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The Shema: Spirituality and Law in Judaism [Paperback]

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Item Number 135934  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   222
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9" Width: 6" Height: 0.51"
Weight:   0.85 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 1, 2000
Publisher   Jewish Publication Society of America
ISBN  082760713X  
EAN  9780827607132  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...

"The Shema" is the central prayer of the Jewish faith. Jews utter this single sentence, affirming God's unity as their final words before dying, as well as at the beginning and ending of each day. Using the Shema as his focus, Lamm, prominent Orthodox scholar and long-time president of Yeshiva University, explores the relationship between spirituality and law in Judaism.

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More About Norman Lamm

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Norman Lamm is president of Yeshiva University and Jakob and Erna Michael Professor of Jewish Philosophy at Yeshiva University, the author of many volumes, including the award winning. Torah Lishmah: Torah for Torah's Sake in the Works of Rabbi Hayyim of Volozhin and His Contemporaries, and Faith and Doubt. Studies in Traditional Jewish Thought.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
This will help you pray in a better way   Oct 12, 2004
Rabbi Lamm is a deep thinker. And he deepens the reader's understanding of 'The Shema' .He helped me understand why we make use of two different names of G-d,why we use the language of singular and plural in the Shema. My belief is that anyone who reads this book will learn from it not only deeper meanings of the 'Shema ' but how to pray this basic prayer of Judaism in a more meaningful way.
a unique little book   Jul 25, 2004
. . . in which Lamm goes line by line through the Shema, pointing out how various commentators have addressed each line over the centuries.

Lamm devotes the most space to the first sentence of the Shema (Hear O Israel, the Lord is God, the Lord is One), and to the Shema's requirement that we love God. As to the former, Lamm points out the difference between the two names of God referenced in the Shema: one represents the impersonal, universal God as seen in Nature while the other represents God as experienced in History, that is, the God who relates to Israel specifically and who is part of everything. Other interpretations of this phrase include a eschatalogical interpretation (that today God is One to Jews, but at the end of history all humans will see God as One), kabbalistic interpretations (some suggesting that nothing really exists outside God, but that God wills humans to act as if the world was real, others asserting that the Shema is an acknowledgement that awareness of the Creator's unity makes our lives less chaotic).

As to the concept of loving God, Lamm discusses Maimonides' interpretation of this verse (asserting that we learn to love God by contemplating creation and through studying Torah), Samuel David Luzzatto's definition of love as obeying divine commandments, the views of the Maharal (who asserts that we love God by recognizing that we owe our existence to God, and by honoring Torah scholars who study divine precepts), and other commentators' complex analysis of different types of love.

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