By Arthur A. Cohen, Paul Mendes-Flohr
JPS is proud to reissue Cohen and Mendes-Flohr’s vintage paintings, maybe crucial, accomplished anthology on hand on twentieth century Jewish suggestion. This awesome quantity provides one hundred forty concise but authoritative essays by way of popular Jewish figures Eugene Borowitz, Emil Fackenheim, Blu Greenberg, Susannah Heschel, Jacob Neusner, Gershom Scholem, Adin Steinsaltz, and so forth. They outline and mirror upon such valuable rules as charity, selected humans, demise, relations, love, fable, discomfort, Torah, culture and extra. With entries from Aesthetics to Zionism, this booklet presents remarkable insights into either the Jewish adventure and the Judeo-Christian culture.
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Its exponents hold that the thesis "God exists" is false. Thus the varieties of atheism largely correspond to the kinds of theism professed and these, significantly, include the varieties of religions. The character of any version of atheism essentially depends on the kind of answer that its theistic rival gives to the question, What is meant by God? or put differently, Under what description is the term God to be understood? God is a logically troublesome term, for it is not readily classifiable either as a proper name (like Churchill) or as a class-name (like table); the difficulties that follow from this circumstance are well highlighted in the doctrine of Maimonides about the negative nature of divine attributes.
When Maimonides comes to justify the order of the paragraphs of the AUTHORITY 31 Shema, he substitutes for the rabbinic phrase "accepting the kingdom of heaven" a phrase of his own that illuminates his interpretation of the rabbinic phrase: One recites the paragraph of Shema first because it has in it the unity of God and the love of him and his study which is the great principle upon which all is dependent. (MT Shema 1:2). This defines the content of "accepting the kingdom of heaven" as knowledge of God and his unity and the love of God, which Maimonides holds to be necessarily consequent upon true knowledge (MT Yesodei Torah 1:12:2).
In accordance with this view the priestly sou'rce describes the patriarchal period as devoid of divine worship through sacrifice. Circumcision and the Sabbath occupy significant positions in this source (Gen. 1; Ex. 12:44, 48, 16:12-17, 35:1-3). It is only natural that priestly circles should be highly BIBLE CRITICISM 37 concerned about these matters, which give external-physical expression to Israel's uniqueness. Furthermore, circumcision and the Sabbath, along with the rainbow (Gen. 9: 1-1 7), are, according to the Priestly Source, parts of the complex of signs symbolizing the covenants made by God with mankind and with the Israelite forefathers.