Rabbi Steinsaltz offers his perspective on Jewish identity, both for those looking in from the outside and self-identified Jews who oftentimes find little to distinguish themselves from the greater American society. Are Jews a civilization, a religious expression, a race, an ethnicity...? More than just his declaration that Jews are, in fact, a family (with all of the baggage and value that are attached to that definition), Rabbi Steinsaltz's wisdom emerges from his particular love for every type of family member - even those who have been pushed away or pushed themselves away from living a distinctly Jewish life.
While he ultimately discovers meaning in some of the most problematic of the Bible's laws, A. J. Jacob's entertaining recollection of his effort to live a literally Biblically - mandated life for one year highlight the dangers lurking in Biblical literalism. He emphasizes the need to respond to sacred scripture with a critical eye, championing "cafeteria religion" despite the disapproval of fundamentalists.
Fun, interesting, humorous, yet also insightful and reflective. Give this very short speech an attentive ear.
Excellent story about a very interesting topic. I planned to stretch my listening out over a couple of weeks, but I couldn't manage to break away so I ended up finishing in a couple of days! The author/narrator offers us a beautiful portrait of the fascinating figures that discovered and explored the Cairo Genizah. Wrapping the subject material into his and his son's interest in the Genizah made it both personable and endearing.
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