By Michael Satlow
How will we outline ''Judaism,'' and what are the typical threads uniting historical rabbis, Maimonides, the authors of the Zohar, and smooth secular Jews in Israel? Michael L. Satlow deals a clean point of view on Judaism that acknowledges either its similarities and its mammoth variety. providing snapshots of Judaism from worldwide and all through historical past, Satlow explores the hyperlinks among enormously diverse groups and their Jewish traditions. He experiences the geonim, rabbinical students who lived in Iraq from the 9th to 12th centuries; the highbrow flourishing of Jews in medieval Spain; how the Hasidim of nineteenth-century jap Europe faced modernity; and the post-World struggle II improvement of certain American and Israeli Jewish identities. Satlow can pay shut cognizance to how groups outline themselves, their dating to biblical and rabbinic texts, and their ritual practices. His interesting snap shots show the amazingly artistic methods Jews have tailored through the years to social and political demanding situations and proceed to stay a ''Jewish family.''
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Extra resources for Creating Judaism: History, Tradition, Practice
I have seen Jewish communities that did not know what a mikveh was and, if they did, would oppose having one in their neighborhood, and I watched a Habad family try to create one by digging out the cellar of their rental house. I know Orthodox men and women who are fastidious about their morning prayers, even after waking up in each other’s arms after meeting at a bar the evening before, and Reform Jews who will not let any food or drink pass their lips without the appropriate blessing. During Passover several of my college classmates would skip the bread at dinner while taking a helping of the sausage.
Instead, they organically developed conceptual maps that outline ranges of theological options—this approach would be critical for the ability of later Jewish communities to draw upon and make meaningful rabbinic ideas. ” Performance of these mitzvot, according to the Rabbis, brings one closer to the presence of God. ” The “victory” of the Rabbis was in no way assured in their lifetimes. It was primarily through the promotion of the Babylonian Talmud by the Geonim, rabbinic scholars who lived in Iraq from around 800–1100 ce, that the legacy of the Rabbis spread and gained authority within the wider Jewish community.
They did what their parents did, adapted for their new environments—the few rabbis in America were imported from Europe, confined to major cities, and only heeded sporadically. There was little Jewish education and few Jews had even minimal comprehension of Hebrew. The case of Rabbi David De Sola Pool, brought over from France in 1817 to serve as the rabbi of Shearith Israel, offers a graphic example of the state of Jewish education in early America: His tenure “was not destined to be a long one.
Creating Judaism: History, Tradition, Practice by Michael Satlow