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Jews: The Essence and Character of a People [Paperback]

By Arthur Hertzberg (Author)
Our Price $ 14.41  
Retail Value $ 16.95  
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Item Number 161464  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   320
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8" Width: 5.3" Height: 0.8"
Weight:   0.6 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 1, 1999
Publisher   HarperOne
ISBN  0060638354  
EAN  9780060638351  
UPC  099455016001  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Outline ReviewJews is an earnest, disciplined attempt to do what has often been done recklessly, poorly, and even hatefully--to describe the things all Jews have in common. Arthur Hertzberg and Aron Hirt-Manheimer profile prominent Jews from Abraham to Woody Allen, discerning in their stories the essential Jewish qualities of "the chosen, the factious, and the outsider," and considering how these characteristics can help Jews rebuild their communities at the end of the 20th century. This book doesn't back down from any of the hard questions that Jews and gentiles ask about the Hebrew people: Do Jews contribute to anti-Semitism? Why do so many Jews marry gentiles? Why do some Jews think constantly of the Holocaust, and why do some ignore it? The answers Jews gives are rarely predictable and always provocative, and they're of lasting usefulness for all the children of Abraham. --Michael Joseph Gross

Product Description
In this landmark work, Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg, vice president emeritus of the World Jewish Congress, and Aron Hirt-Manheimer, editor of Reform Judaism Magazine, answer the question: What makes a Jew a Jew? These prominent Jewish scholars search for the soul of the Jewish character-from the archetype of Abraham and Sarah to the ambivalence of Kafka, Freud, and Woody Allen. They delve beyond conventional discussions of Jewish identity and explore the very essence of Jewish existence. Highly regarded, Jews explains how and why great Jewish figures throughout history, who have been victimized by anti-Semitism, have succeeded to rise again and endure.

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More About Arthur Hertzberg

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg, author of The Zionist Idea, Jewish Polemics, The Jews in America, Jews, and A Jew in America, is the Bronfman Visiting Professor of Humanities at New York University and Professor Emeritus of Religion at Dartmouth. A world-renowned Jewish scholar, he has served as president of the American Jewish Policy Foundation and the American Jewish Congress and as vice-president of the World Jewish Congress.

Arthur Hertzberg currently resides in Englewood, in the state of New Jersey.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
One of the best books on the Jewish condition written  Aug 7, 1998
Sadly, Arthur Hertzberg is nearing the end of a distinguished career. There are few like him anymore. Jews: The Essence and Character of a People helps us understand why people react to Hertzberg in the way they do. This eye-opening books is his magnum opus. An understanding of Jews and the Jewish people that comes from a lifetime's work is presented here in a way that cannot help but get people to think and, most important, to react.

Thanks also to Aron Hirt-Manheimer, whose skillful editing and probing questions brought out the best in Arthur Hertzberg. Bravo to both of them!

As a Jew by choice, "Jews" helped me understand my journey.  Jul 30, 1998
In a talk I gave after my conversion to Judaism, I said I feel like I am a Jew born in a goy's body. Beyond that, it was difficult for me to understand exactly why I converted from Christian fundamentalism to Judaism, much less try to explain it to someone else. "Jews" has helped me to understand my own journey because it gets into the very essence of Judaism. It points out clearly how and why Jews are different. This difference goes all the way back to Abraham. It continues today. I'm sure all Jews won't agree with the aspects of being chosen, factious, and other, but it sums up my own Jewishness. I'm glad the authors took the time to write this important book.
"Jews" is an appetiser to a journey of further Jewish study.  Jul 16, 1998
An extremely enjoyable thought provoking book. Once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down until I was finished. This book acts as a "Forschpice", an appetiser to futher learning. It let's you in the door. It introduces the reader to ideas and concepts, people and heroes throughout Jewish history.

No book can condense Jewish history, ideas and culture into a mere 300 pages, and this book does not pretend to do so. What "Jews, the essence and character of a people", does do is introduce the reader to the Jewish concepts of: "choseness", "outsider" and "factionalism" and how various persona in the Jewish history have played their role within these concepts.

For instance, no one can condense Spinoza to a mere 3-5 pages and think that they've told you all there is to know about Spinoza. What "Jews" does do is introduce the reader to Spinoza, makes one think about Spinoza, where did he fit in th! ! e "Jewish Character". And others. It is the reader's responsibility to continue the journey through further readings and study.

After years of study, whether in Yeshiva or the University, or lifelong readings of Jewish history, philosophy and religion this book has shown me in a wonderful way that there is still much more to learn and much more to do.


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