Reviews

Books

Kickstarter Judaism: A Book Review of Celebrating Brit Shalom

Welcome to Kickstarter Judaism, where committed, textually savvy Jews make an end-run around the institutions that have failed them and take back their tradition.
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Books

The Disfigured Self: What Hannah Arendt Got Right

The great question that lurks at the heart of all Holocaust study, it seems to me, is the question of the self: What would I have done if I had been there? Arendt is unique in making that question present for us, and while Strangneth professes to be in dialogue with Arendt’s book, she does not wrestle with its argument in more than a superficial way.
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Books

A Godless Jewish Humanist

Fromm’s quest was to free the cultivation of spirituality and ethics from their theistic, authoritative moorings in the Hebrew Bible and forge them—with elements of Hasidic mystical relatedness and themes from Marxism, Christianity, and Buddhism—into a new ethical humanism.
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Reviews

On Violence, Joy, and Justice: The Poetry of C.K. Williams

All at Once Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2014 by C.K. Williams Writers Writing Dying Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2012 by C.K. Williams On Whitman Princeton University Press, 2010 by C.K. Williams In his preface to On Whitman, C. K. Williams …
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Reviews

Spiritual Progressive Faith Formation

Sounding the Trumpet: How Churches Can Answer God’s Call to Justice by Brooks Berndt and J. Alfred Smith Sr. A Pair of Docs Publishing, 2013 For forty years, J. Alfred Smith Sr. served as the senior pastor for the Allen …
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Books

A Wrenching Look at Alzheimer’s

In her book, Slow Dancing with a Stranger, Comer details her excruciating journey through the maze of Alzheimer’s, an unforgiving disease. Through this book, she is changing the conversation from acceptance of what is to demanding what should be.
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Reviews

Can a Spiritual Outlook Regenerate Our Social Institutions?

Another Way of Seeing: Essays on Transforming Law, Politics, and Culture by Peter Gabel. Review by Kim Chernin.

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Books

Peter Gabel Responds

While I appreciate these serious, thoughtful responses to my book by Roger Gottlieb and Kim Chernin, I do not quite see myself reflected in their respective descriptions of the role of spirit (Gottlieb), or the role of hope (Chernin). My …
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Reviews

Visionary Hope

Another Way of Seeing: Essays on Transforming Law, Politics, and Culture by Peter Gabel
Review by Roger S. Gottlieb

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Culture

Ready and Rising: A Review of Sariyah Idan’s New Album

It seems like every summer there’s an album that comes along and rocks my world. When I first listened to this album in my car during my morning commute, the fierce lyrics and smooth rhythm on Deeper at once captivated me.
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Books

Beyond the Narrow Straits of Memory

We must face stories of suffering children, as well as the stories of suffering that we tell to children, in order to understand the religious tropes at work in American culture…. By facing our wounds across boundaries, we can struggle toward the blueprints of rebuilding our memoryscape.
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Books

To Deserve Such Pain

During his lifetime, Leonid Tsypkin, who survived Hitler and Stalin only to face the sterility to post-war Soviet life, was forced to write “for the drawer.” Discovered by today’s audience, his style, which blurs the background while simultaneously capturing the specific, has special resonance in an age of near-total surveillance.
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Books

A Painful Past Remembered from Within: Frederic Tubach’s Book on the German Experience During the Third Reich

At once a crash course in the history of Nazi Germany and a weaving together of non-Jewish Germans’ personal recollections, German Voices conveys a sense of what life was like for the average person living under Hitler. While acknowledging that no amount of understanding or empathy can heal the generational wounds of the Holocaust, Tubach nevertheless brings an identifiable human dimension to a period of history that is often dismissed as too horrific to comprehend.
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Books

Dream-Wizardry: A Collaboration Between Rodger Kamenetz and Michael Hafftka

Jacob and Joseph begat Freud who begat Jung, who begat the poet Rodger Kamenetz and the visual artist Michael Hafftka. Their collaborative wizardry, published in the book To Die Next To You, is stunning. The poems and drawings (always paired) create vivid, waking dreams on psychological and spiritual subjects—dreams that are as resistant and open to interpretation as Pharaoh’s.
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Books

Faith and the Metaphor Muscle

To grapple well with the big challenges of our times, Hering says, we need to reclaim the language of myth, metaphor, and imagination.
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