Stranger in a Strange Land
Searching for Gershom Scholem and Jerusalem
Gershom (born Gerhard) Scholem was one of the leading intellectuals of pre-war Germany, and a close friend of Walter Benjamin. In 1923 he emigrated to Palestine and became the world’s foremost scholar of the Kabbalah. This study traces the evolution of his ideas from his disillusionment with European materialism and his discovery of Jewish mysticism, to his unease at the politics of Israel, where he found himself ‘a stranger in a strange land’. Off-mint.
The People and the Books
18 Classics of Jewish Literature
This exploration of Jewish literature looks beyond the scriptures to understand how various writers have reflected the central questions and themes of Jewish culture, from religious commentaries to history, biography and fiction. The selections include The Jewish War by Roman historian Josephus, Spinoza’s heretical Theological-Political Treatise and the Tevye the Dairyman stories by Sholem Aleichem.
A Brief Guide to Judaism
Theology, History and Practice
What are the key elements of Jewish theology, and how do Jews put belief into practice? Rabbi Brawer outlines the development of the Jewish people and faith, from Abrahamic origins to the eras of diaspora and persecution. He particularly highlights how the ritual and practice that punctuate Jewish existence form a bridge between heaven and earth as they paradoxically call on adherents to transcend the material world while celebrating physical pleasures.
The Universal Kabbalah
Deciphering the Cosmic Code in the Sacred Geometry of the Sabbath Star Diagram
Alongside her career as a professor of English, Leonora Leet spent two decades working on the Kabbalah and Pythagorean geometry to produce this magnum opus, in which she derives a new model from the Tree of Life and her own Sabbath Star Diagram, based on seven Star of David hexagrams. She thereby expands the four worlds of the classical Kabbalah, synthesizing science and spirituality as she provides a mathematical basis for aspects of the Jewish mystical tradition.
The Medieval Origins of Anti-Jewish Iconography
Hebrew prophets and Israelites appeared in early Christian art, but only after 1000 CE did the Jew emerge as a recognizable figure, soon to become a poisonous symbol. Sara Lipton argues that the visual stereotypes were neither an inevitable result of Christian theology nor simple reflections of prejudice. She traces complex relationships between medieval Christians’ religious ideas, social experience and changing artistic practices, and shows how representations of Jews transformed over time from benign figures of ancient wisdom to vicious caricatures.
The Art of the Jewish Marriage Contract
The custom of illuminating the traditional Jewish marriage contract, the ketubbah, developed over the past four centuries into a rich and varied folk art throughout Northern Europe, Italy and the Near East. Produced in conjunction with the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, this beautiful volume contains full-colour plates of 61 examples from its outstanding collection, and offers a vivid and fascinating account of the marriage customs and daily life of diverse Jewish communities.
Paul Was Not a Christian
The Original Message of a Misunderstood Apostle
For nearly two millennia Paul has been presented as the founder of Christianity and a model for Christian conversion. But in this provocative book Eisenbaum outlines what did and did not change in Paul's religious life, arguing that he did not see Jesus as superseding the Torah but as uniting Jews and Gentiles; she also considers how the traditional portrait of the apostle as a Christian convert has contributed to the history of anti-Semitism. Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
The Commerce of the Sacred
Mediation of the Divine among Jews in the Greco-Roman World
An influential work since its first publication in 1984, The Commerce of the Sacred now appears in a new, updated edition. It combines approaches from the history of religions and social anthropology to investigate the practices and influence of Jews who lived in the Greco-Roman world outside Palestine. Without rabbinic control, Lightstone argues, they developed their own beliefs, such as those involving prayers at dead martyrs' tombs, and thereby helped blur the boundaries between Jews and Christians.