Contemporary Judaism: Patterns of Survival

Rosenthal, Gilbert S.

Published by Human Sciences Pr
ISBN 10: 0898852609 / ISBN 13: 9780898852608
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Synopsis: Discusses the history and beliefs of the four major branches of Judaism in the United States.

Review: In this volume, Gilbert Rosenthal, rabbi of Temple Beth El, Cedarhurst, New York, and teacher at Jewish Theological Seminary, has produced a new edition of his 1973 Four Paths to God. For the past decade, the first edition has served as a comprehensive treatment of the four major movements within American Judaism. Rosenthal reviewed the histories and ideologies of the Orthodox, Reform, Conservative, and Reconstructionist varieties whose distinctive characteristics have not only been confusing to non-Jews but to many Jews as well. Rosenthal's update of his valuable guide to the perplexed should find a receptive audience among Jews both observant and secular, and among students of American religious history in general. Contemporxy Judaism supplements the first edition by including important new material to document and interpret the dynamic changes in Americanjudaism over the past ten years. The introduction to the new edition resets the American religious scene and features a paradoxical development among Jews: on the one hand, there is an intensification of the core of orthodoxy that gives rise to fundamentalism (parallel to the same trend within American Christianity); and on the other hand, the periphery of unobservant Jews is fading faster into assimilation. Rosenthal adds supplementary chapters on each of the movements to describe the recent renaissance of Orthodoxy, the revitalization of Reform Judaism, the unanticipated vigor of Reconstructionism (about which most non-Jews know next to nothing), and the essential place of Conservative Jewry in generating dialogue among the denominations of American Judaism. The author describes the antagonisms that divide these four groups as the passion of contrapuntal players who harmonize variations on the same theme. That theme always returns tojewish commonality over such concerns as the state of Israel, SovictJewry, anti-Semitism and finally resolves in the shared belief that each Jew Is responsible for all Jews. Yet virtually any Ameficanjewish publication today testifies to the internal polarization over such divisive issues as mixed marriage, patrilineal descent, womens' ordination, and the perenial question, "Who is a Jew? ForJews who want to find unity amid their diversity, for non-Jews who are married to Jews, and for non-Jews who would like simply to understand the origins of basic divisions within Judaism, Rosenthal's book will be a valuable source. At the same time, Contemporary Judaism becomes a noteworthy addition to current literature on American religious life. -- From Independent Publisher

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Title: Contemporary Judaism: Patterns of Survival
Publisher: Human Sciences Pr
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Good

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Book Description Human Sciences Pr. Book Condition: Good. Ex-library, so some stamps and wear, but in good overall condition. Bookseller Inventory # Z1-V-026-00587

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Rosenthal, Gilbert S.
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Book Description Human Sciences Pr. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Light shelf wear and minimal interior marks. Bookseller Inventory # G0898852609I3N00

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Published by New York, New York, U.S.A.: Human Sciences Pr (1986)
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Book Description New York, New York, U.S.A.: Human Sciences Pr, 1986. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 2nd Edition..... Language: eng Language: eng Language: eng Language: eng Language: eng. Bookseller Inventory # F39A

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