All the World: Universalism, Particularism and the High Holy Days
Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman
Number of pages: 250
Why be Jewish? The High Holy Day message of Jewish purpose beyond mere survival.
Rosh Hashanah is just one of two surviving Jewish new years from antiquity, the other being the month in which Passover falls. The two are exactly six months apart, proper symbolism of the age-old Jewish struggle to balance to contrasting principles: universalism and particularism. Passover's central theme is the particularistic tale of the Jewish People released from servitude in Egypt to fullfill their historic destiny. The message of Rosh Hashanah, by contrast, is the universalistic definition of that destiny, the role that every Jew must play simply by virtue of being human, and the role of Judaism in helping Jews play that role with proper passion and commitment.
All the World combines the particularistic concern for Israel as a People called by God with the universalistic proclamation that Israel is called for universal ends. It assembles some forty contributors--scholars, rabbis, artists and thinkers from Canada, France, Germany, Israel, the Netherlands, the UK and USA--to launch the crucial discussion of what the High Holy Days have to say about universalism and particularism in Judaism.