Best Jewish Theology Books
Here you will get Best Jewish Theology Books For you.This is an up-to-date list of recommended books.
1. Morality: Restoring the Common Good in Divided Times
Author: by Jonathan Sacks
A distinguished religious leader’s stirring case for reconstructing a shared framework of virtues and values. With liberal democracy embattled, public discourse grown toxic, family life breaking down, and drug abuse and depression on the rise, many fear what the future holds.
In Morality, respected faith leader and public intellectual Jonathan Sacks traces today’s crisis to our loss of a strong, shared moral code and our elevation of self-interest over the common good. We have outsourced morality to the market and the state, but neither is capable of showing us how to live.
Sacks leads readers from ancient Greece to the Enlightenment to the present day to show that there is no liberty without morality and no freedom without responsibility, arguing that we all must play our part in rebuilding a common moral foundation.
A major work of moral philosophy, Morality is an inspiring vision of a world in which we can all find our place and face the future without fear.
2. The Sabbath (FSG Classics)
Author: by Abraham Joshua Heschel
Farrar Straus Giroux
Elegant, passionate, and filled with the love of God’s creation, Abraham Joshua Heschel’s The Sabbath has been hailed as a classic of Jewish spirituality ever since its original publication-and has been read by thousands of people seeking meaning in modern life.
In this brief yet profound meditation on the meaning of the Seventh Day, Heschel introduced the idea of an “architecture of holiness” that appears not in space but in time Judaism, he argues, is a religion of time: it finds meaning not in space and the material things that fill it but in time and the eternity that imbues it, so that “the Sabbaths are our great cathedrals.”Featuring black-and-white illustrations by Ilya Schor
3. The Bible With and Without Jesus: How Jews and Christians Read the Same Stories Differently
Author: by Amy-Jill Levine
The editors of The Jewish Annotated New Testament show how and why Jews and Christians read many of the same Biblical texts including passages from the Pentateuch, the Prophets, and the Psalms differently. Exploring and explaining these diverse perspectives, they reveal more clearly Scripture’s beauty and power.
Esteemed Bible scholars and teachers Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Z. Brettler take readers on a guided tour of the most popular Hebrew Bible passages quoted in the New Testament to show what the texts meant in their original contexts and then how Jews and Christians, over time, understood those same texts.
Passages include the creation of the world, the role of Adam and Eve, the Suffering Servant of Isiah, the book of Jonah, and Psalm 22, whose words, My God, my God, why have you forsaken me, Jesus quotes as he dies on the cross.
Comparing various interpretations historical, literary, and theological – of each ancient text, Levine and Brettler offer deeper understandings of the original narratives and their many afterlives. They show how the text speaks to different generations under changed circumstances, and so illuminate the Bible’s ongoing significance.
4. Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus: How the Jewishness of Jesus Can Transform Your Faith
Author: by Ann Spangler
A rare chance to know Jesus as his first disciples knew him. What would it be like to journey back to the first century and sit at the feet of Rabbi Jesus as one of his Jewish disciples? How would your understanding of the gospel have been shaped by the customs, beliefs, and traditions of the Jewish culture in which you lived?
Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus will change the way you read Scripture and deepen your understanding of the life of Jesus. It will also help you to adapt the rich prayers and customs you learn about to your own life, in ways that both respect and enrich your Christian faith.
Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus takes you on a fascinating tour of the Jewish world of Jesus, offering inspirational insights that can transform your faith. Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg paint powerful scenes from Jesus’ ministry, immersing you in the prayers, feasts, history, culture, and customs that shaped Jesus and those who followed him.
In these pages, you will:Hear the parables as they must have sounded to first-century Jews, powerful and surprising. Join conversations among the rabbis of Jesus’ day. Watch with new understanding as the events of Jesus’ life unfold. Experience new excitement about the roots of your Christian faith.
5. Jewish Literacy Revised Ed: The Most Important Things to Know About the Jewish Religion, Its People, and Its History
Author: by Joseph Telushkin
What does it mean to be a Jew? How does one begin to answer so extensive a question? In this insightful and completely updated tome, esteemed rabbi and bestselling author Joseph Telushkin helps answer the question of what it means to be a Jew, in the largest sense.
Widely recognized as one of the most respected and indispensable reference books on Jewish life, culture, tradition, and religion, Jewish Literacy covers every essential aspect of the Jewish people and Judaism. In 352 short and engaging chapters, Rabbi Telushkin discusses everything from the Jewish Bible and Talmud to Jewish notions of ethics to antisemitism and the Holocaust; from the history of Jews around the world to Zionism and the politics of a Jewish state; from the significance of religious traditions and holidays to how they are practiced in daily life.
Whether you want to know more about Judaism in general or have specific questions you’d like answered, Jewish Literacy is sure to contain the information you need. Rabbi Telushkin’s expert knowledge of Judaism makes the updated and revised edition of Jewish Literacy an invaluable reference.
6. When Bad Things Happen to Good People
Author: by Harold S. Kushner
December 18, 2007
The #1 bestselling inspirational classic from the nationally known spiritual leader; a source of solace and hope for over 4 million readers. When Harold Kushner’s three-year-old son was diagnosed with a degenerative disease that meant the boy would only live until his early teens, he was faced with one of life’s most difficult questions: Why, God?
Years later, Rabbi Kushner wrote this straightforward, elegant contemplation of the doubts and fears that arise when tragedy strikes. In these pages, Kushner shares his wisdom as a rabbi, a parent, a reader, and a human being. Often imitated but never superseded, When Bad Things Happen to Good People is a classic that offers clear thinking and consolation in times of sorrow.
7. Aleph Isn't Tough: An Introduction to Hebrew for Adults
Author: by Linda Motzkin
This new Hebrew book for adult learners is ground breaking in its structure and as an effective educational tool. This superb new text was created by Rabbi Linda Motzkin in consultation with key figures in the field of Hebrew education.
Piloted in a sample of Reform congregations throughout the country, the book is the first step in a program of Hebrew learning for adults. Drawing upon the particular knowledge that the individual reader brings to the material, one is carefully introduced to the letters and vowels of the Hebrew alphabet.
The goal is to develop the reader’s ability to decode written Hebrew words as well as to ground the learning of Hebrew in the broader sense of its use in Jewish life, ritual, study, and tradition.
8. Everyday Holiness: The Jewish Spiritual Path of Mussar
Author: by Alan Morinis
Mussar is an illuminating, approachable, and highly practical set of teachings for cultivating personal growth and spiritual realization in the midst of day-to-day life. Here is an accessible and inspiring introduction to this Jewish spiritual path, which until lately has been best known in the world of Orthodox Judaism.
The core teaching of Mussar is that our deepest essence is inherently pure and holy, but this inner radiance is obscured by extremes of emotion, desire, and bad habits. Our work in life is to uncover the brilliant light of the soul.
The Mussar masters developed transformative teachings and practicessome of which are contemplative, some of which focus on how we relate to others in daily lifeto help us to heal and refine ourselves.
9. God in Search of Man : A Philosophy of Judaism
Author: by Abraham Joshua Heschel
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Abraham Joshua Heschel was one of the most revered religious leaders of the 20th century, and God in Search of Man and its companion volume, Man Is Not Alone, two of his most important books, are classics of modern Jewish theology.
God in Search of Man combines scholarship with lucidity, reverence, and compassion as Dr. Heschel discusses not man’s search for God but God’s for man-the notion of a Chosen People, an idea which, he writes, “signifies not a quality inherent in the people but a relationship between the people and God.” It is an extraordinary description of the nature of Biblical thought, and how that thought becomes faith.
10. Two Powers in Heaven: Early Rabbinic Reports about Christianity and Gnosticism (Library of Early Christology)
Author: by Alan F. Segal
Baylor University Press
In his now classic Two Powers in Heaven, Alan Segal examines rabbinic evidence about early manifestations of the “two powers” heresy within Judaism. Segal sheds light upon the development of and relationships among early Christianity, Gnosticism, and Merkabah mysticism and demonstrates that belief in the “two powers in heaven” was widespread by the first century, and may have been a catalyst for the Jewish rejection of early Christianity.
An important addition to New Testament and Gnostic scholarship by this much revered scholar, Segal’s Two Powers in Heaven is made available once again for a new generation.
11. The Crowns on the Letters: Essays on the Aggada and the Lives of the Sages
Author: by Rabbi Ari Kahn
OU Press (July 8, 2020)
Rabbi Ari Kahn’s The Crowns on the Letters represents a major achievement in the study of the lives of our sages, as well as in the study of rabbinic aggada. This work is an immensely learned and deeply creative interpretation of many fundamental aggadot relating both to the intellectual biographies of the tannaim and amoraim Hillel and Shammai, Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, Resh Lakish and Rabbi Yochanan, and many others as well as to major themes in Jewish thought including the nature of the Oral Law, mysticism and its perils, the messianic era, teshuva, and Eretz Yisrael.
Rabbi Kahn’s work is refreshingly original and he wears his erudition lightly, so that this is not only edifying scholarship but readable as well. Rabbi Menachem Genack
12. Radical Loving: One God, One World, One People
Author: by Wayne Dosick
2021 International Book Awards – Religion: General – Award-Winner 2021 International Book Awards – Spirituality; Inspirational – Award-Winner 2021 International Book Awards – Social Change – Finalist Rabbi Dosick has written more theological books than this one, but none wiser or more courageous.
While his idiom here is Jewish, my liberal Catholic heart is cheering.Jon M. Sweeney, coauthor, Meister Eckhart’s Book of the Heart, and translator, Francis of Assisi in His Own Words For many of us, it feels as if our world is breaking apart.
Long-held, comfortable beliefs are being shattered, and we face unprecedented questions and challenges. How do we heal the harsh divisions of class, race, religion, and cultures that plague us? How do we vanquish sexism, rigid fundamentalism, unabashed nationalism, senseless hatred, and violent terrorism?
How do we save our precious planet from the threats to its very existence? In this book is a bold, visionary, Spirit-filled blueprint for the redemption, transformation, and evolution of our emerging new world through radical loving and a day-to-day sense of the sacred.
13. Primeval Evil in Kabbalah: Totality, Perfection, Perfectibility
Author: by Moshe Idel
Primeval Evil analyzes the various versions of a theory maintaining the Kabbalistic visions as to the precedence of evil before good, within the divine realm and in the lower dimensions of reality. It proposes a source for some of the theories of evil in medieval Kabbalah, in the Zurvanic version of Zoroastrism and their reverberations, which is different from the scholarly assumptions as to the influence of Gnosticism on Kabbalah.
A series of pre-Kabbalistic, Kabbalistic and Hasidic texts have been addressed, in print and in manuscripts, in order to substantiate the understanding of these theories are related to visions of the divine as all-encompassing, and perfect or perfectible.
14. To Heal a Fractured World: The Ethics of Responsibility
Author: by Jonathan Sacks
One of the most respected religious thinkers of our time makes an impassioned plea for the return of religion to its true purposeas a partnership with God in the work of ethical and moral living. What are our duties to others, to society, and to humanity?
How do we live a meaningful life in an age of global uncertainty and instability? In To Heal a Fractured World, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks offers answers to these questions by looking at the ethics of responsibility. In his signature plainspoken, accessible style, Rabbi Sacks shares with us traditional interpretations of the Bible, Jewish law, and theology, as well as the works of philosophers and ethicists from other cultures, to examine what constitutes morality and moral behavior.
We are here to make a difference, he writes, a day at a time, an act at a time, for as long as it takes to make the world a place of justice and compassion. He argues that in today’s religious and political climate, it is more important than ever to return to the essential understanding that it is by our deeds that we express our faith and make it real in the lives of others and the world.
15. The Book of Jewish Values: A Day-by-Day Guide to Ethical Living
Author: by Joseph Telushkin
Rabbi Joseph Telushkin combed the Bible, the Talmud, and the whole spectrum of Judaism’s sacred writings to give us a manual on how to lead a decent, kind, and honest life in a morally complicated world. “An absolutely superb book: the most practical, most comprehensive guide to Jewish values I know.” Rabbi Harold Kushner, author of When Bad Things Happen to Good PeopleTelushkin speaks to the major ethical issues of our time, issues that have, of course, been around since the beginning.
He offers one or two pages a day of pithy, wise, and easily accessible teachings designed to be put into immediate practice. The range of the book is as broad as life itself: The first trait to seek in a spouse (Day 17) When, if ever, lying is permitted (Days 71-73) Why acting cheerfully is a requirement, not a choice (Day 39) What children don’t owe their parents (Day 128) Whether Jews should donate their organs (Day 290) An effective but expensive technique for curbing your anger (Day 156) How to raise truthful children (Day 298) What purchases are always forbidden (Day 3)In addition, Telushkin raises issues with ethical implications that may surprise you, such as the need to tip those whom you don’t see (Day 109), the right thing to do when you hear an ambulance siren (Day 1), and why wasting time is a sin (Day 15).
16. The Jewish Gospels: The Story of the Jewish Christ
Author: by Daniel Boyarin
March 20, 2012
[A] fascinating recasting of the story of Jesus. Elliot Wolfson, New York University In July 2008, a front-page story in the New York Times reported on the discovery of an ancient Hebrew tablet, dating from before the birth of Jesus, which predicted a Messiah who would rise from the dead after three days.
Commenting on this startling discovery at the time, noted Talmud scholar Daniel Boyarin argued that some Christians will find it shockinga challenge to the uniqueness of their theology. Guiding us through a rich tapestry of new discoveries and ancient scriptures, The Jewish Gospels makes the powerful case that our conventional understandings of Jesus and of the origins of Christianity are wrong.
In Boyarin’s scrupulously illustrated account, the coming of the Messiah was fully imagined in the ancient Jewish texts. Jesus, moreover, was embraced by many Jews as this person, and his core teachings were not at all a break from Jewish beliefs and teachings.
Jesus and his followers, Boyarin shows, were simply Jewish. What came to be known as Christianity came much later, as religious and political leaders sought to impose a new religious orthodoxy that was not present at the time of Jesus’s life.