These Are the Words: A Vocabulary of Jewish Spiritual Life

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9781580230247: These Are the Words: A Vocabulary of Jewish Spiritual Life
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What are the most essential ideas, concepts and terms that an educated person needs to know about Judaism? What is the basic vocabulary of Jewish spiritual life? Let one of the great teachers of our time take you on a historical and spiritual journey through Judaism.

Judaism itself is a language, a group's way of expressing beliefs, longings, aspirations and dreams. The vocabulary of Jewish life is the framework that we use to hand our past on to our children. It is also the vocabulary that people of other faiths need to know to understand Judaism and Jewish life.

In this highly readable, enlightening and entertaining book, Jews and non-Jews alike can learn more about the meaning, history and origin of 149 core Hebrew words that are shared and understood throughout the Jewish world and why it is important for people to know and use these words in Hebrew. From Adonai ("My Lord") to zekhut ("merit"), these are the words that constitute the basic vocabulary of Jewish communal and religious identity.

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Review:

Arthur Green, who is among the foremost scholars of Jewish spirituality, considers Judaism to be a kind of language--a "way of expressing our beliefs, longings, aspirations, dreams.... The vocabulary of Jewish life is the framework through which we hand on the past. It also provides the pegs on which we hang our hopes and dreams for the future." These Are The Words gathers Green's explanations of the basic terms of this language, from Adonai ("My Lord") to zekhut ("merit"). These 149 essays constitute a brief encyclopedia of Judaism--a helpful reminder of what the key Jewish terms mean (in a definitional sense), and of how these words shape the lives of those who speak them.

About the Author:

Arthur (Avraham Yitzhak) Green is Lown Professor of Jewish Thought at Brandeis University and former President of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia. He is a student of Jewish theology and mysticism who has combined scholarly career and personal commitment. He is the author of Tormented Master: The Life and Spiritual Quest of Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav (Jewish Lights), and co-editor of Your Word Is Fire: The Hasidic Masters on Contemplative Prayer (Jewish Lights), along with other books and articles on Judaism, spirituality and spiritual renewal.

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