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Best Contemporary Jewish Writing [Hardcover]

By Michael Lerner (Editor)
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Item Number 147642  
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Item description for Best Contemporary Jewish Writing by Michael Lerner...

Edited by one of the world's best known Jewish leaders, this book collects the best poetry, fiction, and essays from the brightest international authors on Jewish culture, identity and spirituality. Includes contributions by Joseph Lieberman, William Safire, Phillip Roth, and Naomi Wolf.

Publishers Description
Jewish culture, identity, and spirituality through the eyes of the brightest and best authors
Best Contemporary Jewish Writing is a treasure trove of short stories, poetry, and essays from such renowned contributors as Naomi Wolf, U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman, William Safire, and Marge Piercy. Dive into this rich arrayof writing and you ll see that the Jewish experience reflects universal themes.
The writers in this collection have something to say to Jews, not only to those struggling with their Jewish identity, and also to the wider world. Whether your main interest is in poetry or politics, spirituality or cultural identity, social healing or individual transformation, you ll find Best Contemporary Jewish Writing to be a collection that inspires, excites, and provokes. It also reflects the diversity of thought, opinion, and sensibility of today s best known Jewish thinkers and writers.
This volume is the first in the much anticipated annual series "Best Jewish Writing."

Citations And Professional Reviews
Best Contemporary Jewish Writing by Michael Lerner has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Library Journal - 08/03/2001
  • Publishers Weekly - 08/13/2001 page 305
  • Library Journal - 08/01/2001 page 106

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Jossey-Bass
Pages   464
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.56" Width: 6.02" Height: 1.47"
Weight:   1.65 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Sep 7, 2001
Publisher   Jossey-Bass
ISBN  0787959723  
ISBN13  9780787959722  

Availability  75 units.
Availability accurate as of May 26, 2017 01:03.
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More About Michael Lerner

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Michael Lerner is the editor of TIKKUN magazine and rabbi of the neo-Hasidic Beyt Tikkun Jewish Renewal synagogue in San Francisco. His most recent book, Spirit Matters: Global Healing and the Wisdom of the Soul, was selected as "one of the most significant books of 2000" by the Los Angeles Times Book Review and won a PEN award. His previous writings include Jews and Blacks: Let the Healing Begin, a dialogue with Cornel West, and Jewish Renewal: A Path to Healing and Transformation (described by Conservative Judaism journal as "stunning, miraculous and faith-renewing"). Rabbi Lerner, designated by Utne Reader as one of America's 100 Most Important Visionaries, has been featured in the New York Times, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, U.S. News and World Report, and Newsweek. He holds Ph.D.s in philosophy and clinical psychology.

Michael Lerner currently resides in the state of California.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > United States > General
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > Collections & Readers
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Judaism > General
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Judaism

Reviews - What do customers think about Best Contemporary Jewish Writing?

Nothing diverse about these perspectives  Dec 11, 2006
If you like your Judaism to be the old left, self-hating variety then you'll love this collection of knee-jerk liberal dogma.
anything Michael Lerner compiles is a pile  Jun 17, 2006
Liat Weingart gave this book five stars, as "birds of a feather" agree on the "best" comtemporary Jewish writing. What is so shocking is that both of these people work long and hard to destroy the Jewish State, undermine their economy, and rally for a one state solution and it will not be Israel. For self loathing Jews, these stories are great. Zionsts, save your buck fifty (used) and buy a latte at Starbucks.
A Religious Outlook of Healing the World  Dec 25, 2001
Rabbi Michael Lerner, the editor of this collection, is the editor of the magazine Tikkun. This book is an anthology of essays written between 1994 and 2000 on a spectrum of Jewish themes and with a diversity of perspectives. In the introduction to the collection, titled, "Jewish Writing and Healing the World", Rabbi Lerner explains the basis for his choices and his understanding of the mission of Judaism as healing.

According to Rabbi Lerner:

"I have sought out writing that connects to or relfects the fundamental Jewish project of healing and transformation, both personal transformation (tikkun atzmia) and healing of the world (tikkun olam)-- understanding that this healing involves not only psychological or social change but also a search for ways to bring holiness into our personal lives and social institutions."

He gives a sweeping, and in my view rather partial, description of his vision of Judaism focused almost exclusively on the claims of social justice : "the social, political and economic order of society needs to be changed and can be changed".

The essays Rabbi Lerner has selected fulfill admirably has goal of explaining Judaism as social change. To his credit, however, the essays reflect something of an attempt to include diverse perspectives, not simply the standards of politically correct feminism, environmentalism and other causes which appear to reflect Rabbi Lerner's own understanding of the nature of changing the world.

The essays are divided into six sections dealing with Jewish identity, reclaiming Jewish Spiritual Life, Reading Jewish Sacred Texts, the Holocaust, Israel, and Jewish Culture. Each section includes essays, poems, and fiction some of which is insighful but some of which tempted me to stop reading the book.As a whole the essays are thoughtful and provocative and give a good idea of lively issues in contemprorary Jewish thinking. I would have liked to have heard more about Jewish spirituality and alternatives to traditionalism and less about feminism and ecology.

The essays that I found worthwhile include David Biale's discussion of the melting pot, Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, Arthur Green, Dennis Prager and Mordechai Gafni with their strikingly different perspectives on Jewish spirituality, Dahlia Ravikovitch's essay on Israel and the Diaspora in Jewish thought, and Roger Kamenetz on Jewish spirituality. I enjoyed many of the poems and other articles as well. I hadn't heard of Naomi Eve and liked the excerpt "Esther and Yochanan" from her novel.

An excellent feature of this book is Rabbi Lerner's list of "The One Hundred Best Contemproary Jewish Books" written since 1985. There is much of value in this list and it is a source for thought and for further reading for those interested in pursuing contemporary Jewish writing.

Rabbi Lerner says there will be a follow-up volume next year featuring Jewish writing from 2000-2001. I plan on reading it.

Absolutely Fabulous!  Nov 13, 2001
I love this book! I'm not an expert on Jewish writing, but this collection seems to have it all. Each chapter is short enough and interesting enough that I can read a couple a day. There's so much variety, too--no chance of getting bored!

I particularly like the poetry, which was great. Some of the poets I didn't know until I bought this book, so I'm grateful to Michael Lerner for introducing me to their work. Some of the contributors I was surprised to find in this book, like Marge Piercy. It was good to find out that she writes Jewish poems, too.

I'm planning on buying a couple of extra copies to give as Hanukkah presents this year. I think it's a great gift-who wouldn't want a wonderful book like this?

Towards Healing and Transformation  Nov 10, 2001
This new 2001 collection edited by Michael Lerner, "Best Contemporary Jewish Writing" projects a voice of emancipatory spirituality fused with the ancient Jewish culture and tradition. From cover to cover the reader explores the broader issues that confront Jewish people in changing and adapting to a modern world. What constitutes the identity of Jewish people today; what form of spirituality remains for Jews in a modern society; what do we make of the sacred text on which Judaism has forever drawn much wisdom? "Best Contempory Jewish Writing" seeks to answer the pressing question as to how Jews are to seperate the destruction and hardships of the past from the need to rebuild and transform the present. It is truly inspiring the way in which the best of Jewish writers been drawn together, each with their own creative urge and wealth of knowlege, to explore the struggles of the past and the spirit of the present- and to speak a new wisdom towards healing and transformation.

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