Monday, July 8, 2013

Ein Od Milvado For the Post Modern Age

In Judaism for the Post-Modern Era, Arthur Green delivers a lecture on the pitiful condition of contemporary American Jewish identity.  The lecture is aimed at those Jews who are talking with their feet, leaving  synagogues and Jewish religious practice and flocking to other religions, especially Buddhism and New Age religions and philosophies.

If I read Green correctly, he wants to show modern Jews that what they get from New Age and Buddhism, can be acquired from Judaism, and even more.  But first, Jewish thinkers and rabbis must change the direction of discourse in modern Judaism.  Green wants us to understand that the vertical metaphor of God up there and the world down here, is just that, a metaphor.  And not a very good one at that; it fails to capture the mystery of God.  A God who is One.  Who both transcends and the world and is present in the world.

This essay explores the classic ideas of Green's neo-Hasidism.  He takes the sometimes radical reformulations of God provided by key Hasidim and pours them into new molds.   

He does this in his longer books as well.  But if you can get a hold of this lecture, then you will have the ideas of Arthur Green in a very short, distilled form.

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