Resurrecting Hebrew - Ilan Stavans

Resurrecting Hebrew ($21) is the story of how Eliezer Ben-Yehuda’s efforts to rescue a dead language, Hebrew, and restore it as a spoken language, were central to the Zionist effort. Ilan Stavans shows how the tensions between the Diaspora and Israel play out in the arena of language. Stavans recalls his personal journey as well as offering a compact history of modern Hebrew.

Resurrecting Hebrew (Jewish Encounters Series) By Ilan Stavans Cover Image
ISBN: 9780805242317
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Schocken - September 16th, 2008

Benjamin Disraeli - Adam Kirsch

Benjamin Disraeli ($21), by Adam Kirsch, is a lively biography of the great British statesman who personified a 19th-century England that was increasingly open to Jews. Kirsch writes about Disraeli’s ambition, his views, and his accomplishments against the background of Disraeli’s own conflicts about his Jewish identity. Of interest to the modern reader is how conservative the Tory politician actually was.

Benjamin Disraeli By Adam Kirsch Cover Image
ISBN: 9780805242492
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Schocken Books Inc - September 2nd, 2008

Maimonides: The Life and World of One of Civilization's Greatest Minds - Joel L. Kraemer

“Moses Maimonides, the foremost Jewish scholar of all time and one of the greatest minds in the Western world, was born circa 1138.” In his biography, Maimonides (Doubleday, $35), Joel Kraemer, emeritus professor of Social Thought at the University of Chicago, recreates the times in which the physician-philosopher lived, as well as what can be found about his life. Kraemer depends heavily on Maimonides’s own extraordinary writings. While still in his thirties, Maimonides compiled his compendium of Jewish law, called the Mishneh Torah. He also wrote letters that are themselves considered basic texts in Judaism.  His masterpiece, the Guide to the Perplexed, was completed near the end of the twelfth century, when Maimonides was in his early fifties. I recommend this book to all those interested in Islamic life in the Middle Ages as well as to Jews interested in learning more about Judaism’s most important philosopher. 

Maimonides: The Life and World of One of Civilization's Greatest Minds By Joel L. Kraemer Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385512008
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Published: Doubleday Religion - February 9th, 2010