In a work that casts philosophical and theological reflections against a backdrop of personal experience, Leon Wiener Dow offers a learned discourse that elucidates the telos of Jewish law and the philosophical-theological commitments that animate it. To the reader gazing upon the halakha from the outside, this book offers a glimpse of its central, orienting concepts. To the reader who lives amidst the rigor of halakha, this book bestows an insightful glance at the law’s orienting ethos and higher aspirations that often remain opaque.
The Going: A Meditation on Jewish Law
Bringing together qualities of memoir, modern Jewish thought, and halachic literature, The Going represents an innovative force in Jewish literature. Leon Wiener Dow’s intimate account of his own Jewish upbringing and self-discovery brings together a variety of voices and ideas to present a vision of halacha that can speak to Jews regardless of where they place themselves on the denominations spectrum. The Going raises powerful questions not only about how halacha functions, but also about how the halacha has depths of meaning for Jews of all levels of observance. He explores halacha with an eye that balances reverence for tradition with a passion for what its future manifestations could be like — to read this book is to feel encouraged to embrace the challenge of locating traces of the divine in the world. His powerful writing brings to the fore a fresh voice that is bound to influence the conversation of Jews around the world.
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