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Finding God: Selected Responses [Paperback]

By Rabbi Rifat Sonsino (Author) & Daniel B. Syme (Author)
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Item description for Finding God: Selected Responses by Rabbi Rifat Sonsino & Daniel B. Syme...

What is God anyway?

First published in 1986, Finding God contained essays on significant Jewish thinkers, attempting to answer the questions looming above us all: What is God? Is there more than one way to perceive of God? How can we know God? What does God "want" from us? How does God relate to me?

As in the earlier edition of Finding God, the approaches to God found in biblical texts and in the prayerbook are explored, as are those of the classical and medieval rabbis. This latest edition of Finding God includes two new essays on the distinct theologies of Abraham Joshua Heschel and Alvin Reines, as well as a chapter on newer approaches, including those of Emil Fackenheim, Harold Schulweis, Marcia Falk, Lawrence Kushner, and Judith Plaskow. There is no one right way to view God for Jews, but with the help of this book readers will be better able to understand the multiple ways that Jews have continued to wrestle with the idea of God throughout history.
-- Revised edition
-- Three new chapters
-- A multiplicity of distinctively Jewish theological perspectives
-- Ideal for high school, adult education courses, and Introduction to Judaism
-- Free discussion guide available at

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Urj Press
Pages   186
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.9" Width: 6" Height: 0.6"
Weight:   0.7 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Dec 1, 2002
Publisher   Urj Press
Edition  Revised  
ISBN  0807407984  
ISBN13  9780807407981  

Availability  0 units.

More About Rabbi Rifat Sonsino & Daniel B. Syme

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Rifat Sonsino is rabbi emeritus of Temple Beth Shalom in Needham, Massachusetts, and adjunct professor of theology at Boston College.

Rifat Sonsino currently resides in Needham, in the state of Massachusetts. Rifat Sonsino was born in 1938.

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Product Categories

2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Judaism > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Judaism > Theology

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Reviews - What do customers think about Finding God: Selected Responses?

Finding God in a Jewish religious and perhaps not Jewish religious way  Feb 21, 2007
This book is a very clear exposition of various Jewish approaches to God.
It is written in a very understandable way, and provides basic principles rather than detailed commentary. It has chapters on 'God in the Bible' ' God in Rabbinic Literature' ' Philo's Spiritual Monotheism' 'The Neo- Aristotelianism of Maimonedes' ' The Pantheism of Spinoza' 'The Philosphy of Dialogue of Buber' 'The Limited Theism of Milton Steinberg' ' The Religious Naturalism of Kaplan' ' The Humanism of Erich Fromm'.
The broadness of the authors approach will however raise certain problems for traditional Jews. i.e. The pantheism of Spinoza is ordinarily considered a denial of the basic tenet of Judaism regarding the Creator being a Personal God. The religious naturalism of Kaplan speaks of a God- Idea but also is not based on the personal God concept. It is questionable whether the Humanism of Fromm is truly a religious approach.
This said there is no doubt that this work outlines in an accurate way all the positions included.
A Variety Of Meaningful Approaches To Age-Old Questions.  Oct 23, 2003
Questions about God have probably existed for as long as mankind has existed. Who is God? What is God? Does God exist? How does he fit into our lives? The authors of the newly revised "Finding God: Selected Responses," Rifat Sonsino and Daniel B. Syme, objectively present a variety of approaches to the profound questions about the divine being we call God. This very readable book offers a historical review of how theologians and philosophers have viewed God, over a period of thousands of years, without pushing a single approach, or suggesting that the reader believe anything at all. This is a wonderful resource book that I originally read for a class and have reread, and passed along to others, since then.

Jewish scholars have debated the nature of God for millennia. This short book packs a lot into each chapter as the authors present over a dozen views of Jewish thinkers and teachers, including those who transcribed, or wrote the Bible, the great Rabbis quoted in Rabbinic literature, Philo, Maimonides, Luria, Spinoza, Buber, Steinberg, Kaplan, Fromm, Heschel, and Alvin Reines.

The authors wrote in their Introduction: "This is a book about God. More specifically, it is a book about ways in which Jews have spoken of God through four thousand years of Jewish history. This book will not attempt to tell you what to believe as a Jew. Rather, it will present a spectrum of theological options that have been explored and affirmed by great Jewish thinkers, ancient and modern." The authors take care to point out that in the Jewish tradition, there is no one "correct" way to think of God. "Finding God" offers a solid foundation to begin the exploration of the concepts of God.

Rabbi Rifat Sonsino, rabbi of Temple Beth Shalom in Needham, MA, and Rabbi Daniel B. Syme, spiritual leader of Temple Beth El in Bloomfield Hills, MI, wrote, "If we make it possible for one Jew to reclaim his or her Jewish spiritual identity, if we help others to begin to talk about God without ambivalence or embarrassment, if we serve as a catalyst for further study of these and other Jewish thinkers, we will consider our work worthwhile." This is an extraordinary book, beautifully written, and is most worthwhile.


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