Shofar

Founded in 1925, Shofar is a quarterly Jewish youth newspaper published by B'nai B'rith Youth Organization in Washington, D.C. Its subject matter covers youth and Jewish interests.

Articles from Vol. 26, No. 1, Fall

Abraham Joshua Heschel and the Declaration Dabru Emet
Heschel's ground-breaking lecture "No Religion Is an Island" of 1965 contains almost all the ideas that are offered in the unprecedented Jewish declaration on Christianity "Dabru emet" of 2000, written by four authors and signed first by over 160, and...
Citizen Spielberg
Citizen Spielberg, by Lester D. Friedman. Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 2006. 361 pp. $24.95.Film scholar Lester Friedman is best known in the field of Jewish studies for his books on Jewish characters in Hollywood movies and Jewish directors...
Editor's Introduction
A religious man is a person who holds God and man in one thought at one time, at all times, who suffers in himself harm done to others, whose greatest passion is compassion, whose greatest strength is love and defiance of despair.1Rabbi Abraham Joshua...
Expulsion-England's Jewish Solution
Expulsion-England's Jewish Solution, by Richard Huscroft. Stroud, UK: Tempus Publishing Ltd., 2006. 191pp. $29.95.This is a very readable book long overdue as an up-to-date account of the history of the medieval Jews in England. It covers the entire...
God in Search of Man: A Philosophy of Judaism
God in Search of Man: A Philosophy of Judaism, by Abraham Joshua Heschel. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1955.Books are alike only in that they contain writings bound in some fashion, usually nowadays in hard or soft cover. Beyond that, they come...
God's Omnipotence and Presence in Abraham Joshua Heschel's Philosophy
In this essay I will address Heschel's reflections on the presence and the power of God, as they appear in his different writings: in his poems, his articles and his books. It was Heschel's belief that a man's works are "windows allowing us to view the...
Her Body Knows
Her Body Knows, by David Grossman. Two novellas translated from the Hebrew by Jessica Cohen. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005. 264 pp. $25.00.In this garland of two novellas, Frenzy and the title fiction, Her Body Knows, David Grossman, the...
Heschel on Israel
This paper attempts to present Heschel's thoughts on the land of Israel and the city of Jerusalem, examining the demands and goals that he set for himself and the Jewish people as a result of the Six-Day War, observing how well Israel has lived up to...
I Am What I Do: Abraham Joshua Heschel Seen from Two Perspectives: Secular Jewish and Christian
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;Selves-goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,Crying What I do is me: for that I came.from "As Kingfishers Catch Fire" by Gerard Manley HopkinsA Secular Jewish...
In Search of Heschel
This overview of commentary and scholarship on the life and thought of Abraham Joshua Heschel presents different aspects of Heschel reflected in the rapidly burgeoning literature on his work and personality. Eight dimensions of Heschel, prisms through...
Israel: An Echo of Eternity
Israel: An Echo of Eternity, by Abraham Joshua Heschel. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1967.Abraham Joshua Heschel's The Sabbath is a classic in religious literature, weaving together theology, philosophy, biblical commentary, rabbinic storytelling, and...
Kotsk: In Gerangel Far Emesdikeit
Kotsk: In Gerangel far Emesdikeit, by Abraham Joshua Heschel. Tel Aviv: Ha-Menorah, 1973.2 vols.The last two books completed by Abraham Joshua Heschel and published posthumously were about R. Menahem Mendel of Kotsk (1787-1859), one of the most challenging...
Maimonides: A Biography
Maimonides: A Biography, by Abraham Joshua Heschel, translated by J. Neugroschel. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1982.Abraham Joshua Heschel wrote this biography of Maimonides in German when he was a young man of only twenty-eight, the first major...
Man Is Not Alone: A Philosophy of Religion
Man Is Not Alone: A Philosophy of Religion, by Abraham Joshua Heschel. New York: Farrar, Straus and Young, 1951.I was earning a Ph.D. in French literature, with a specialty in poetry, when I first read Man Is Not Alone. Enthralled by the intensity of...
Man's Quest for God: Studies in Prayer and Symbolism
Man's Quest for God: Studies in Prayer and Symbolism, by Abraham Joshua Heschel. New York: Charles Scribners Sons, 1954.Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel had a universal message important for Christians as well as Jews. Inspired by the example of the biblical...
Melech Ravitch's Two Encounters with Abraham Joshua Heschel
Melech Ravitch (1893-1976),1 an important Yiddish poet and essayist, was the author of Meyn Leksikon2 a three-volume collection of brief essays or sketches of Yiddish authors, actors, and cultural activists. Abraham Joshua Heschel was the subject of...
Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays
Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays, by Abraham Joshua Heschel, edited by Susannah Heschel. New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1996.Susannah Heschel's edited collection of forty short essays and two interviews spanning the full range of A. J....
No Religion Is an Island: Following the Trail Blazer
Through a rereading of Heschel's essay "No Religion Is an Island," I will highlight his conceptual and methodological contribution, as well as address the issue of Heschel's legacy and how it continues to challenge us. As one who follows in Heschel's...
Prayers of Jewish Women: Studies of Patterns of Prayer in the Second Temple Period
Prayers of Jewish Women: Studies of Patterns of Prayer in the Second Temple Period, by Markus McDowell. Tubingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2006. 277 pp. euro54.00.This book is an elaborated Ph.D. dissertation submitted at Fuller Theological Seminary, and its main...
Remaking Israeli Judaism: The Challenge of Shas
Remaking Israeli Judaism: The Challenge of Shas, by David Lehmann and Batia Siebzehner. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. 289 pp. $65.00.The growing research literature on the Israeli Shas phenomenon has been moving over the years from a predominantly...
The Circle of the Baal Shem Tov: Studies in Hasidism
The Circle of the Baal Shem Tov: Studies in Hasidism, by Abraham Joshua Heschel, edited by Samuel H. Dresner. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985.It is an exceptional honor to write a review of the book by my teacher, my master, Rabbi Abraham...
The Earth Is the Lord's/A Passion for Truth
The Earth is the Lord's, by Abraham Joshua Heschel. New York: Henry Schuman, 1950.A Passion for Truth, by Abraham Joshua Heschel. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1973.During the late 1960s, when "Holocaust theology" was the rage, Heschel was criticized...
The Ineffable Name of God: Man: Poems
The Ineffable Name of God: Man: Poems, by Abraham Joshua Heschel, translated from the Yiddish by Morton M. Leifman, introduction by Edward K. Kaplan. New York and London: Continuum: 2004.In his autobiographical novel Ven Yash iz geforn (1938), Jacob...
The Insecurity of Freedom
The Insecurity of Freedom, by Abraham Joshua Heschel. Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1966."It is the beginning of wisdom to be amazed at the fact of our being free." (p. 18)Freedom appears in much of contemporary public discourse...
The Jews of Bohemia & Moravia: Facing the Holocaust
The Jews of Bohemia & Moravia: Facing the Holocaust, by Livia Rothkirchen. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press and Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 2005.447 pp. $39.95.Livia Rothkirchen in the present publication takes up the task of describing the history...
The Meaning of Suffering in the Thought of Abraham Joshua Heschel
This essay is dedicated, with gratitude, to the memory of A. J. Heschel, whose work has inspired both my religious vocation and my academic work, on the centenary of his birth.In this essay I will first consider the mystery of evil from the perspective...
The Prophets
The Prophets, by Abraham Joshua Heschel. New York and Evanston: Harper and Row, and Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1962.As I worked my way afresh through The Prophets I realized again why this was such a popular textbook in...
The Sabbath
The Sabbath, by Abraham Joshua Heschel. New York: Farrar, Straus and Young, 1951).The Sabbath is likely Abraham Joshua Heschel's most widely-read book. Widely translated, it merited a second translation into a resonant Hebrew. It achieved fame when published...
The Theological Foundations of Rabbinic Midrash
The Theological Foundations of Rabbinic Midrash, by Jacob Neusner. Studies in Judaism. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2006. 342 pp. $44.00.In order to analyze the theological foundations of Rabbinic Midrash Jacob Neusner utilizes the concept...
To Heal a Fractured World: The Ethics of Responsibility
To Heal a Fractured World: The Ethics of Responsibility, by Jonathan Sacks. New York: Schocken, 2006. 280 pp. $25.00.Sir Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of Great Britain, is the leading spokesperson today of what can be called Orthodox universalism. Judaic...
Torah Min Hashamayim BA-Aspaklaria Shel Hadorot (Theology of Ancient Judaism)/Heavenly Torah as Refracted through the Generations
Torah min Hashamayim Ba-aspaklaria shel Hadorot (Theology of Ancient Judaism) [Hebrew], by Abraham Joshua Heschel. 3 vols. Vols. 1-2, London: Soncino Press, 1962-65; vol. 3, New York: Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1995.English Translation:...
Troubling the Waters: Black-Jewish Relations in the American Century
Troubling the Waters: Black-Jewish Relations in the American Century, by Cheryl Lynn Greenberg. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006. 351 pp. $29.95.There is no single dramatic revelation in Cheryl Lynn Greenberg's effective if flawed Troubling...
Using and Abusing the Holocaust
Using and Abusing the Holocaust, by Lawrence Langer. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006. 65 pp. $29.95.As the capstone of a New York afternoon many years ago I spent several hours digging around the dusty second-hand Jewish Studies shelves of...
Who Is Man?
Who Is Man? by Abraham J. Heschel. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1965.Like all of Heschel's books but in a more concentrated and explicitly philosophical way, Who Is Man? is an eloquent defense of the transcendent dignity of being human-a...