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Jewish Theology

Jewish Theology

Entry in The encyclopedia of Christianity. Vol. 3. Ed.
Erwin Fahlbusch et al. Cambridge: Eerdmans; Leiden: Brill, 2003: 49-55.

By Rabbi Louis Jacobs

1. Rabbinic Period
2. Medieval Thought
3. Kabalah and Hasidism
3.1. Kabalah
3.2. Hasidism
4. Modern Jewish Thought
4.1. Key Thinkers
4.2. Issues
1. Rabbinic Period

The thinking of the biblical authors and the Talmudic rabbis has rightly been described as organic, that is, responsive to the concrete situations of human life in all its variety. In the Bible, for instance, God is ever present, making demands on his people and on all humanity. He is the Controller and Governor of the universe. But no attempt is made to consider how God is said to create ex nihilo, how divine providence operates in detail. That there is evil in the universe is taken for granted, and there are mighty probings both in the Bible (esp. the Book of Job) and in rabbinic literature as to why the righteous suffer and the wicked prosper. But there is hardly any treatment in these sources as to why there should be evil at all in a world created by the All Good. Not until the Middle Ages were such questions raised or, for that matter, the question of what is meant by describing God as good.

If we bear in mind what has been said about the organic, non-systematic nature of rabbinic thought - as well as of the Bible, on which such thought is based - it can be seen how uncertain are the efforts of modern scholars such as G. F. Moore (1851-1931), Solomon Schechter (1850-1915), and E. E. Urbach (1912-1991) to delineate rabbinic theology. As these scholars have themselves admitted, the very attempt to present themes in a systematic manner imposes a thought pattern on the material that is not really there, with the inevitable distortion that results from an ordered arrangement of basically disorganized, dynamic responses to particular challenges.

Insofar as one can speak of a theological scheme in rabbinic literature, it consists of three great ideas and their interrelations: God, the Torah, and Jewish peoplehood. The key verse for the rabbis, and also for Judaism as a whole, is the Shema (lit. 'hear'): 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One' (Deut 6:4 JPS). For the rabbis the statement that God is one means that there are no other gods and that to worship idols is a heinous sin; rather than worship idols, the Jew must be prepared to suffer martyrdom. God is omnipotent and omniscient, though these terms are too abstract and too foreign to the thought patterns of the rabbis actually to have been used by them. Nothing is hidden from God's vision. He knows the future as well as the past. His eyes are open to all human deeds, rewarding the good and punishing the wicked, and yet human beings have free will, and hence it makes sense for God to give us commandments and hold us responsible for obeying them. As God says in the Torah, 'I have put before you life and death, blessing and curse. Choose life - if you and your offspring would live - by loving the Lord your God, heeding His commands, and holding fast to Him' (Deut. 30:19-20 JPST). Later the rabbis would say, 'Everything is in the hands of Heaven except for fear of Heaven [i.e. human free will]' (b. Ber. 33b).

God's will is revealed in the Torah (lit. 'teaching'). The Torah is twofold: the written Torah (the Pentateuch and, by extension, the rest of the Hebrew Scriptures) and the oral Torah, conceived originally as the body of doctrine and practice given by God to Moses at Sinai and then extended to include all the explanations and elaborations of the Jewish sages throughout Jewish history. The Torah embraces the precepts - the mitzvot, that is, practical rules and regulations, commands and prohibitions. By carrying out the mitzvot, the Jew does God's will. But there is a Torah for the non-Jewish world as well in the form of the seven Noachide laws: (1) not to murder, (2) not to steal, (3) not to worship idols, (4) not to commit adultery or incest, (5) not to blaspheme, (6) not to eat flesh torn from an animal while the animal is still alive, and (7) to have an adequate system of justice in society (t. Avodah Zarah 8:4; b. Sanh. 56a-b, 60a). Thus the Torah is given to Israel but through Israel to all humanity.

With only minor differences, the rabbis believed in a personal Messiah, a human being, scion of the House of David, who will be sent by God at 'the end of days' to restore the Jewish people to their ancient homeland. With the coming of the Messiah, the temple will be rebuilt, the sacrificial system will be reintroduced, and from Zion the Torah will go forth to bring all people to worship the one true God.

Sometime after the advent of the Messiah, the resurrection of the dead will occur; the righteous, including 'the righteous of the nations of the world', will then enjoy the nearness of God, 'basking in the radiance of the Shekinah' (God's earthly dwelling) for all eternity. This state is known in the rabbinic literature as the world to come (Olam haba), though occasionally this term refers also to the blissful state of the individual soul after the death of the body. The more usual term for the latter, however, is 'the Garden of Eden', the place or state in which righteous souls enjoy the proximity of the Shekinah while awaiting reunion with the body at the resurrection. The souls of the wicked are punished in Gehenna for a maximum of twelve months. Both Josephus (ca. 37-ca. 100) and the Talmud inform us that the Sadducees, unlike the Pharisees, denied altogether the existence of another world, since there is no explicit reference to this concept in the Scriptures.

2. Medieval Thought

Jewish theologians of the Middle Ages, like their Christian counterparts and the Arabic mutakallimun, were obliged to face squarely the challenge of Aristotelian philosophy to traditional religion. The problem of faith versus reason, unknown in the earlier rabbinic period, now loomed large. The 'God of the philosophers', the unmoved, ineffable first cause, seemed to be sharply opposed to the 'God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob', in the famous distinction drawn by Blaise Pascal (1623-62). The attempt at reconciling the two conceptions, so at variance with one another, demanded a complete rethinking of the doctrine of divine attributes.

Moses Maimonides (1135-1204), the greatest of the medieval Jewish theologians, developed further the earlier idea of negative attributes. According to Maimonides, we can speak of God's essential attributes - his existence, unity, and wisdom - only in negative terms. When it is said that God exists, this word has no reference to God's true nature, which is beyond all human comprehension, but means only that God is not in a state of nonexistence. Similarly, when it is said that God is one, the meaning is that there is no multiplicity in his being, and when it is said that God is wise, it means that he is never ignorant. With regard to the attributes of action, however, a positive understanding is allowed, but only because such attributes (e.g., God's justice and goodness) are consciously adopted from the human condition.

For all his rationalism, Maimonides admits that reason must come to a halt when faced with the apparently insoluble problem of how to reconcile the doctrine of divine foreknowledge with human free will. According to Maimonides, both horns of the dilemma must be seized. God does know all the future deeds of humans, and yet humans have freedom of choice. Gersonides (Levi ben Gershom, 1288-1344) and Hasdai Crescas (1340-1410) sense a real contradiction in the two concepts. Gersonides is moved to qualify severely the doctrine of divine foreknowledge, while, according to Crescas, human beings only appear to have freedom of choice.

Maimonides was not the first to draw up a list of basic principles of the Jewish faith, but his listing became the standard and accepted formulation for subsequent Jewish thought, at least for Orthodox Jewish belief. Maimonides' 13 principles are (1) the existence of God, (2) God's unity, (3) God's incorporeality, (4) God's eternity, (5) the need to worship God alone, (6) the prophets as true prophets of God, (7) Moses as the greatest of the prophets, (8) God's giving the Torah to Moses, (9) the immutability of the Torah, (10) God's knowing all human deeds, (11) reward and punishment, (12) the coming of the Messiah, and (13) the resurrection of the dead.
Little imagination is required to see that behind this and similar formulations by Jewish theologians lie the challenges presented to Judaism by its daughter religions, Christianity and Islam. A major thrust in the thought of Jewish theologians in this period is to demonstrate that the Torah given by God to the people of Israel is eternal and has not been superseded by other religions. Although Maimonides lists the resurrection of the dead as a basic principle of Judaism, he is at pains to point out that although the dead will be resurrected, they will eventually die again - only the soul is immortal. Nahmanides (ca. 1195-1270) takes strong issue with Maimonides, holding that the resurrected body will live forever, albeit in a very refined state.

Joseph Albo (ca. 1380-ca. 1444), in his popular work Sefer ha'ikarim (Book of Principles), provides a summary of the views of his predecessors on the question of dogma in Judaism, discussing in the process what constitutes a religion and how religions differ from one another. Albo naturally stresses the superiority of Judaism over all other religions, while tacitly admitting that there is a central core common to all religions. Judah Halevi (ca. 1075-1141) similarly engages in dialogue with Greek philosophy, Christianity, and Islam.

In some Jewish-Christian disputations theologians on the Jewish side took issue especially with the claim that a new Israel had been chosen by God to take the place of the old. For a majority of the medieval Jewish theologians, Christianity is less than a pure monotheism because of its doctrines of the incarnation and the Trinity. All agree that Islam is a pure monotheistic faith, although a false religion from the Jewish standpoint.
3. Kabalah and Hasidism

3.1. Kabalah

The mystical meditations current in 12th- and 13th-century Provence and Spain culminated in the theosophical system known as the kabalah, whose classic text is the Zohar. It received considerable elaboration in 16th-century Safed (also known as Zefat, one of the four Jewish holy cities of Palestine) by Moses Cordovero (1522-70) and especially Isaac Luria (1534-72), whose disciples produced virtually a new kabalistic system.

Central to every version of the kabalah is the idea that there are two aspects to the divine nature. The theology of the kabalah is thus radical in two respects. On the one hand, the ultimate ground of being, God as he is in himself, known as Ein Sof (without end, limitless), is beyond all human comprehension. Going beyond the medieval thinkers, the kabalists do not permit even negative attributes to be used of Ein Sof. This aspect of deity is not even referred to in the Bible, except by an occasional, very obscure hint (e.g. Eccl. 3:11).

The Godhead in manifestation, on the other hand, is conceived of in dynamic terms, controlling the universe by means of ten powers, or potencies, known as the sefirot (numbers, divine emanations). Thus there is a sefira of judgment and another of mercy, the one male and active, the other female and passive. Moreover, the biblical idea of man and woman created in God's image means, for the kabalists, that the human person is a mirror of the sefirotic realm.

By a process of emanation the power of Ein Sof manifests itself in the sefirotic realm, whence it descends, in a great chain of being, throughout all the lower worlds. Human beings, at the end of the chain, can exert an influence on the worlds above. Every virtuous human deed or thought sends beneficent impulses on high to promote harmony among the sefirot and thus to render possible the flow of divine grace to all the worlds. Conversely, every vicious deed or thought sends baneful impulses on high, causing the flow of divine grace to be arrested. The Godhead is thus dependent, in a sense, on human conduct.

Furthermore, the kabalah contains the notion of a demonic side to existence known as the Sitra Achra (the other side) with its own sefirot, an unholy parody of the sacred realm. Although the kabalists never tire of stressing the complete unity between Ein Sof and the sefirot, and although they conceive of the Sitra Achra as ultimately controlled fully by God ('like a vicious dog at the end of a long leash'), the more traditional theologians considered the kabalah to have come dangerously close to dualistic heresy. Nevertheless, the kabalah eventually became theologically respectable in most Jewish circles, even to the extent that a denial of the kabalah was occasionally seen as heresy.

3.2. Hasidism

Hasidism has been described as mysticism for the masses. Its basic ideal is that of devekut, 'cleaving', that is, a perpetual being with God in the mind. In this respect Hasidism is somewhat averse to theological speculation, since such speculation is seen to be a hindrance to the devekut ideal. Some Hasidic masters, however, such as Shneur Zalman of Liady (1745-1813), did endeavor to develop a complete theological system based on the kabalah. For these thinkers the finite universe enjoys no ultimate existence at all. The cosmos is real only from the human point of view; from God's point of view, as it were, there is no universe, and there are no creatures to inhabit the universe. It is only because the divine energy is screened from human gaze that the universe and its creatures appear to have an independent existence. This acosmic theology is read into the word 'one' in the Shema. God is not only unique, as the medieval thinkers affirmed, but is the sole ultimate being, a doctrine that has been called panentheistic (i.e., all is in God). Traditional theologians took strong issue with Hasidic panentheism on the ground that it tends to obliterate the dividing line between God and his creatures, the infinite and the finite, the holy and the unholy, good and evil.
4. Modern Jewish Thought

4.1. Key Thinkers

With the beginnings of Jewish emancipation at the end of the 18th century and the emergence of the Jew into Western society, the main theological issues centered on the question of universalism and particularism in Judaism. The pioneer of the new thinking, Moses Mendelssohn (1729-1786), argued that although Judaism holds fast to the laws revealed at Sinai, the basic beliefs of religion - the existence of God and the immortality of the soul - were nevertheless universal truths to be apprehended by all through the use of unaided reason.

The tension between the particularism prevalent in the pre-emancipation period and the wider horizons that were opening up resulted in the emergence in Germany of the movement known as Reform Judaism. Theologians of reform like Abraham Geiger (1810-1874) and Samuel Holdheim (1806-1860) tried to distinguish the immutable central core, or essence, of normative Judaism - conceived in terms of the prophetic call to a life of justice, righteousness, and holiness - from the allegedly inessential rituals and practices that differ from age to age. Samson Raphael Hirsch (1808-1888) was the foremost exponent, in contrast, of a neo-orthodoxy in which the traditional practices were preserved intact but now were wedded to a 'Western' approach. In the words of Hirsch's famous slogan, the ideal for the Jew was to be an 'Israel-Mensch', that is, a full member of Western society appreciating the values of Western culture and, at the same time, intensely loyal to the mitzvot.

The advance of science and the challenges presented to the tradition by the new worldview that it brought resulted in the adoption by some modern Jewish theologians of naturalistic philosophies of religion in general and of Judaism in particular. The most determined Jewish naturalist was Mordecai M. Kaplan (1881-1983) who, in his very long life and many activities, reinterpreted the concept of God. God, for Kaplan and his disciples, is not a divine person but the power in the universe that makes for righteousness. Faith in God, on this view, means an attitude affirming that the universe is so constituted that righteousness will ultimately win out. Kaplan held, moreover, that such an attitude has always been that of Jewish believers, that - at least for the sophisticated - the term 'God' has been a kind of shorthand. Religious supernaturalists have had no difficulty in refuting this view.

Martin Buber (1878-1965), in contrast, stressed the personalistic aspects of religion. In Buber's 'I and Thou' philosophy we do not meet God by talking about him, as the medieval thinkers were wont to affirm, even when formulating their doctrine of negative attributes. God is to be encountered, rather, in dialogue, by the meeting of the Thou that is behind all particular thous.

Franz Rosenzweig (1886-1929), the other most famous Jewish religious existentialist (see his Star of Redemption), describes Judaism as based on the three ideas of creation, revelation, and redemption. For Rosenzweig the mitzvot are not to be seen as a kind of package either to be accepted in toto or to be discounted. On the contrary, each of the mitzvot should be accepted as significant only when it has awakened the urge for acceptance in the heart and mind of the believer; then it must be embraced wholeheartedly. Rosenzweig, in his approach to Christianity, was prepared to admit that non-Jews could come to God only through Jesus, but he held that Jews had no need of a Son to bring them to the Father, since, because of the Torah, they were already with the Father.

4.2. Issues

Specific events, movements, and issues of the 20th century caused Jewish theologians to re-evaluate and reinvigorate their theological traditions. These issues include especially the Holocaust, Zionism and the establishment of the State of Israel, Jewish feminism, ethical questions raised by technology and medical developments, the nature of Jewish law, and postmodern theologies.

4.2.1. The Nazi Holocaust has caused some contemporary Jewish theologians to reflect upon this frightful catastrophe using traditional terms like sin, guilt, punishment, and collective responsibility. Since the dead included many religious people and innocent children, most believers have been inclined to use the biblical metaphor of God's hiding his face during that time. Such a position leaves unsolved the tormenting problem why he was silent before immense, unjustified, and excruciating human suffering. Some have explored the idea that God is limited by given factors, a strain of Jewish theology developed in different ways by the classical rabbis and Maimonides. Still others have maintained that the Holocaust has shown once and for all that the idea of a personal God must be abandoned.

To regard the establishment of the State of Israel as divine compensation for the Holocaust is hardly a satisfying theodicy, for why should so many have to suffer in order to bring it about? Nevertheless, some religious Jews believe that the Holocaust provided the birth pangs that enabled the State of Israel to be born in what is now a partially realized eschatology.

Finally, most Jews return to themes in the Book of Job and in the Talmud, according to which human beings cannot fathom God's justice. They hold that we can and should question God about his role in the Holocaust, even castigating God, as Abraham did long ago, for his apparent injustice, but that nevertheless we must dedicate ourselves to the holy tasks of perpetuating and enhancing Judaism, preserving the Jewish people, and fixing the world through acts of kindness and social action. Some do so in terms of classical Jewish theology, discounting the problems that the Holocaust raises as insoluble; some maintain that we must believe in God and carry out his commandments, despite the problems of theodicy that the Holocaust raises, because the Holocaust and Stalin's Russia showed what avowedly secular regimes produce without God; and others, most notably Emil Fackenheim, claim that through the Holocaust God revealed a new commandment, beyond the 613 in the Torah, namely, 'that we not give Hitler a posthumous victory' by abandoning Judaism, as Hitler wanted us to do.

4.2.2. The establishment of the State of Israel has also been a major theme in modern Jewish theology. Already in the 19th century Moses Hess, Heinrich Graetz, Zvi Hirsch Kalischer, and Theodor Herzl advocated the re-establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine. They were followed in the early 20th century by Ahad Ha'am (the pen name of Asher Ginzberg), Judah Leib Gordon, Beryl Katznelson, and many others. The rationale for a Jewish effort to establish a new Jewish state differed among these various Zionist thinkers, as did the methodology proposed for doing so and the kind of state to be created. Still, these writers - theologians and non-theologians alike - all sought a Jewish state for political or cultural reasons.

Among religious thinkers, most Orthodox Jews opposed Zionism on the grounds that Jews needed to wait for God to send the Messiah to bring his people back to Israel and that any human effort along those lines would be a violating of God's will and thus destined to fail. Classical Reform thinkers in the 19th and early 20th centuries (e.g. Abraham Geiger, Isaac Meir Wise, Kaufman Kohler) also opposed Zionism, but for very different reasons. They maintained that Jews should not isolate themselves in any land; they should rather, in fulfillment of Mic. 5:7, spread themselves 'surrounded by many peoples [and] shall be like dew from the LORD'. Thus could they truly be 'a light to the nations' (Isa. 49:6) in modeling ethical monotheism. Moreover, for such Reform thinkers, nationalism of any sort was counterproductive; one should instead aim for universalism. This view was adopted as the official statement of the Reform position in the Pittsburgh Platform of 1885.

Other religious writers, though, found religious grounds for such a human effort as Zionism, beginning with Zvi Hirsch Kalischer in the 19th century and including in the 20th century such others as the Conservative rabbi Solomon Schechter, Mordecai Kaplan, and the Orthodox mystic Abraham Isaac Kook. As different as their general theologies and Zionist theories were, these religious writers drew on a long history of Jewish identification with the land of Israel, beginning with God's promise of the land to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and continuing through the ages in Jewish prayers recited several times each day asking God to return his presence and the Jews to the homeland.

Ultimately the secular and religious exponents of Zionism carried the day - so much so that the Reform movement has now established a Zionist party of its own. At the same time, thinkers in Israel and abroad are now facing the major theoretical problem inherent in Zionism - namely, how Israel can be both a democracy with legal guarantees of freedom of religion and a distinctly Jewish state.

4.2.3. The women's movement that began in earnest in the 1960s has had a noted effect on Jewish theology. Female images of God embedded in traditional texts - in particular, God as Presence (shekinah ) - have been explored, and Jewish feminist understandings of Jewish law and practice have been developed by such American thinkers as Judith Plaskow, Rachel Adler, Ellen Umansky, and Blu Greenberg.

In addition, the emerging equality of women in society generally has had an immense effect on Jewish life as well as Jewish thought. Beginning with Mordecai Kaplan's daughter in 1922, the first girl to have a Bat Mitzvah ceremony to mark Jewish adulthood, women have increasingly become part of Jewish liturgical life. Already at the beginning of the 20th century, virtually all Conservative and Reform synagogues had mixed seating (rather than men and women sitting in separated sections), and by the 1980s all Reform synagogues and more than 90 per cent of Conservative synagogues were fully egalitarian. In addition, girls and women have increasingly received the same levels of formal Jewish education as boys and men have, culminating in the ordination of women as rabbis in the Reform (1973) and Conservative (1985) movements.

4.2.4. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, new attention has been focused on Jewish ethics as technology has provided new powers with their attendant moral questions about when and how to use them. The theoretical problem of how to access the tradition to gain moral guidance from it has been given new attention in current times when significant numbers of Jews no longer presume that it can easily be determined what classical Jewish law says about such questions. Because much of the new technology was not even contemplated in times past, let alone dealt with, even those in the Orthodox and Conservative movements in Judaism who wish to rely on Jewish law must search for underlying concepts and values, since there are no immediately discernible precedents.

Modern Jewish ethicists often consider Jewish law, Jewish theological beliefs, and Jewish moral values in addition to socio-economic factors and the science of the day to determine what a reasonable reading of the Jewish tradition should be on any given issue. The various approaches to Judaism embodied in the theological stances of the several movements in modern Judaism have produced a lively discussion on specific contemporary issues such as stem cell research and privacy in Internet communications - often, surprisingly, with more agreement in the results than the diversity in assumptions and methodologies might lead one to expect.

4.2.5. Jewish law itself has undergone a thoroughgoing theological analysis in recent times. As Enlightenment ideas pervaded central and western Europe and America, Jews living in those lands no longer were forced by governmental officials to abide by Jewish law. Jews then needed either fresh rationales to abide by such law without enforcement or a new form of Judaism without law. Thinkers in each of the movements in American Judaism created such theologies of law to explain what parts of it to obey and why. In the process, the understanding of God's revelation of Jewish law at Mount Sinai in discreet Hebrew words, of which we have an accurate record in hand, became only one possible theory.

With strong roots in the thinking of Franz Rosenzweig and later Abraham Joshua Heschel, other thinkers (e.g., Robert Gordis, Ben Zion Bokser) see revelation as a process of inspiration by which God inspired and continues to inspire people to rule in certain ways. Yet other modern thinkers (Elliot Dorff, David Lieber) understand revelation as the product of human beings aspiring to discern what God is and what God wants of them. Finally, some (Harold Schulweis, Harold Kushner, Eugene Borowitz), following the lead of Mordecai Kaplan, understand the Torah to be totally a human product, albeit one that seeks to mark the religious moments of life.

4.2.6. In recent years, postmodern theologies of Judaism have also emerged. Abandoning the modern attempt to put religious experience into categories of reason or experience, postmodern theologians like Emanuel Levinas, Peter Ochs, and Laurie Zoloth seek rather to fad both God and the good through telling and reinterpreting stories of the tradition and new stories of the lives of contemporary Jews. In one oft-quoted passage in Mishnah Abot 5:25, Ben Bag Bag says of the Torah, 'Turn it over and turn it over again, for everything is in it.' All of these modern and postmodern Jewish theologies are the product of Jewish thinkers examining and reformulating Jewish concepts - sometimes in very new ways and sometimes in very old ways - to make them live in the present time.

Bibliography

Rabbinic and traditional theology
D. HARTMAN, A Living Covenant: The Innovative Spirit in Traditional Judaism (Woodstock, Vt., 1997)
N. LAMM, Faith and Doubt: Studies in Traditional Jewish Thought (New York, 1971)
E. LEVINAS, Nine Talmudic Readings (Bloomington, Ind., 1990)
G. F. MOORE, Judaism in the First Centuries of the Christian Era (3 vols. in 2; Peabody, Mass., 1997; orig. pub., 192730)
S. S. SCHECHTER, Aspects of Rabbinic Theology (New York, 1965; orig. pub., 1909)
G. SCHOLEM, Kabbalah (Jerusalem, 1974)
E. E. URBACH, The Sages: Their Concepts and Beliefs (2d ed.; Jerusalem, 1979).

Women's issues
S. GREENBERG, ed., The Ordination of Women as Rabbis: Studies and Responsa (New York, 1988)
P. NADELL, Women Who Would Be Rabbis: A History of Women's Ordination, 1889-1985 (Boston, 1998)
J. PLASKOW, Standing Again at Sinai: Judaism from a Feminist Perspective (San Francisco, 1990).

Other
E. BOROWITZ, Renewing the Covenant: A Theology for the Postmodern Jew (Philadelphia, 1991)
M. BUBER, I and Thou (New York, 1996; orig. pub., 1923)
E. N. DORFF, Conservative Judaism: Our Ancestors to Our Descendents (New York, 1996) idem, Knowing God: Jewish Journeys to the Unknowable (Northvale, N.J., 1992)
idem, Matters of Life and Death: A Jewish Approach to Modern Medical Ethics (Philadelphia, 1998)
idem, To Do the Right and the Good: A Jewish Approach to Modern Social Ethics (Philadelphia, 2002)
E. N. DORFF and L. E. NEWMAN, eds., Contemporary Jewish Ethics and Morality: A Reader (New York, 1995)
idem, eds., Contemporary Jewish Theology: A Reader (New York, 1999)
E. L. FACKENHEIM, God's Presence in History (New York, 1970)
N. GILLMAN, The Death of Death: Resurrection and Immortality in Jewish Thought (Woodstock, Vt., 1997)
idem, Sacred Fragments: Recovering Jewish Theology for the Modern Jew (Philadelphia, 1990)
A. GREEN, ed., Jewish Spirituality (2 vols.; New York, 1987)
L. JACOBS, The Book of Jewish Belief (New York, 1984)
idem, A Jewish Theology (London, 1973)
M. M. KAPLAN, Judaism as a Civilization: Toward a Reconstruction of American-Jewish Life (rev. ed.; New York, 1957; orig. pub., 1934)
K. KOHLER, Jewish Theology (New York, 1968)
E. LEVINAS, Difficult Freedom: Essays on Judaism (Baltimore, 1990)
F. ROSENZWEIG, The Star of Redemption (New York, 1971; orig. pub., 1921)
H. SCHULWEIS, For Those Who Can't Believe: Overcoming the Obstacles to Faith (New York, 1994)
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