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Judaism Reading List: Conservative Judaism (Pt. V)
Section - Conservative Beliefs

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Top Document: Judaism Reading List: Conservative Judaism (Pt. V)
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          Astor, Carl. ...Who Makes People Different 1985. United
          Synagogue Bookservice. [This sourcebook discusses traditional
          sources about the disabled (Biblical, Midrashic, Rabbinic, and
          Halakhic) and examines modern views, theological implications
          and current programs.]
          Brown, Steven. Reclaiming Our Legacy. United Synagogue
          Bookservice. [Encourages the study of Talmud Torah by showing
          similarity with and differences from secular study.]
          Cytron, Barry and Schwartz, Earl. When Life Is In The Balance.
          United Synagogue Bookservice. [Designed to aid in the
          evaluation of alternatives in dealing with some of the most
          difficult decisions about living and dying. Issues such as
          abortion, suicide, and euthanasia are discussed with
          sensitivity in the context of Jewish tradition and the wisdom
          of other cultures.]
          Dorff, Elliot. Conservative Judaism: Our Ancestors to Our
          Descendants. Revised edition, 1996. USCJ, NY. [An authoritative
          sourcebook on the origins and philosophy of the Conservative
          Movement. Covers the development of Judaism from the time of
          the Torah to enlightenment, and discusses the theology and
          philosophy of the Jewish movements that developed in response
          to the modern age. Explains Conservative Judaism's philosophy
          on halakha, aggada, social issues and revelation.]
          Dorff, Elliott. Knowing God: Jewish Journeys to the Unknowable.
          ISBN: 1568219644, Jason Aronson Publishers, 1996. Paperback.
          ISBN 1-568219-64-4. [Contemporary Jews find meaning in
          Judaism's family and communal orientation, its rituals,
          culture, and moral values. However many do not understand the
          Jewish concept of God, and their belief in God rests on
          childhood Hebrew school images of the Allmighty. In response,
          Rabbi Dorff probes what we as adults can know about God through
          human reason, human and Divine words, and human and Divine
          action. Without assuming a background in philosophy, he takes
          us through some of the major philosophical options and
          conundrums in using each of these sources of knowledge about
          God, and the images of God that result. This results in a
          vibrant Jewish faith, one that takes due regard for both the
          emotional and intellectual sides of our being.]
          [6][Buy at Amazon:

          Dorff, Elliot. Matters of Life and Death: Jewish Bio-Ethics.
          Jewish Publication Society, 1998. Hardcover. ISBN
          0-827606-47-8. [Discusses modern medical ethical dilemmas from
          a Conservative Jewish point of view, which advocates adherence
          to traditional Judaism along with a modern understanding. In
          the book's first section, Dorff summarizes the beliefs
          underlying Jewish medical ethics. Dorff then addresses a number
          of issues,including: infertility, artificial insemination,
          genetic engineering, cloning, surrogate motherhood, and birth
          control. Also discusses living wills, hospice care, euthanasia,
          organ donation, autopsy and the distribution of health care.]
          [7][Buy at Amazon:

          Dorff, Elliott. This Is My Beloved, This Is My Friend: A
          Rabbinic Letter on Intimate Relations. Rabbinical Assembly.
          [This is the official pastoral letter from the RA to the laity
          of the Conservative movement, dealing with all areas of human
          Dorff, Elliot N. (ed); Newman, Louis E. (ed.) Contemporary
          Jewish Theology: A Reader. Oxford Univ Press; 1998. Paperback.
          ISBN 0-195114-67-1. [Conservative]
          [8][Buy at Amazon:

          Elazar, Daniel Judah; Geffen, Rela Mintz. The Conservative
          Movement in Judaism: Dilemmas and Opportunities (Suny Series in
          American Jewish Society in the 1990s). State Univ of New York
          Pr; 2000. Hardcover. ISBN 0-791446-89-1.
          [9][Buy at Amazon:

          Gillman, Neil. Sacred Fragments: Recovering Theology for the
          Modern Jew. Jewish Publication Society. 1990. Paperback, 1992.
          296 pp. ISBN 0-827604-03-3. [For those seeking answers to the
          most difficult questions about religion today: How do we know
          there is a God? How could God allow the Holocaust to happen?
          Why do we need ritual?]
          [10][Buy at Amazon:

          Gillman, Neil. The Death of Death: Resurrection and Immortality
          in Jewish Thought Jewish Lights Publishing. Hardcover, 1997,
          336 pages, ISBN 1-879045-61-3. Paperback, 2000, 336 pages, ISBN
          1-580230-81-4. [Offers an original and compelling argument that
          Judaism not only presents us with rich ideas on this subject -
          but delivers a deathblow to death itself. Combining scholarship
          with historical, theological and liturgical insights, Gillman
          outlines the evolution of Jewish thought about bodily
          resurrection and spiritual immortality. Beginning with the
          near-silence of the Bible on the afterlife, he traces the
          development of these two doctrines through Jewish history. He
          also describes why today, somewhat surprisingly, more
          contemporary Jewish scholars - including Gillman - have
          reaffirmed a notion of resurrection.]
          Hardback: [11][Buy at Amazon:

          ish] ; Paperback: [12][Buy at Amazon:

          Golinkin, Daniel. Halakhaha for Our Time: A Conservative
          Approach. United Synagogue Book Service; 1991, 1992. Paperback.
          ISBN 0-838131-13-1.
          [13][Buy at Amazon:

          Golinkin, David. An Index of Conservative Responsa and
          Practical Halakhic Studies, 1917-1990. New York NY: The
          Rabbinical Assembly. 1992.
          Gordis, Robert. Judaic Ethics for a Lawless World (Moreshet
          Series, Vol 12). Ktav Publishing House; 1986. Hardcover. ISBN
          0-873340-34-5. [An approach to contemporary problems based on
          Jewish ethics. Deals with the principles of natural law, and
          the dynamic world view of Judaism.]
          [14][Buy at Amazon:

          Gordis, Robert; Gelb, Max (ed). Understanding Conservative
          Judaism. Ktav Publishing House; 1978, 1979. Hardcover. ISBN
          [15][Buy at Amazon:

          Gutin, Jules. Rejoice With Jerusalem. 1984 revised edition.
          United Synagogue Bookservice. [This sourcebook combines a
          historical survey of Jerusalem over the ages with an
          examination of Jerusalem's meaning to modern Jewry, especially
          as to Conservative Jews.]
          Harlow, Jules. The Bond Of Life (A Book For Mourners). RA. [A
          guide for the mourner, including the hows and whys of mourning
          rituals, inspirational reflections, traditional sources, and an
          essay on the psychology of grief. Contains the complete
          Morning, Afternoon, and Evening prayer services, in Hebrew and
          English, for the house of mourning.]
          Harlow, Jules. Lessons from Our Living Past. Behrman House;
          1972. Paperback. ISBN 0-874410-85-1.
          [16][Buy at Amazon:

          Herberg, Will; Gillman, Neil (intro.). Judaism and Modern Man:
          An Interpretation of Jewish Religion (Jewish Lights Classic
          Reprint). Jewish Lights Pub; 1997. Paperback. Reprint edition.
          ISBN 1-879045-87-7.
          [17][Buy at Amazon:

          Heschel, Abraham. God in Search of Man: A Philosophy of
          Judaism. Harper Torchbook. 1966. Reprinted 1997, Noonday Press.
          464 pp. ISBN 0-374513-31-7. [The companion volume to "Man is
          not Alone", this book combines scholarship with reverence as
          Heschel elucidates the nature of religious thought. Section one
          discusses ways to God's Presence, and the legacy of wonder that
          religion gives. Section two deals with the idea of Revelation
          and prophetic inspiration, and discusses revelation as a
          process as opposed to an event. Section three discusses a Jew's
          response to the Jewish Religion; there is a study and rejection
          of the idea that mere faith (without law) alone is enough, and
          a cautioning against of those rabbis that add too many hedges
          to the law. Discusses the need to correlate ritual observance
          with sprituality and love, and the importance of kavanah
          (intention) when performing mitzvot.]
          [18][Buy at Amazon:

          Heschel, Abramham. Man Is Not Alone: A Philosophy of Religion
          Noonday Press, 1997. Paperback. 320 pages. ISBN 0-374513-28-7.
          [A profound work that reflects on how man can apprehend God and
          have an encounter with the ineffable, and the radical amazement
          that man experiences when experiencing the presence of the
          Divine. Themes include the problems of doubts and faith; What
          Judaism means by teaching that God is One; The essence of man
          and the problem of man's needs; The definition of religion in
          general, and of Judaism in specific, man's yearning for
          spirituality; Judaism as a pattern for life, and a study of
          [19][Buy at Amazon:

          Klein, Isaac. A Time to Be Born, A Time To Die. UCSJ. [A
          compilation of Jewish attitudes and practices regarding death.
          Deals with such issues as illness, euthanasia, and organ
          transplants. Includes readings for the bereaved family.]
          Kling, Simcha. The People and Its Land United Synagogue
          Bookservice. [Discusses the attachment of the Jewish people to
          the land of Israel. The book includes the Biblical, Rabbinic,
          pre-modern, and modern periods. Includes a special section
          about Zionism and the Conservative Movement.]
          Kling, Simcha; Perkins, Carl M. Embracing Judaism. The
          Rabbinical Assembly; 1999. Paperback. 2nd Revised Edition. ISBN
          [20][Buy at Amazon:

          Nadell, Pamela S. Conservative Judaism in America. Greenwood
          Publishing Group; 1988. Hardcover. ISBN 0-313242-05-4.
          [21][Buy at Amazon:

          Schecter, Solomon. Studies in Judaism: First Series. Jewish
          Publication Society, Philadelphia PA. 1896
          Schecter, Solomon. Studies in Judaism: Second Series. Jewish
          Publication Society, Philadelphia PA 1908.
          Schecter, Solomon. Studies in Judaism: Third Series. Jewish
          Publication Society, Philadelphia PA 1924.
          Schechter, Solomon; Finkelstein, Louis. Some Aspects of
          Rabbinic Theology. Schocken Books, New York. 1961. Jewish
          Lights Pub; 1999. Paperback. Reprint edition. ISBN
          1-879045-24-9. [With a New Introduction by Neil Gillman,
          Including the Original Preface of 1909 and the Introduction by
          Louis Finkelstein]
          [22][Buy at Amazon:

          Schechter, Solomon. Aspects of Rabbinic Theology: Major
          Concepts of the Talmud. Hendrickson Publishers, Inc; 1998.
          Paperback. ISBN 1-565632-88-5.
          [23][Buy at Amazon:

          Waxman, Mordechai (ed.). Tradition and Change - The Development
          of Conservative Judaism. The Burning Bush Press, New York
          (copyright 1958, Rabbinical Assembly of America). Library of
          Congress Card No. 54-8409 (No ISBN) [Contains many of the
          classic conservative responsa, including riding of Shabbat and
          electricity is not fire.]
          Wertheimer, Jack (ed). Jews in the Center: Conservative
          Synagogues and Their Members. Rutgers Univ Press; 2000.
          Hardcover. ISBN 0-813528-21-6. [This book seeks to understand
          how synagogues function as congregations and to what extent
          they allow individual expression. By focusing on a mainstream
          population, this book sheds light on religiously active people
          who generally receive scant attention: those in the center, who
          neither retreat from society nor blur the boundaries between
          their religion and modern American culture.]
          [24][Buy at Amazon:

          Zemer, Moshe. Evolving Halakhah: A Progressive Approach to
          Traditional Jewish Law. Jewish Lights Pub; 1999. Hardcover.
          ISBN 1-580230-02-4.
          [25][Buy at Amazon:

          Golinkin, David (ed.) The Responsa of Prof. Louis Ginzberg.
          JTSA, NY. ISBN 965-456-021-6. [A collection of one hundred
          responsa by Louis Ginzberg z"l, noted scholar and longtime JTS
          professor of Talmud. This volume contains previously published
          responsa, as well as many more unknown and unpublished
          responsa, dealing with a wide array of topics including
          euthanasia, burial practices, artificial insemination,
          conversion, the mehitza and the use of grape juice during
          Prohibition. Also included are Professor Ginzberg's forceful
          responses to anti-Semites such as Pranaitis, the "expert"
          witness at the Beiliss trial in Kiev in 1913. The book serves
          as a unique window into the history and development of
          Conservative halakha, and into American Jewish history from
          1913 to 1953.]
          Golinkin, David (ed.) Responsa of the Va'ad Halakhah of the
          Rabbinical Assembly of Israel. Available direct from the
          Masorti movement. Published by the Masorti Movement, Jerusalem,
          Israel. [26] [A
          series of five paperback collections of official teshuvot from
          the law committee of the Masorti movement, which is authorized
          by the RA to have the same authoritiy as the CJLS. The full
          text of all responsa are presented in Hebrew, along with 2 to 4
          page English summaries of each. (Volume 1 is in Hebrew only).]
          Rabbincal Assembly. Proceedings Of The Committee On Jewish Law
          And Standards - Volume 1: 1980-1985. RA Committee on Jewish Law
          and Standards. ISBN 0-916219-07-0. [Presents responsa in
          sixteen areas of Jewish Law, including Abortion, Brit Milah,
          Conversion, Intermarriage, Passover, Shabbat, and the Status of
          Women. Its 300 pages contain more than forty responsa prepared
          for and adopted by the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards.]
          Proceedings Of The Committee On Jewish Law And Standards -
          1927-1970. 3 volume set. Rabbinical Assembly and the Institute
          for Applied Halakha, Jerusalem, 1997. [This set contains many
          studies and responsa (teshuvot) from the Conservative movement
          from 1927 to 1970. Most of the responsa and articles in this
          set were previously published in either the annual "Proceedings
          of the Rabbinical Assembly", the journal "Conservative
          Judaism", and similar venues, all of which unfortunately had an
          extremely limited distribution, and have not been readily
          available. With this publication these responsa are now readily
          available to all.]
   Other works to look at include Emet Ve-Emunah and books by
   Conservative authors such as Dorff, Gillman, Steinberg, and Wolpe,
   cited elsewhere in this list.

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