Answer from a Judaism - General Works book

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Chapter 3A – Judaism

General Works

by Dr. Sarah Imhoff

Dr. Sarah Imhoff is an Assistant Professor in the Religious Studies and Borns Jewish Studies Program at Indiana University, Bloomington.

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Isolating Judaism from other aspects of Jewishness, such as language, foodways, geography, and heredity, presents a nearly impossible task. Any discussion of Judaism as a religion will necessarily touch on one or many of the other aspects of Jewishness. Furthermore, both historical and contemporary contexts demonstrate a wide variety of Jewish belief and practice, even when artificially confined to the religious sphere. Nevertheless, some scholarly works effectively demarcate some of the historical and theological trends across social contexts. Michael Satlow’s Creating Judaism uses texts from throughout Jewish history to demonstrate both the vast diversity and the common threads among Jewish religious movements and communities.

Discussions of Jewish theology - as well as whether or not Judaism can even be said to have a theology - provide avenues into analyzing broad concepts within Judaism. Alfred Jospe’s collection of German Jewish philosophy, Studies in Jewish Thought, includes portions of many canonical works. Arthur Cohen and Paul Mendes-Flohr issued a collection of essays on philosophical concepts and religious terms in Contemporary Jewish Religious Thought. Arthur Cohen’s Arguments and Doctrines presents challenges and revisions to Jewish thought in the wake of the Holocaust. For particular thinkers, Mamre presents a collection of existentialist philosopher Martin Buber’s essays; Abraham Isaac Kook: The Lights of Penitence collects the essays and letters of the twentieth century Kabbalist and Zionist rabbi; Abraham Joshua Heschel’s The Insecurity of Freedom brings together essays showing a vast array of the mid-twentieth century thinker’s Jewish engagement

with the world around him; Arthur Green’s These are the Words articulates a theology of Jewish renewal in a contemporary context.

Some resources are helpful for those with specific questions about Jewish law or practices. Jewish dictionaries and encyclopedias abound. For reference works, the Encyclopedia Judaica remains the most complete, but Louis Jacobs’s alphabetically organized The Jewish Religion gives the material an engaging, albeit neither narrative nor complete, treatment. Andrew Bush’s Jewish Studies presents a history of the field of Jewish Studies in theoretical terms; however, it is not “introductory,” as the title might suggest.


3A Judaism General Works

Recommended Reading

by Dr. Sarah Imhoff

Buber, Martin. Mamre, Essays in Religion. Melbourne University Press, 1946.

Bush, Andrew. Jewish Studies: A Theoretical Introduction. Rutgers University Press, c2011.

Cohen, Arthur Allen. Arguments and Doctrines; A Reader of Jewish Thinking in the Aftermath of the Holocaust. Harper & Row, 1970.

Cohen, Arthur and Mendes-Flohr, Paul. Contemporary Jewish Religious Thought: Original Essays on Critical Concepts, Movements and Beliefs. Scribner, c1987.

Green, Arthur. These are the Words: A Vocabulary of Jewish Spiritual Life. Jewish Lights, 1999.

Heschel, Abraham Joshua. The Insecurity of Freedom: Essays on Human Existence. Farrar, Straus & Giruox, 1966.

Jacobs, Louis. The Jewish Religion: A Companion. Oxford University Press, 1995.

Jospe, Alfred. Studies in Jewish Thought: An Anthology of German Jewish Scholarship. Wayne State University Press, 1981.

Kook, Abraham Isaac. Abraham Isaac Kook: The Lights of Penitence, the Moral Principles, Lights of Holiness, Essays, Letters, and Poems. Paulist Press, 1978.

Satlow, Michael L. Creating Judaism: History, Tradition, Practice. Columbia University Press, c2006.

Skolnik, Fred. Encyclopedia Judaica. Macmillan Reference USA, 2006.


3A - Judaism General Works

 Additional Reading


Caplan, Samuel. The Great Jewish Books and Their Influence on History. Horizon Press, 1952.

Cohen, Morris Raphael. Reflections of a Wondering Jew. Beacon Press, 1950.

Cohen, Norman J. The Way into Torah. Jewish Lights Publishing, 2000.

Dan, Joseph. Studies in Jewish Thought. Praeger, 1989.

Dropsie College for Hebrew and Cognate Learning. Studies and Essays in Honor of Abraham A. Neuman, President, Dropsie College for Hebrew and Cognate Learning, Philadelphia. E.J. Brill for the Dropsie College, Philadelphia, 1962.

Eisenberg, Joyce. JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, Jewish Publication Society, 2001.

El-Or, Tamar. Next Year I Will Know More: Literacy and Identity Among Young Orthodox Women in Israel. Wayne State University Press, c2002.

Garber, Zev. Academic Approaches to Teaching Jewish Studies. University Press of America, 2000.

Glatzer, Nahum N. The Judaic Tradition: Texts. Behrman House, 1982, c1969.

Hertzberg, Arthur. Judaism. G. Braziller, 1961.

Isaacs, Ronald H. The Jewish Information Source Book: A Dictionary and Almanac. Jason Aronson, 1993.

Jacobs, Louis. Modern Jewish Thought; Selected Issues 1889-1966, Arno Press, 1973.

Jung, Leo. The Jewish Library. Macmillan, 1928.

Kanarfogel, Ephraim. Jewish Education and Society in the High Middle Ages. Wayne State University Press, 1992.

Kolatch, Alfred J. Great Jewish Quotations. Jonathan David Publishers, 1996.

Leaman, Oliver. Judaism: An Introduction. I. B. Tauris, 2011.

Marcus, Ivan G. Rituals of Childhood: Jewish Acculturation in Medieval Europe. Yale University Press, 1996.

Neusner, Jacob. Dictionary of Judaism in the Biblical Period: 450 bce to 600 ce Macmillan Library Reference, 1996.

Neusner, Jacob. The Blackwell Companion to Judaism. Blackwell Publishers, 2000.

Neusner, Jacob. The Encyclopedia of Judaism. Continuum, 1999.

Olitzky, Kerry M. A Glossary of Jewish Life. J. Aronson, 1992.

Rosenak, Michael. Roads to the Palace: Jewish Texts and Teaching. Berghahn Books, 1995.

Runes, Dagobert David. Concise Dictionary of Judaism. Philosophical Library, 1959.

Solomon, Norman. Historical Dictionary of Judaism. Scarecrow Press, 1998.

Terry, Michael. Reader's Guide to Judaism. Fitzroy Dearborn, 2000.

Werblowsky, R. J. Zwi. The Encyclopedia of the Jewish Religion. Adama Books, 1986.

Werblowsky, R. J. Zwi. The Oxford Dictionary of the Jewish Religion. Oxford University Press, 1997.

Wigoder, Geoffrey. The New Encyclopedia of Judaism. New York University