Break­ing the Tablets: Jew­ish The­ol­o­gy After the Shoah

David Weiss Halivni; Peter Ochs, ed.
  • Review
By – March 2, 2012
Rab­bi Dr. Halivni, now in his eighth decade, is a world renowned Tal­mud schol­ar. This small vol­ume has been skill­ful­ly edit­ed by, and con­tains intro­duc­tions to all its chap­ters from, Peter Ochs, who is the Edgar Bronf­man Pro­fes­sor of Mod­ern Juda­ic Stud­ies at Univ. of Vir­ginia. The book offers the read­er a glimpse into Halivni’s the­o­ries about a tra­di­tion-based the­ol­o­gy to under­stand our role as Jews vis à vis thought, prac­tice, prayer, and Torah schol­ar­ship, with­in the con­text of what Halivni believes are the two major events in Jew­ish his­to­ry — G‑d’s rev­e­la­tion to the Jew­ish peo­ple at Mount Sinai and G‑d’s rev­e­la­tion at Auschwitz. Weav­ing in his the­o­ries of sci­en­tif­ic Torah schol­ar­ship and their impli­ca­tions for under­stand­ing and study­ing the Writ­ten Law and the Oral Law — both at their points of ori­gin and as devel­oped by the Rab­bis through­out the ages, up to and includ­ing cur­rent times — Halivni [and Ochs] give us much to reflect on and ponder.
William Liss-Levin­son is vice pres­i­dent, chief strat­e­gy & oper­a­tions offi­cer of Cas­tle Con­nol­ly Med­ical Ltd., a con­sumer health research, infor­ma­tion, and pub­lish­ing com­pa­ny. He holds a Ph.D. in edu­ca­tion and is a mem­ber of the board of direc­tors of the Jew­ish Book Council.

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