s modern Judaism facing an identity crisis? One would think so from reading "We Jews: Who Are We and What Should We Do?" by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz. This provocative work, which Steinsaltz calls "a private, intimate conversation within the Jewish family," looks to bring out into the open "the issues and subjects that are rarely raised in a straightforward [manner]." Included are controversial topics such as "Are We a Nation or a Religion?"; "Do We Have Our Own Set of Character Traits?"; "Is Money Our God?"; and "Are We Excessively Warm or Excessively Cold?"
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.