Hear O Israel: The History of American Jewish Preaching, 1654-1970

Hear O Israel: The History of American Jewish Preaching, 1654-1970

Hear O Israel: The History of American Jewish Preaching, 1654-1970

Hear O Israel: The History of American Jewish Preaching, 1654-1970

Synopsis

"Hear O Israel" is the only examination of the history of American Jewish preaching, from the settlement of the first Jews in the United States until 1970.

Excerpt

This work constitutes the first comprehensive rhetorical examination of an entire group of significant American speakers: the American rabbinate. Consequently, it was written with the expectation that it might prove of interest and value to both scholars in the fields of speech communication and Judaic studies.

Moreover, it was written with the added expectation that it might prove instructive to individuals seeking information about a group of American clergy who have overcome unique obstacles in developing a meaningful preaching tradition. Such individuals might well be rabbis, clergy of all faiths, as well as laypersons.

Mindful of these two distinct scholarly audiences, as well this third broader audience, I have tried to write in a style that will prove accessible to all and provide a flavor of the preaching being discussed. To this end, I have also provided the reader with a glossary of both Hebrew and rhetorical terms.

A work such as this cannot possibly treat all preachers in the history of American Judaism, nor even all of the outstanding preachers in that history. I have therefore tried to focus on those key figures whose preaching best illustrates the evolution of American Jewish preaching from its inception to the present. No doubt some readers will feel that individual rabbis or sermons have been slighted. I apologize in advance for any such slights.

If this book serves as a comprehensive history of American Jewish preaching anywhere near as well as preaching has served the American Jewish community, and indeed the American community at large, it will have been well worth the effort.

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