22 episodes

An ongoing lecture series featuring authors of newly published books.

JTS Library Book Talks JTS

    • Books

An ongoing lecture series featuring authors of newly published books.

    Voices from the Warsaw Ghetto: Writing Our History

    Voices from the Warsaw Ghetto: Writing Our History

    A discussion with JTS's Dr. David G. Roskies about his powerful new collection of writings from the Warsaw Ghetto, recording the Holocaust from the perspective of its first interpreters, the victims themselves.

    Hidden in metal containers and buried underground during World War II, these works from the Warsaw Ghetto record the Holocaust from the perspective of its first interpreters, the victims themselves. Gathered clandestinely by an underground ghetto collective called Oyneg Shabes, the collection of reportage, diaries, prose, artwork, poems, jokes, and sermons captures the heroism, tragedy, humor, and social dynamics of the ghetto. Miraculously surviving the devastation of war, this extraordinary archive encompasses a vast range of voices—young and old, men and women, the pious and the secular, optimists and pessimists—and chronicles different perspectives on the topics of the day while also preserving rapidly endangered cultural traditions. Described by Roskies as “a civilization responding to its own destruction,” these texts tell the story of the Warsaw Ghetto in real time, against time, and for all time.

    Dr. David Kraemer, Joseph J. and Dora Abbell Librarian and professor of Talmud and Rabbinics, JTS, serves as moderator.

    • 1 hr
    Abraham Joshua Heschel: Mind, Heart, Soul

    Abraham Joshua Heschel: Mind, Heart, Soul

    In his magisterial new biography of Abraham Joshua Heschel, Dr. Edward K. Kaplan tells the engrossing, behind-the-scenes story of the life, philosophy, struggles, yearnings, writings, and activism of one of the 20th century’s most outstanding Jewish thinkers. Following this extraordinary figure through his Hasidic childhood in Warsaw to his pursuit of a doctorate in Berlin to his escape from the Nazis to the United States, and into his courageous activism as a voice for nonviolent social action—Heschel marched with Martin Luther King Jr., expressed strong opposition to the Vietnam War, and helped reverse long-standing antisemitic Catholic Church doctrine on Jews—Kaplan paints a timely portrait of a remarkable religious leader.

    Dr. Eitan Fishbane, Associate Professor of Jewish Thought, JTS, served as moderator.

    • 1 hr 16 min
    Introducing The Evolution of Torah: a history of rabbinic literature

    Introducing The Evolution of Torah: a history of rabbinic literature

    Episode 1: Who Were the Rabbis?

    What led to the emergence of the group of scholars and teachers we call the Rabbis? What motivated them and what did they value? The Rabbis looked to their forebear, Hillel, as an exemplar of religious leadership, and in this episode, we’ll look at three stories they told about Hillel to see what we can learn about the Rabbis’ self-conception.

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    Produced by Rabbi Tim Bernard
    Cover art: Rabbi Tim Bernard
    Theme music: Stock media provided by u19_studios / Pond5

    • 13 min
    Job: A New Translation

    Job: A New Translation

    A Discussion with Translator Edward L. Greenstein

    The Book of Job has often been called the greatest poem ever written. The book, in Edward Greenstein’s characterization, is “a Wunderkind, a genius emerging out of the confluence of two literary streams,” which “dazzles like Shakespeare with unrivaled vocabulary and a penchant for linguistic innovation.” Despite the text’s literary prestige and cultural prominence, no English translation has come close to conveying the proper sense of the original. The book has consequently been misunderstood in innumerable details and in its main themes.

    Edward Greenstein’s new translation of Job is the culmination of decades of intensive research and painstaking philological and literary analysis, offering a major reinterpretation of this canonical text. Through his beautifully rendered translation and insightful introduction and commentary, Greenstein presents a new perspective: Job, he shows, was defiant of God until the end. The book is more about speaking truth to power than the problem of unjust suffering.

    Dr. David Kraemer, Joseph J. and Dora Abbell Librarian and professor of Talmud and Rabbinics, JTS, served as moderator.

    Edward L. Greenstein is professor emeritus of Bible at Bar-Ilan University and a prolific, world-renowned scholar in many areas of biblical and ancient Near Eastern studies.

    • 1 hr 5 min
    Confronting Hate

    Confronting Hate

    As hate crimes and domestic terrorism dominate the headlines, the legacy of the late Rabbi Marc Tanenbaum as a leader in interfaith and race relations in the United States and around the world becomes more and more relevant with each atrocity that is perpetrated in the name of racial purity, religion and rectitude.

    His widow, humanitarian and philanthropist Dr. Georgette Bennett, discusses the first-ever biography of Rabbi Tanenbaum, Confronting Hate: The Untold Story of the Rabbi Who Stood Up for Human Rights, Racial Justice and Religious Reconciliation by Deborah Hart Strober and Gerald S. Strober.

    From his position as director of Interreligious Affairs at the American Jewish Committee, Rabbi Tanenbaum was deeply involved in the historic Vatican II Council, which promulgated a landmark encyclical on Catholic-Jewish relations. Rabbi Tanenbaum also was one of the few Jewish leaders who worked closely with Martin Luther King Jr. and Jesse Jackson, Reverend Billy Graham and other evangelical leaders. Inspired by his tradition’s ethic of social justice, he worked tirelessly as a civil rights activist and helped lead the Soviet Jewry liberation movement.

    Confronting Hate details Rabbi Tanenbaum’s remarkable career and interactions with civil rights legends such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Jesse Jackson as well as several US presidents, from Dwight D. Eisenhower to George H.W. Bush. Above all, its authors bring to light the immense international influence and relevance that Rabbi Tanenbaum has for today’s world, more than twenty-five years after his passing. Indeed, at a time when our world is riven by conflict, partisanship and hate, the lessons of his life could not be more timely.

    This event was co-sponsored by The JTS Library, the Milstein Center for Interreligious Dialogue, and the New York Board of Rabbis. Dr. Burton Visotzky, Appleman Professor of Midrash and Interreligious Studies and director of the Milstein Center for Interreligious Dialogue, JTS, served as moderator.

    • 57 min
    Introducing What Now? A JTS Podcast

    Introducing What Now? A JTS Podcast

    In this opening episode of JTS’s new podcast, What Now?, host Sara Beth Berman tells her story and speaks with Professor Alan Mittleman. Dr. Mittleman shares his own experiences with loss, framing tragedies as taking place in a world that is nevertheless good and that gives us reason for hope. We also learn why giving Professor Mittleman advice is never a good idea.

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    RSS: https://www.spreaker.com/show/3550593/episodes/feed
    Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/what-now-a-jts-podcast/id1465791989

    Cover art: Aura Lewis
    Theme music: “Jat Poure”by Blue Dot Sessions (www.sessions.blue).
    Funding: The Louis Finkelstein Institute for Religious & Social Studies at JTS.

    Contact us at onlinelearning@jtsa.edu, and find other JTS podcasts at www.jtsa.edu/podcasts.

    • 29 min

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