A critical examination of God's destiny for the Jewish people, and the greater role that divine purpose plays in shaping our world.
Rosh Hashanah is just one of two surviving Jewish new years from antiquity, the other being the month in which Passover falls. The two are exactly six months apart, proper symbolism of the age-old Jewish struggle to balance two contrasting principles: universalism and particularism. Passover's central theme is the particularistic tale of the Jewish People released from servitude in Egypt to fulfill its historic destiny. The message of Rosh Hashanah, by contrast, is the universalistic definition of that destiny, the role that every Jew must play simply by virtue of being human, and the role of Judaism in helping Jews play that role with proper passion and commitment.
This interweaving of a universalistic purpose to Israel's mission along with the particularistic affirmation that Israel has such a mission in the first place occurs throughout the High Holy Day liturgy, particularly in the prayers represented in this fifth volume in the Prayers of Awe series. The title, All the World, derives from a famous translation of an early medieval poem that is part of the new year liturgy. It is juxtaposed to other prayers of a universalistic nature, particularly Uv'khen, literally, "And therefore," a regular addition to the central Jewish prayer, the Amidah. "And therefore" launches the ultimate Jewish question: What's the point of it all, which is to say, "And therefore, what?" It combines the particularistic concern for Israel as a People called by God with the universalistic proclamation that Israel is called for universal ends.
ll The World assembles some forty contributors, men and women from all Jewish denominations and from around the worldscholars, rabbis, artists and thinkers from Canada, France, Germany, Israel, the UK and USAto launch the crucial discussion of what the High Holy Days have to say about universalism and particularism in Judaism.
About the Author
Table of Contents
Introduction: Why The JGuy's Guide ? vPlanning a Lesson vii
CourageI might be braver than I think. 1FrenemiesI like my friends, but not always what they do. 5True to MyselfSometimes things bother me, but I am not comfortable speaking up. 9One Day Son, This Will All Be YoursI love my parent(s), but adults can be clueless. 13God ... Really?I am not sure I believe in God because the world is pretty messed up. 20The Torah of EverythingNow that I think about it, that's amazing! 24Enough AlreadyWhy am I so stressed out? 30Falling in Lust, Falling in LoveI can't help thinking about sex, but I don’t know what’s right for me. 35Not on My WatchDoes what I do actually matter? 40Looking Inside at the Man I Want to BeBeginning with myself. 44
Additional Resources 49