Wrestling with God and Men: Homosexuality in the Jewish Tradition

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9780299190903: Wrestling with God and Men: Homosexuality in the Jewish Tradition

    For millennia, two biblical verses have been understood to condemn sex between men as an act so abhorrent that it is punishable by death. Traditionally Orthodox Jews, believing the scripture to be the word of God, have rejected homosexuality in accordance with this interpretation. In 1999, Rabbi Steven Greenberg challenged this tradition when he became the first Orthodox rabbi ever to openly declare his homosexuality.
    Wrestling with God and Men is the product of Rabbi Greenberg’s ten-year struggle to reconcile his two warring identities. In this compelling and groundbreaking work, Greenberg challenges long held assumptions of scriptural interpretation and religious identity as he marks a path that is both responsible to human realities and deeply committed to God and Torah. Employing traditional rabbinic resources, Greenberg presents readers with surprising biblical interpretations of the creation story, the love of David and Jonathan, the destruction of Sodom, and the condemning verses of Leviticus. But Greenberg goes beyond the question of whether homosexuality is biblically acceptable to ask how such relationships can be sacred. In so doing, he draws on a wide array of nonscriptural texts to introduce readers to occasions of same-sex love in Talmudic narratives, medieval Jewish poetry and prose, and traditional Jewish case law literature. Ultimately, Greenberg argues that Orthodox communities must open up debate, dialogue, and discussion—precisely the foundation upon which Jewish law rests—to truly deal with the issue of homosexual love.
    This book will appeal not only to members of the Orthodox faith but to all religious people struggling to resolve their belief in the scriptures with a desire to make their communities more open and accepting to gay and lesbian members.

 

2005 Finalist for the Lambda Literary Awards, for Religion/Spirituality

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From the Inside Flap:

"Wrestling with God and Men--as useful for Christians as it is for Jews--not only brings new and fresh thinking about our current debate over homosexuality but interweaves theology and history with Greenberg’s own personal journey in a way that is enlightening, instructive, and inspirational."--The Right Reverend V. Gene Robinson, Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire

"There is an epic struggle going on for and in the soul of the gay community. Within this debate, Rabbi Steven Greenberg is an amazing new voice, calling for a religiously guided homosexuality. Since the outcome can be of momentous consequence for society, religion, and culture, agree or not, he deserves to be widely read and heard."--Rabbi Irving (Yitz) Greenberg, Jewish Life Network / Steinhardt Foundation

"[Greenberg] effectively portrays the plight of closeted and openly gay Orthodox Jews who struggle daily with their sexual desires and with the knowledge that the Torah and the rabbis forbid homosexuality."--Publishers Weekly

From the Back Cover:

"Through his deep love and respect of the Jewish tradition he challenges us all to reread our canonical texts in order to create room for an alternative vision of the religious community."--Tova Hartman, Hebrew University, Jerusalem

"Not only brings new and fresh thinking about our current debate over homosexuality but interweaves theology and history with Greenberg's own personal journey. . . . I heartily recommend this book to Christians who wish to take their Hebrew scriptures seriously and who are willing to examine their own responses to this raging debate."--The Right Reverend V. Gene Robinson, Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire

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Book Description University of Wisconsin Press, United States, 2004. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. For millennia, two biblical verses have been understood to condemn sex between men as an act so abhorrent that it is punishable by death. Traditionally Orthodox Jews, believing the scripture to be the word of God, have rejected homosexuality in accordance with this interpretation. In 1999, Rabbi Steven Greenberg challenged this tradition when he became the first Orthodox rabbi ever to openly declare his homosexuality. Wrestling with God and Men is the product of Rabbi Greenberg s ten-year struggle to reconcile his two warring identities. In this compelling and groundbreaking work, Greenberg challenges long held assumptions of scriptural interpretation and religious identity as he marks a path that is both responsible to human realities and deeply committed to God and Torah. Employing traditional rabbinic resources, Greenberg presents readers with surprising biblical interpretations of the creation story, the love of David and Jonathan, the destruction of Sodom, and the condemning verses of Leviticus. But Greenberg goes beyond the question of whether homosexuality is biblically acceptable to ask how such relationships can be sacred. In so doing, he draws on a wide array of nonscriptural texts to introduce readers to occasions of same-sex love in Talmudic narratives, medieval Jewish poetry and prose, and traditional Jewish case law literature. Ultimately, Greenberg argues that Orthodox communities must open up debate, dialogue, and discussion - precisely the foundation upon which Jewish law rests - to truly deal with the issue of homosexual love. Bookseller Inventory # AAN9780299190903

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Book Description University of Wisconsin Press, United States, 2004. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. For millennia, two biblical verses have been understood to condemn sex between men as an act so abhorrent that it is punishable by death. Traditionally Orthodox Jews, believing the scripture to be the word of God, have rejected homosexuality in accordance with this interpretation. In 1999, Rabbi Steven Greenberg challenged this tradition when he became the first Orthodox rabbi ever to openly declare his homosexuality. Wrestling with God and Men is the product of Rabbi Greenberg s ten-year struggle to reconcile his two warring identities. In this compelling and groundbreaking work, Greenberg challenges long held assumptions of scriptural interpretation and religious identity as he marks a path that is both responsible to human realities and deeply committed to God and Torah. Employing traditional rabbinic resources, Greenberg presents readers with surprising biblical interpretations of the creation story, the love of David and Jonathan, the destruction of Sodom, and the condemning verses of Leviticus. But Greenberg goes beyond the question of whether homosexuality is biblically acceptable to ask how such relationships can be sacred. In so doing, he draws on a wide array of nonscriptural texts to introduce readers to occasions of same-sex love in Talmudic narratives, medieval Jewish poetry and prose, and traditional Jewish case law literature. Ultimately, Greenberg argues that Orthodox communities must open up debate, dialogue, and discussion - precisely the foundation upon which Jewish law rests - to truly deal with the issue of homosexual love. Bookseller Inventory # AAN9780299190903

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