery, called him "one of the truly great men of our day and age, a truly great prophet. This collection of Heschel's essays is arranged in 5 groups: "Existence and Celebration," "No Time for Neutrality," "Toward a Just Society," "No Religion Is an Island" (on ecumenism), and "The Holy Dimension." The appendix contains Carl Stern's famous television interview with Dr. Heschel, recorded shortly before his death (which I always found hard to understand due to his accent)
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[book] The Sabbath: Its Meaning for Modern Man by Abraham Joshua Heschel
$15. Hardcover - 118 pages Reprinted November 1995. FS&G. I do not think you will perceive Shabbat the same way after reading this book. Letty Cottin Pogrebin told me that she read this when she turned 50, and it changed her life. It is Heschel's classic, first published in 1951. It is a meditation on the meaning of Shabbat as a holiness of not a place or a "space", but of time, which can be observed anywhere. It makes the observance of Shabbat relevant.
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[book] The Prophets, Volume 1, by Abraham Joshua Heschel
$15. 1975, Harpercollins. The best modern work on the prophets and the prophetic mission. It should be read slowly and savored.
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[book] A Passion for Truth (A JLC Reprint) by Abraham Joshua Heschel
$19 before discount. Reprinted 1995. Jewish Lights. This is Rabbi Heschel's last book, finished a few weeks prior to his death. In it, he presents a parallel study of two theologians of the 19th Century: Rabbi Menachem Mendl of Kotzk (1787-1859), and the Danish existentialist, Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855)
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[book] To the Other: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas (Purdue University Series in the History of Philosophy) by Adriaan Theodoor Peperzak
Hardcover - 240 pages (February 1993). An excellent intro to the ideas of Emanuel Levinas, the important French Jewish Philosopher who passed away in December 1995. Levinas was the editor of Bar Ilan's Da'at journal for its first 10 years. His five collections of lectures on Talmud are much sought after (Oranim Seminar), as they seek to extract modern ethical, moral lessons from the topics under discussion in the Talmud. .
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Click here to BUY the book titled READING LEVINAS/READING TALMUD: An Introduction by Ira F. Stone
Click here to BUY the book, NINE TALMUDIC READINGS
Click here to BUY his book, NEW TALMUDIC READINGS (Summer 1999)

[book] Tasting the Dish: Rabbinic Rhetorics of Sexuality (Brown Judaic Studies, No 303)
$44.95. December 1995. Professor Michael Satlow's (Virginia) study of rabbinic writings on sexuality. My, my, aren't some rabbinic writings quite odd at first glance? An intriguing and fascinating study of rabbinic writings on sexuality.
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[book] The Creation of History in Ancient Israel by Marc Zvi Brettler
Paperback - 272 pages (September 1998) Much of the Old Testament looks like history. Yet, a close reading of the biblical text in conjunction with other ancient literature and archaeological evidence indicates that its accounts of 'events' are often inaccurate or untrue. What then were the goals of the ancient biblical historians? How are we to read these texts if not as history? Click below to read more...
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[book] Apocalypses : Prophecies, Cults, and Millennial Beliefs Through the Ages by Eugen Weber
Hardcover - 288 pages (April 1999) Harvard Univ Press. Writing with curiosity and empathy about such varied topics as the eschatological fallout from Halley's comet and Y2K survivalism, Weber turns up a few intriguing facts...Weber fittingly describes his work as a travel book, recording a journey through the ages, tracing the millenial fears and longings in the West from the pre-Christian roots in Hebrew, Persian, and Greek Stoic thought, all the way up to Waco, Jonestown, and Heaven's Gate. Click below to read more...
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[book] God's Phallus: And Other Problems for Men and Monotheism by Howard Eilberg-Schwartz
$15. Paperback (December 1995) Beacon Pr. Eilberg-Schwartz, author of "The Savage in Judaism," speculates on the sociopsychological, theological, and literary implications for male monotheists of the Bible's apparently male God. Despite its provocative title, God's Phallus really is about veiling of male genitalia in the biblical imagery of God.
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[book] Book of Job translated and explained by Raymond P. Scheindlin
$24 before discount. Hardcover (May 1998) W.W. Norton. Scheindlin, a master at Hebrew poetry and specialist in medieval Jewish poetic literature, offers a new translation that captures the fierce beauty of the poetry, this edition equips new readers to understand The Book of Job's significance. With a practiced ear for Hebrew poetry and a deep understanding of the ancient Hebrew text, Scheindlin captures the great vitality of this poem.
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[book] From Balaam to Jonah : Anti-Prophetic Satire in the Hebrew Bible
$44.95. May 1995.
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[book] Biblical Images by Adin Steinsaltz, Yehudit Keshet (Translator)
($30, before 30% discount) Hardcover - 281 pages (August 1994) Jason Aronson
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[book] Hellenistic Civilization and the Jews by Victor Tcherikover

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[book] Jewish Civilization in the Hellenistic-Roman Period by Shemaryahu Talmon (Editor)
$20. Paperback - 269 pages (February 1992) Trinity Pr Intl
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[book] The First Messiah : Investigating the Savior Before Jesus by Michael Owen Wise
Hardcover - 352 pages (March 1999) Harper San Francisco. With talk of the Year 2000, and false messiahs, this may be an interesting look at what early Jews thought about Judah (a Jerusalem priest in the first century BCE, not the biblical son of Jacob). Wise reconstructs the life of Judah, the first messianic figure. From Judah's writings, preserved among the Dead Sea Scrolls, Wise (The Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered) teases out some compelling arguments about social tensions in Jerusalem a century before Christ. Amid the intense conflict among Jewish factions, Judah proclaimed himself a prophet who knew God's mysteries, a certainty which propelled him to messiah status among his many followers. But Judah died in exile, leaving his millennial prophecies apparently unfulfilled, his followers scattered. His movement did not end there: a few years later, it exploded in growth because a war with Rome was at hand, and many turned to Judah's prophecies to explain the crises of the age. Judah's story is intriguing in and of itself, and even more so because it provided a paradigm for that more famous messiah figure who arose in Israel less than a century later. Reconstructs Judah's trial by fellow Jews for heresy and insurrection.
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[book] The Mystery and Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls by Hershel Shanks
($25, before 30% discount) Hardcover - 384 pages (April 1998) Random House. You've seen them at the Shrine of the Book. Now learn what the clamor is about. What was "Judaisms", yes plural, like during Roman occupation. On the fiftieth anniversary of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Shanks provides a clear, simple analysis of their meaning. Shanks is the editor of "Biblical Archaeological Review", and isn't he the owner of "Moment".
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[book] Sermons: Biblical Wisdom for Daily Living Peter J. Gomes
($23 before discount) Hardcover - 256 pages (May 1998) William Morrow. If you ever wondered about the Christian view of the bible calender (starting at Advent), Harvard's Christian minister Peter Gomes gives his take on the bible.
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[book] Battles of the Bible by Chaim Herzog, Mordechai Gichon
($38 before discount) Hardcover - 320 pages Revised edition (March 1997) Stackpole Books. Do you know someone interested in both military history and the bible? Then this is a must read by one of Israel's former Presidents and Generals (actually Gichon wrote most of it). presents a comprehensive survey of the wars of ancient Israel. The Bible's military accounts (told in vivid detail) cover a vast period, from the invasion of Canaan by the Israelites under Joshua's command, through the conquest of the kingdom by David and Solomon, and the split of the kingdom into Judah and Israel, to the Maccabees' successful rebellion against Seleucid domination. The reliability of these accounts is supported by their technical accuracy and by descriptions of topographic conditions peculiar to specific battlefields. It was so inspired, I hoped that someone would offer a battlefield tour of Israel based on the book.
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[book] Creativity and Disease : How Illness Affects Literature, Art, and Music by Dr Philip Sandblom
$22 before discount. Paperback - 240 pages (February 1997). Explores the interrelationships among creativity and disease.
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[book] The Jews in the Greek Age by Elias J. Bickerman
Paperback Reprint edition (October 1990) Harvard Univ Pr;.
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[book] Hebrews of the Portuguese Nation : Conversos and Community in Early Modern Amsterdam (Modern Jewish Experience) by Miriam Bodian
Hardcover (December 1997) Indiana Univ Press. Click to read more.
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[book] The Geonim of Babylonia and the Shaping of Medieval Jewish Culture by Robert Brody
Hardcover - 384 pages (March 1998) Yale Univ Press. The Geonic period from about 550 CE to 1060 CE is of crucial importance in the history of Judaism. The Geonim, for whom this era is named, were the heads of the talmudic academies of Babylonia. They gained ascendancy over the older Palestinian center of Judaism and were recognized as the leading religious and spiritual authorities by most of the world's Jewish population. The Geonim and their circles enshrined the Babylonian Talmud as the central canonical work of rabbinic literature and the leading guide to religious practice, and it was a predominantly Babylonian version of Judaism that was transplanted to newer centers of Judaism in North Africa and Europe. Robert Brody's book - the first survey in English of the Geonic period in almost a century - focuses on the cultural milieu of the Geonim and on their intellectual and literary creativity.
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