"Don't tell God how big your storm is; tell your storm how big your God is."

I believe in God.

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Jewish Reading Challenge

For the rest of the summer (about a month and a half), I have decided that I want to challenge my brain with sophisticated reading in a topic in which I am interested.  To that end, I have started reading difficult Jewish philosophy/theology for an hour every day.  Here is my plan:

  1. Currently I am reading Halakhic Man, by Rabbi Josef Soloveitchik.  Sololveitchik was considered a modern Orthodox Rabbi, but he wrote in the 1940's, so the book has an antiquated feel.  His basic premise, with which I do not think I agree, is that "Halakhic man" is different from your typical "homo religiosus" simply because he is Jewish.
  2. After I finish Halakhic Man, I plan to read Maimonides' Guide to the Perplexed, in English translation.  A lot of Jews claim that this book should be read in Hebrew, but since even Hebrew was not the original language (the book was originally written in Arabic), I feel no compunction about reading a translation.  Maimonides was a thirteenth-century Jewish sage who revolutionized Jewish theology.
  3. Next will come a book by Abraham Joshua Heschel, because my parents tell me that is where to start with Jewish theology.  They also say all Heschel books tend to sound the same, so I only need to read one.  I will probably choose God in Search of Man, although we do have something close to half a shelf of Heschel in our living room, so who knows?
  4. Finally, if I finish all of that and still have time before I go back to school, I will turn back to my favorite author, Neil Gillman.  Gillman actually taught my father in Rabbinical school.  He has written many books, but the ones I like and know best are The Way into Encountering God in Judaism and Doing Jewish Theology.
And that, folks, is my plan for the rest of the summer.

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I am a bipolar, Jewish young adult (had my Hebrew birthday, the one I count, and turned 23 this past January) who also suffers from Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. I love life and I live for my best friends: they are my purpose and my reason for trying so hard. I remain passionately devoted to those I love; I will not let my disorders make me totally self-centered. I like to read, write, and sew. My Rabbinical school plans did not work out, and I am now hoping to go into the field of Early Childhood Education. Please note: I am currently maintaining only Carried in His Hands. Enjoy!