Recommended Reading

 

These top four books were written by our very own Rabbi Emeritus, Dr. Mark S. Kinzer. More information about his existing books and articles can be found at his website, www.MarkKinzer.com. Below are additional books recommended by our congregation. You can click any book jacket or title to view and or purchase them online.

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The good news (euangelion) of the crucified and risen Messiah was proclaimed first to Jews in Jerusalem, and then to Jews throughout the land of Israel. In Jerusalem Crucified, Jerusalem Risen, Mark Kinzer argues that this initial audience and geographical setting of the euangelion is integral to the eschatological content of the message itself. While the good news is universal in concern and cosmic in scope, it never loses its particular connection to the Jewish people, the city of Jerusalem, and the land of Israel. The crucified Messiah participates in the future exilic suffering of his people, and by his resurrection offers a pledge of Jerusalem’s coming redemption.
 

Basing his argument on a reading of the Acts of the Apostles and the Gospel of Luke, Kinzer proposes that the biblical message requires its interpreters to reflect theologically on the events of post-biblical history. In this context he considers the early emergence of Rabbinic Judaism and the much later phenomenon of Zionism, offering a theological perspective on these historical developments that is biblically-rooted, attentive to both Jewish and Christian tradition, and minimalist in the theological constraints it imposes on the just resolution of political conflict in the Middle East.

Searching Her Own Mystery, a new volume by Mark S. Kinzer, has just been published in the midst of the 50th anniversary of Nostra Aetate, the Second Vatican Council’s Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions.

 

Nostra Aetate transformed the Catholic view of the Jewish people and the Jewish religious tradition. Asserting that the Church discovers her link to the “stock of Abraham” when “searching her own mystery,” this document intimated that the mystery of Israel is inseparable from the mystery of the Church. As interlocking mysteries, each community requires the other in order to understand itself. 

 

In Searching Her Own Mystery, noted Messianic Jewish theologian Mark S. Kinzer argues that the Church has yet to explore adequately the implications of Nostra Aetate for Christian self-understanding. The new Catholic teaching concerning Israel must eventually result in fresh perspectives on the entire range of Christian theology, including Christology, ecclesiology, and the theology of the sacraments. To this end, Kinzer proposes an Israel-ecclesiology rooted in Israel-Christology in which a restored ecclesia ex circumcisione—the “church from the circumcision”—assumes a crucial role as a sacramental sign of the Church’s bond with the Jewish people and genealogical-Israel’s irrevocable election.

Israel's Messiah and the People of God presents a rich and diverse selection of essays by theologian Mark Kinzer, whose work constitutes a pioneering step in Messianic Jewish theology. Including several pieces never before published, this collection illuminates Kinzer's thought on topics such as Oral Torah, Jewish prayer, eschatology, soteriology, and Messianic Jewish-Catholic dialogue. This volume offers the reader numerous portals into the vision of Messianic Judaism offered in Kinzer's Post-Missionary Messianic Judaism (2005).

In recent years, a new form of Messianic Judaism has emerged that has the potential to serve as a bridge between Jews and Christians. Giving voice to this movement, Mark Kinzer makes a case for nonsupersessionist Christianity. He argues that the election of Israel is irrevocable, that Messianic Jews should honor the covenantal obligations of Israel, and that rabbinic Judaism should be viewed as a movement employed by God to preserve the distinctive calling of the Jewish people.

 

Though this book will be of interest to Jewish readers, it is written primarily for Christians who recognize the need for a constructive relationship to the Jewish people that neither denies the role of Jesus the Messiah nor diminishes the importance of God's covenant with the Jews. 

Additional Highly Recommended Books

 

The following books are so highly recommended by our congregation that we have copies of each in our own lending library.  You can click on any book jacket or title to view and or purchase them online.

by Michael Wyschogrod

Abraham's Promise presents a selection of important writings by noted Jewish philosopher-theologian Michael Wyschogrod, who is widely admired for his singular contributions to Jewish-Christian relations. Including several pieces never published before, this reader aptly captures the broad scope of Wyschogrod's work on Judaism and the Jewish-Christian encounter, collecting seminal essays, articles, and reviews that address such topics as the God of Abraham and the God of philosophy, sin and atonement, Judaism and the land, the Six Day War, Paul on Jews and Gentiles, and the theology of Karl Barth. An introductory essay by editor R. Kendall Soulen sets Wyschogrod's career and writings in context.

by Aaron Eby

There is much more to the Bible's food laws than saying, "Hold the bacon." Biblically Kosher is a book that shows what the Bible really instructs about food. Did Jesus put ham, shrimp, and snails back on the table? See how a Messianic Jewish perspective provides important cultural context and uncovers the true meaning of New Testament passages about eating. This book will change the way you think about the Bible and food. It will bring you closer to the ancient Jewish way of life that Jesus and his disciples practiced. Discover how the simple act of eating can become an expression of worship!

by Daniel Boyarin

The historical separation between Judaism and Christianity is often figured as a clearly defined break of a single entity into two separate religions. Following this model, there would have been one religion known as Judaism before the birth of Christ, which then took on a hybrid identity. Even before its subsequent division, certain beliefs and practices of this composite would have been identifiable as Christian or Jewish.In Border Lines, however, Daniel Boyarin makes a striking case for a very different way of thinking about the historical development that is the partition of Judaeo-Christianity.

 

There were no characteristics or features that could be described as uniquely Jewish or Christian in late antiquity, Boyarin argues. Rather, Jesus-following Jews and Jews who did not follow Jesus lived on a cultural map in which beliefs, such as that in a second divine being, and practices, such as keeping kosher or maintaining the Sabbath, were widely and variably distributed. The ultimate distinctions between Judaism and Christianity were imposed from above by "border-makers," heresiologists anxious to construct a discrete identity for Christianity. By defining some beliefs and practices as Christian and others as Jewish or heretical, they moved ideas, behaviors, and people to one side or another of an artificial border—and, Boyarin significantly contends, invented the very notion of religion.

by Scott Bader-Saye

Two seismic events mark the twentieth century as one of crisis for the Church. The first is the demise of the Christendom paradigm that positioned the Church as spiritual sponsor of Western Civilization. The second is the Holocaust, the horrors of which have prompted both the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches to repudiate the teachings and attitudes undergirding their dark history of Jewish persecution. The cumulative effect of these two events is that Christians have been called to rethink their own doctrines and practices, especially with regard to the Church's prior conviction that it had replaced Israel in God's plan. In his pathbreaking new work, 'Church and Israel After Christendom' Scott Bader-Saye contends that a renewed understanding of Israel might provide resources to envision a faithful post-Christendom Church. Unlike theologians such as John Milbank and Stanley Hauerwas, who have pointed to the Greek polis as a model for renewing ecclesiology, the author suggests that it is not to Aristotle but to Abraham that the church should look in order to articulate and incarnate a faithful alternative to the voluntarism and violence of modernity. The doctrine of election is the linchpin linking a renewed understanding of Israel with a renewed vision of the post-Christendom Church. By recovering a doctrine of election that is both non-supersessionist and fully Trinitarian, Christians may recover their political calling to embody a way of life shaped by covenant freedom and messianic peace.

By Rabbi Russell Resnik

A commentary on each of the weekly portions read in traditional synagogues, a practice seen in the New Testament.

by Chaim Potok

For Davita Chandal, growing up in the New York of the 1930s and '40s is an experience of joy and sadness. Her loving parents, both fervent radicals, fill her with the fiercely bright hope of a new and better world. But as the deprivations of war and depression take a ruthless toll, Davita unexpectedly turns to the Jewish faith that her mother had long ago abandoned, finding there both a solace for her questioning inner pain and a test of her budding spirit of independence.

by Ravvi Russell Resnik

In the Old Testament, God often reversed the plans of man. Yeshua's ethics continue this theme. Following his ethics leads to true happiness, forgiveness, reconciliation, fidelity and love.

by Reuven Hammer

This engaging and informative book provides an introduction to the liturgy of the Siddur--the Jewish prayerbook. More than a "how-to" guide, this resource deals with basic issues for the modern worshiper, the historial compilation of the Siddur, and much more.

by Alan Morinis

Mussar is an illuminating, approachable, and highly practical set of teachings for cultivating personal growth and spiritual realization in the midst of day-to-day life. Here is an accessible and inspiring introduction to this Jewish spiritual path, which until lately has been best known in the world of Orthodox Judaism. The core teaching of Mussar is that our deepest essence is inherently pure and holy, but this inner radiance is obscured by extremes of emotion, desire, and bad habits. Our work in life is to uncover the brilliant light of the soul. The Mussar masters developed transformative teachings and practices—some of which are contemplative, some of which focus on how we relate to others in daily life—to help us to heal and refine ourselves.

by Rabbi Russell Resnik

From before the days of Messiah until today, Jewish people have read from and discussed a prescribed portion of the Pentateuch each week. Messiah Yeshua, when he attended synagogue, joined his people in this practice. Now, a Messianic Jewish rabbi has added his voice to the ancient conversation about the Torah. Russ Resnik, Executive Director of the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations has written an excellent commentary on each of the weekly portions. With reference to and respect for the rabbis who have already contributed to this conversation, he brings another perspective on the Torah, that of a Messianic Jew, a Jew who follows Messiah Yeshua. Whether you read Gateways to Torah all in one sitting, pace yourself weekly, or use it as a study text for a discussion group, this book will give you fresh insights into the Word of God.

by Abraham Joshua Heschel

Abraham Joshua Heschel was one of the most revered religious leaders of the 20th century, and God in Search of Man and its companion volume, Man Is Not Alone, two of his most important books, are classics of modern Jewish theology. God in Search of Man combines scholarship with lucidity, reverence, and compassion as Dr. Heschel discusses not man's search for God but God's for man--the notion of a Chosen People, an idea which, he writes, "signifies not a quality inherent in the people but a relationship between the people and God." It is an extraordinary description of the nature of Biblical thought, and how that thought becomes faith.

(DVD) by Margarethe von Trotta

In the award-winning Hannah Arendt, the sublime Barbara Sukowa reteams with director Margarethe von Trotta (Vision, Rosa Luxemburg) for a brilliant new biopic of the influential German-Jewish philosopher and political theorist. Arendt’s reporting on the 1961 trial of ex-Nazi Adolf Eichmann in The New Yorker—controversial both for her portrayal of Eichmann and the Jewish councils—introduced her now-famous concept of the “Banality of Evil.” Using footage from the actual Eichmann trial and weaving a narrative that spans three countries, von Trotta beautifully turns the often invisible passion for thought into immersive, dramatic cinema. An Official Selection at the Toronto International and New York Jewish Film Festivals, Hannah Arendt also co-stars Klaus Pohl as philosopher Martin Heidegger, Nicolas Woodeson as New Yorker editor William Shawn, and two-time Oscar Nominee Janet McTeer (Albert Nobbs) as novelist Mary McCarthy.

by David J. Rudolph and Joel Willitts

This book is the go-to source for introductory information on Messianic Judaism. Editors David Rudolph and Joel Willitts have assembled a thorough examination of the ecclesial context and biblical foundations of the diverse Messianic Jewish movement. The work brings together a team of respected Messianic Jewish and Gentile Christian scholars, including Mark Kinzer, Richard Bauckham, Markus Bockmuehl, Craig Keener, Darrell Bock, Scott Hafemann, Daniel Harrington, R. Kendall Soulen, Douglas Harink and others. Opening essays, written by Messianic Jewish scholars and synagogue leaders, provide a window into the on-the-ground reality of the Messianic Jewish community and reveal the challenges, questions and issues with which Messianic Jews grapple. The following predominantly Gentile Christian discussion explores a number of biblical and theological issues that inform our understanding of the Messianic Jewish ecclesial context. Here is a balanced and accessible introduction to the diverse Messianic Jewish movement that all readers will find informative and fascinating.

by Richard Bauckham

The basic thesis of this important book on New Testament Christology, sketched in the first essay ‘God Crucified, is that the worship of Jesus as God was seen by the early Christians as compatible with their Jewish monotheism. Jesus was thought to participate in the divine identity of the one God of Israel. The other chapters provide more detailed support for, and an expansion of, this basic thesis. Readers will find not only the full text of Bauckham’s classic book God Crucified, but also groundbreaking essays, some of which have never been published previously.

by Carl E. Braaten and Robert W. Jenson

While Christians and Jews have always been aware of their religious connections - historical community, overlapping theology, shared scriptures - that awareness has traditionally been infected by centuries of mutual suspicion and hostility. As this important volume shows, however, theologians and scholars of Judaism and Christianity alike are now radically rethinking the relation between their two covenant communities. Jews and Christians presents the best of this work, introducing readers to a coherent Jewish theology of Christianity and a Christian theology of Judaism. Here are leading Christian and Jewish thinkers who have engaged in extensive conversation, who take each other's work seriously, and who avoid the pitfall common to Jewish-Christian dialogue - watering down distinctive beliefs to accommodate both partners. Indeed, these pages show how the new theological exchange goes to the roots of that "olive tree" of which both Judaism and Christianity are branches, and the book as a whole represents post-Holocaust Jewish-Christian dialogue at the highest theological level.

by Paul Philip Levertoff

A Chasidic discourse from one of the pioneers of Messianic Judaism, crammed with stimulating thought and pervaded by real spiritual beauty, Love and the Messianic Age is a mint of good things and solid learning.

 

Paul Philip Levertoff, a Jewish believer from a Chasidic family with a classical, Yeshivah education, summarizes the complex, esoteric teachings of Chasidic Judaism for the purpose of comparison and contrast with apostolic theology. Levertoff reveals a mystical thrust behind the Gospel and unfurls the Messianic concept of love—love for God and love of fellow—bound up with the experience of knowing God and fearing God, relationship to His Torah, and a life characterized by joy, prayer, and repentance. This is a book about experiencing God and attaining the revelation of the Messianic Era in the here and now.

by Anthony J. Saldarini

The most Jewish of gospels in its contents and yet the most anti-Jewish in its polemics, the Gospel of Matthew has been said to mark the emergence of Christianity from Judaism. Anthony J. Saldarini overturns this interpretation by showing us how Matthew, far from proclaiming the replacement of Israel by the Christian church, wrote from within Jewish tradition to a distinctly Jewish audience.

Recent research reveals that among both Jews and Christians of the first century many groups believed in Jesus while remaining close to Judaism. Saldarini argues that the author of the Gospel of Matthew belonged to such a group, supporting his claim with an informed reading of Matthew's text and historical context. Matthew emerges as a Jewish teacher competing for the commitment of his people after the catastrophic loss of the Temple in 70 C.E., his polemics aimed not at all Jews but at those who oppose him. Saldarini shows that Matthew's teaching about Jesus fits into first-century Jewish thought, with its tradition of God-sent leaders and heavenly mediators.

by Dan Cohn-Sherbok

Who are the Messianic Jews? What do they believe and practice? What is the Jewish community's reaction to the development of Messianic Judaism? In this pioneering study, Dan Cohn-Sherbok traces the development of the Messianic movement from ancient times to its transformation after World War II. Focusing on the nature of the movement today, the volume continues with a detailed examination of Messianic practices, and the place of Messianic Judaism within the contemporary Jewish community.

by David H. Stern

In the first century of the Common Era, tens of thousands of Jewish people followed Yeshua (Jesus), believing him to be the promised Messiah of Israel. They didn’t renounce their heritage, their customs, nor their people. They remained Jews. Two thousand years later, hundreds of thousands of Jewish people follow Yeshua, also believing that he is the Messiah. They, too, have not renounced their heritage, customs, nor their people. Messianic Judaism is the modern movement that is bringing it all together, for Jews and non-Jews. This book answers the following questions and more: What happened in the past 2000 years? Is Messianic Judaism a prophetic movement? What do Messianic Jews believe? Did the Torah, the Five Books of Moses, become null and void? What are the challenges for the future of this movement?

 

In easy–to–read style, Dr. David H Stern, translator of the Jewish New Testament and Complete Jewish Bible, gives us a comprehensive look at this vital movement. Whether you are a Messianic Jew, yourself, a Christian with curiosity about the Jewish roots of the Faith, or, a Jewish person wanting to understand more, Messianic Judaism: A Modern Movement with an Ancient Past puts it all in perspective for you. Read by tens of thousands in its first version, (Messianic Jewish Manifesto) this book has been instrumental in shaping and challenging Messianic Judaism. Now in this new edition, Dr. Stern lovingly challenges us again.

by Chaim Potok

Asher Lev is a Ladover Hasid who keeps kosher, prays three times a day and believes in the Ribbono Shel Olom, the Master of the Universe. Asher Lev is an artist who is compulsively driven to render the world he sees and feels even when it leads him to blasphemy.In this stirring and often visionary novel, Chaim Potok traces Asher’s passage between these two identities, the one consecrated to God, the other subject only to the imagination.

Asher Lev grows up in a cloistered Hasidic community in postwar Brooklyn, a world suffused by ritual and revolving around a charismatic Rebbe. But in time his gift threatens to estrange him from that world and the parents he adores. As it follows his struggle, My Name Is Asher Lev becomes a luminous portrait of the artist, by turns heartbreaking and exultant, a modern classic.

by Krister Stendahl

A sharp challenge to traditional ways of understanding Paul is sounded in this book by a distinguished interpreter of the New Testament. Krister Stendahl proposes-in the key title essay-new ways of exploring Paul's speech: Paul must be heard as one who speaks of his call rather than conversion, of justification rather than forgiveness, or weakness rather than sin, of love rather than integrity, and in unique rather than universal language. The title essay is complemented by the landmark paper, "Paul and the Introspective Conscience of the West," and by two seminal explorations of Pauline issues, "Judgement and Mercy" and "Glossolalia-The New Testament Evidence." The book concludes with Stendahl's pointed reply to the eminent scholar Ernst Kasemann who has taken issue with the author's revolutionary interpretations. This volume provides convincingly new ways for viewing Paul, the most formative of Christian teachers.

by Douglas Harink

Douglas Harink's Paul Among the Postliberals sheds new light on Paul's letters by creating links between contemporary scholarship and the writings of theologians such as Stanley Hauerwas and John Howard Yoder. Harink argues that Paul's central doctrine of justification by faith has been widely misunderstood; he emphasizes instead that the goal of the gospel is to free Christians for faithful action.

Reading Paul in dialogue with Yoder and Hauerwas, Harink outlines the political ramifications of Paul's writings, calling the church to embrace, rather than avoid, the political realm. Finally, drawing on the Pauline doctrine of God's election of Israel, Paul Among the Postliberals addresses the need for a Christian theology of Israel and Judaism.

Pastors, teachers, students, and anyone seeking a more thorough understanding of Paul's letters will take a keen interest in Paul Among the Postliberals.

by Pamela Eisenbaum

Paul Was Not a Christian is a groundbreaking work that systematically overturns both scholarly and popular conceptions held by Christians and Jews, liberals and conservatives alike. As Eisenbaum reveals, Paul is not the true founder of Christianity as is often claimed, nor does Paul understand Jesus Christ as having superseded the Torah and thereby replacing Judaism with Christianity. Although Paul unabashedly proclaimed his faith in Jesus, such proclamations were not inherently "Christian," since no such religious category existed in Paul's time. Jesus, rather, represented the fulfillment of God's promise to Abraham that he would be a blessing to the nations.

 

Eisenbaum's work reverses the image we have of Paul as a model for Christian conversion and greatly increases our understanding of both Judaism and Christianity. Provocatively argued and far-reaching in its implications, Paul Was Not a Christian is a much-needed corrective to the traditional portrait of Paul and his divisive legacy.

Paul's Letter to the Romans is one of the most influential writings of Christian theology. From the time of Augustine it has been central in discussions about sin and salvation, about guilt, fear of God, and gratitude for God's mercy. In this groundbreaking reinterpretation, Stanley Stowers argues that Christian tradition has interpreted Romans in an anachronistic fashion fundamentally different from how readers in Paul's time would have read it. He provides a new reading that places Romans within the sociocultural, historical, and rhetorical contexts of Paul's world. Stowers challenges the idea that salvation is the central issue of Paul's letter and that the letter's addressees include Jews. In Stowers's reading, Paul, a Jew immersed in Hellenistic culture, is addressing his letter to an audience of gentiles. Paul says that in faithfulness to his mission and God's promises, Jesus restrained his messianic powers, allowing an opportunity for gentiles to be redeemed. Thus God demonstrated his justice and, by raising Jesus, created a new line of kinship by the Spirit that will lead gentiles to moral and psychological self-mastery. The acceptance and self-mastery that gentiles seek is not to be found in observing teachings from Jewish law. According to Stowers, Romans neither offers an answer to human sinfulness nor presents Christianity as a religion of salvation. Stowers thus reinterprets the relation of Paul's Christianity to Judaism, the meaning of faith, and the significance of Jesus Christ.

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by Stephen M. Wylen

Originally published in 1989, this comprehensive survey of Judaism has become a popular text in universities, religious colleges and seminaries, and adult education classes. Now, its author, Stephen Wylen, performs a genuine service by updating his critically acclaimed text for the 21st century. Settings of Silver, Second Edition, reflects the changes in the political structure of Eastern Europe and other recent events, while retaining its accessibility, easy-to-understand language, and compactness.

 

In four sections, the author covers the history of Judaism. Section One includes basic beliefs, what it means to be a Jew, the role of Torah, and the Jewish view of God. Section Two covers faith, practices and customs, including holydays, marriage and family law and ritual, dietary laws, and beliefs surrounding death and the afterlife. Section Three is a history of Judaism, from its foundations to the early part of the 20th century, with a look to mysticism, literature, philosophy and daily life in the Jewish community. In Section Four the author continues the history of Judaism up to the present day, including the Holocaust, the State of Israel, the effects of modernism on Judaism, and the future of Judaism.

 

Engaging, timely, and appropriate for persons of all religious backgrounds, this enduring work belongs in the library of anyone (Jews included) who wants to understand Judaism and the Jewish people.

by Boaz Michael

Tent of David was written to inspire a majestic vision for the reformation of Christianity—to bring the church back to its foundations, eliminate supersessionism, establish a Jewish understanding of faith in Yeshua, and bring it into solidarity with Israel.

 

The informed Messianic Gentile is uniquely suited to accomplish this goal. The Holy Spirit has begun a renewed awakening within the hearts of believers around the globe. Through kindness, good deeds, and a powerful, active witness, we can help put the church back on solid footing and contribute to the Kingdom directives of Yeshua.

 

In order to accomplish this vision, Boaz Michael proposes a radical solution, one that he has lived out and which bears much fruit. He hopes to multiply his efforts by encouraging many others to join with him in this mission.

 

Messianic Gentiles are going to have to step out, establish and prioritize new starting points, and have greater love, patience and acceptance of others in order for this vision to materialize.

 

Tent of David tells a story of transformation. It is a call for change. It gives practical advice, offers needed correction, and outlines a clear and effective strategy to affect change among those who already have a heart for our Jewish Messiah.

by Chaim Potok

"Anyone who finds it is finding a jewel. Its themes are profound and universal."THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

It is the now-classic story of two fathers and two sons and the pressures on all of them to pursue the religion they share in the way that is best suited to each. And as the boys grow into young men, they discover in the other a lost spiritual brother, and a link to an unexplored world that neither had ever considered before. In effect, they exchange places, and find the peace that neither will ever retreat from again....

by Tsvi Sadan

The Concealed Light is a new breakthrough book that introduces the reader into the rich background and meaning behind the names of the Messiah. Everyone is familiar—whether they know it or not—with theophoric names: If your name is "Daniel," you might know that the meaning is "God is my judge."

 

All the more so for identities given to the Messiah. In the Bible and other Jewish sources, the Mashiach is deliberately assigned various eye-opening and specific names. Each of these assignations offers deep insights into the attributes and expected roles of the person of Messiah—far beyond the watered-down concept of the Messiah that modern culture offers us.

 

The exposure to Jewish sources in the way they are presented in this book could tempt some to defend or negate particular religious convictions. However, the material presented here is not intended to be used as a "sword" against anyone's beliefs. The author's purpose in writing this book is to introduce the reader to treasures that can enrich his or her own understanding of the complex and profound Jewish view of Messiah.

by Franz Delitzsch

Vine of David is pleased to bring Delitzsch’s classic Hebrew Gospels to today’s Messianic Jewish movement combined with a new English translation based on the Delitzsch Hebrew.

 

The Delitzsch Hebrew Gospels, with its intuitive design, beautiful translation, eloquent and informative introductions, extensive glossaries, and insightful features, make this edition of the Gospels truly unique.

by Chaim Potok

"Rivals anything Chaim Potok has ever produced. It is a book written with passion about passion. You're not likely to read anything better this year." THE DETROIT NEWS

 

Twenty years have passed for Asher Lev. He is a world-renowned artist living in France, still uncertain of his artistic direction. When his beloved uncle dies suddenly, Asher and his family rush back to Brooklyn--and into a world that Asher thought he had left behind forever....

by R. Kendall Soulen

Along with this first full-scale critique of Christian supersessionism, Soulen's own constructive proposal regrasps the narrative unity of Christian identity and the canon through an original and important insight into the divine-human convenant, the election of Israel, and the meaning of history.

(DVD) Directed by James F. Collier

In this inspiring true story of Holocaust survivor Corrie ten Boom, a family joins the underground resistance. But when they themselves are arrested and imprisoned in concentration camps, they realize the importance of their own faith.

by Amy-Jill Levine

Although major New Testament figures--Jesus and Paul, Peter and James, Jesus' mother Mary and Mary Magdalene--were Jews, living in a culture steeped in Jewish history, beliefs, and practices, there has never been an edition of the New Testament that addresses its Jewish background and the culture from which it grew--until now. In The Jewish Annotated New Testament, eminent experts under the general editorship of Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Z. Brettler put these writings back into the context of their original authors and audiences. And they explain how these writings have affected the relations of Jews and Christians over the past two thousand years.

 

An international team of scholars introduces and annotates the Gospels, Acts, Letters, and Revelation from Jewish perspectives, in the New Revised Standard Version translation. They show how Jewish practices and writings, particularly the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, influenced the New Testament writers. From this perspective, readers gain new insight into the New Testament's meaning and significance. In addition, thirty essays on historical and religious topics--Divine Beings, Jesus in Jewish thought, Parables and Midrash, Mysticism, Jewish Family Life, Messianic Movements, Dead Sea Scrolls, questions of the New Testament and anti-Judaism, and others--bring the Jewish context of the New Testament to the fore, enabling all readers to see these writings both in their original contexts and in the history of interpretation. For readers unfamiliar with Christian language and customs, there are explanations of such matters as the Eucharist, the significance of baptism, and "original sin."

For non-Jewish readers interested in the Jewish roots of Christianity and for Jewish readers who want a New Testament that neither proselytizes for Christianity nor denigrates Judaism, The Jewish Annotated New Testament is an essential volume that places these writings in a context that will enlighten students, professionals, and general readers.

by Daniel Boyarin

In July 2008 a front-page story in the New York Times reported on the discovery of an ancient Hebrew tablet, dating from before the birth of Jesus, which predicted a Messiah who would rise from the dead after three days. Commenting on this startling discovery at the time, noted Talmud scholar Daniel Boyarin argued that “some Christians will find it shocking—a challenge to the uniqueness of their theology.”

 

Guiding us through a rich tapestry of new discoveries and ancient scriptures, The Jewish Gospels makes the powerful case that our conventional understandings of Jesus and of the origins of Christianity are wrong. In Boyarin’s scrupulously illustrated account, the coming of the Messiah was fully imagined in the ancient Jewish texts. Jesus, moreover, was embraced by many Jews as this person, and his core teachings were not at all a break from Jewish beliefs and teachings. Jesus and his followers, Boyarin shows, were simply Jewish. What came to be known as Christianity came much later, as religious and political leaders sought to impose a new religious orthodoxy that was not present at the time of Jesus’s life.

 

In the vein of Elaine Pagels’s The Gnostic Gospels, here is a brilliant new work that will break open some of our culture’s most cherished assumptions.

by Amy-Jill Levine

In the The Misunderstood Jew, scholar Amy-Jill Levine helps Christians and Jews understand the "Jewishness" of Jesus so that their appreciation of him deepens and a greater interfaith dialogue can take place. Levine's humor and informed truth-telling provokes honest conversation and debate about how Christians and Jews should understand Jesus, the New Testament, and each other.

by Mark D. Nanos

Paul's letter to the Romans, says Nanos, is an example of Jewish correspondence, addressing believers in Jesus who are steeped in Jewish ways-whether of Jewish or gentile origin. Arguing against those who think Paul was an apostate from Judaism, Nanos maintains Paul's continuity with his Jewish heritage. Several key arguments here are: Those addressed in Paul's letter were still an integral part of the Roman synagogue communities. The "weak" are non- Christian Jews, while the "strong" included both Jewish and gentile converts to belief in Jesus. Paul as a practicing devout Jew insists on the rules of behavior for "the righteous gentiles." Christian subordination to authorities (Romans 13:1-7) is intended to enforce submission to leaders of the synagogues, not Roman government officials. Paul behaves in a way to confirm the very Jewish portrait of him in Acts: going first to the synagogues.

by Sholem Asch

The story of Jesus is told by three different witnesses: Cornelius, Pontius Pilate's governor of Jerusalem; the fragmentary gospel of Judas Iscariot; and the narrative of Joseph, a young student of Nicodemus, presenting a sweeping panorama of the Holy Land nearly two thousand years ago.

by Chaim Potok

Reuven Malter lives in Brooklyn, he’s in love, and he’s studying to be a rabbi. He also keeps challenging the strict interpretations of his teachers, and if he keeps it up, his dream of becoming a rabbi may die.

 

One day, worried about a disturbed, unhappy boy named Michael, Reuven takes him sailing and cloud-watching. Reuven also introduces him to an old friend, Danny Saunders–now a psychologist with a growing reputation. Reconnected by their shared concern for Michael, Reuven and Danny each learns what it is to take on life–whether sacred truths or a troubled child–according to his own lights, not just established authority.

 

In a passionate, energetic narrative, The Promise brilliantly dramatizes what it is to master and use knowledge to make one’s own way in the world.

by Abraham Joshua Heschel

Elegant, passionate, and filled with the love of God's creation, Abraham Joshua Heschel's The Sabbath has been hailed as a classic of Jewish spirituality ever since its original publication-and has been read by thousands of people seeking meaning in modern life. In this brief yet profound meditation on the meaning of the Seventh Day, Heschel introduced the idea of an "architecture of holiness" that appears not in space but in time Judaism, he argues, is a religion of time: it finds meaning not in space and the material things that fill it but in time and the eternity that imbues it, so that "the Sabbaths are our great cathedrals."

by Jordan Lee Wagner

In an effort to counter the confusion and isolation often experienced by a novice synagogue-goer, as well as by many who regularly attend synagogue, The Synagogue Survival Kit: A Guide to Understanding Jewish Religious Services offers introductions and instructions for all aspects of the synagogue experience. No matter what kind of synagogue you attend, the roadmap is the same. Some synagogues may read certain prayers in English translation rather than the original Hebrew or replace some traditional prayers with newer versions, but the service will still touch on the same topics in the same order for the same reasons. If you know the structure of the traditional service, you can readily find your place in any other one. The Synagogue Survival Kit maps the complete traditional service structure and points out the changes commonly encountered in different congregations in an effort to counter the confusion and isolation often experienced by novice synagogue-goers and regular attendees, alike. Always mindful of the sophisticated, adult reader with little or no Jewish background, Jordan Lee Wagner clearly and comprehensively explains the practices, vocabulary, objects, and attitudes that one can expect to find in any synagogue.

by Hayim H. Donin

This indispensable volume has long been acknowledged as the classic guide to the traditional Jewish laws and customs as they apply to daily life in the contemporary world. The unique treasury of practical information and daily inspiration has long been acknowledged as the classic guide to the ageless heritage of Judaism—Jewish attitudes, Jewish philosophy, and Jewish law.

by Hayim H. Donin

Rabbi Donin offers a detailed guide to Jewish prayer which takes the reader through the entire prescribed course of Jewish liturgy, offering historical background, religious teaching, and practical instruction for each element of the service.Why do Jews pray? What is the role of prayer in their lives as moral and ethical beings? From the simplest details of how to comport oneself on entering a synagogue to the most profound and moving comments on the prayers themselves, Rabbi Donin guides the reader through the entire prescribed course of Jewish liturgy, passage by passage, ritual by ritual, in this handsome and indispensable guide to Jewish prayer, unexcelled for beginners as well as the religiously observant.

(DVD) Directed by Stuart Rosenberg

This was not your standard passenger list. Some were concentration camp victims. Others just wanted to join relatives in Cuba. Some were wealthy enough to afford the voyage. Most left everything behind in hope they could escape German terror. The passengers are unaware that the voyage is a sham, simply one of Goebbel's propaganda exercises. This ship will not be able to dock in Havana and, when the rest of the world turns the ship away, the Jews will have to return to Germany. Just as hope has all but vanished, the passengers receive word that some European countries may take them in. Come what may, the passengers resolve not to return to the camps. Faye Dunaway, Max Von Sydow, Oskar Werner, Malcolm McDowell, Orson Welles, James Mason, Katherine Ross, Ben Gazzara, Lee Grant and Julie Harris.

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