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Commentary, the seminal neoconservative magazine, has donated its archives to the University of Texas at Austin.
This season, several new haggadahs raise new questions. New interpretations bring new approaches to the seder, enabling readers and participants to bring new layers of meaning to their own celebrations of the holiday.
As Cantor Sarah J. Sager began her research, she found there were many people -- both women and men -- who were thinking about the silence of women in the Jewish tradition, and working to create "a sense of women's presence at the most important moments of our history and in our most sacred text," Sager later wrote. But there was no one place to find all that commentary. Fifteen years later, the WRJ is publishing "The Torah: A Women's Commentary," edited by Tamara Cohn Eskenazi, a professor at the Los Angeles branch of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.
The Reform movement will soon publish a commentary on the Torah that gives the woman's perspective. "The Torah: A Women's Commentary," a project of Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ), the movement's women's division, is a collaboration of 80 biblical scholars, archaeologists, rabbis, cantors, theologians and poets from across the religious spectrum -- all of them women who came together to present a new perspective on the Bible.
Having celebrated Shabbat around the world, Elie Wiesel conveyed the novelty of Sinai's Friday Night Live service, which invites singles to stick around for socializing.
Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz has written more than 60 books on Jewish spirituality, but he is most famous for his translation and commentary of the Babylonian Talmud, which made the complicated text accessible to millions of otherwise ignorant Jews.
Recently, Steinsaltz turned his attention to the classic work of Chabad Chasidism -- "The Tanya," first published in 1797 by Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, the founder of Chabad. In "Opening the Tanya: Discovering the Moral and Mystical Teachings of a Classic Work of Kabbalah" (Wiley, 2003) Steinsaltz translates and comments on the text and explicates the Tanya's philosophical and spiritual messages.
"The ideals that form the moral compass of Western civilization, the belief that every human being has value, the belief that no one is above the law, the belief that how each of us treats our fellow human beings matters -- these were all the gifts of the Jews."
At first glance, the title of Esther Jungreis' new book, "The Committed Marriage," seems a bit redundant. After all, isn't commitment
the whole point of getting married?
Leaders of Conservative Judaism have argued from their pulpits for more than 50 years that the Torah is a divinely inspired document that evolved over centuries, rather than the product of a single encounter with God at Mount Sinai. Starting this month, their congregants will finally be able to follow along in the pews with a Conservative Bible commentary that says the same thing.