Witnesses to the One: The Spiritual History of the Sh'ma
Joseph B. Meszler
Publication date: 2011-03-02
An exploration of Judaism's most sacred statement and world-changing idea. "Hear O Israel, the Eternal is Our God, the Eternal is One!" There is arguably no more important statement in Judaism than the Sh'ma. Its words—calling us to hear, to listen, to pay attention—defy direct translation and have meant different things throughout history. In a deeply personal exploration of this sacred proclamation, command, and prayer, Rabbi Joseph B. Meszler delves into the spiritual history of the Sh’ma, inspiring you to claim your own personal meaning in these enduring words. By examining how the Sh’ma has been commented upon by ancient sages and contemporary thinkers, he opens the doors between each generation that has found a different dimension of truth in the Sh’ma. Each chapter focuses on a major historical figure and includes a sacred story, an exploration into the story’s many meanings, and a suggestion for a new way of "hearing" the voice in the story. Experience the Sh’ma through the lives of: w Moses—Fighting Idolatry w Akiba ben Joseph—The Sages Offer Their Lives w Saaida Gaon—Proving the One w Moses Maimonides—Nothing Like God w Haim Vital—Communing with the One w Moses Haim Luzzatto— “Master of the Universe” w Abraham Isaac Kook—A Nation Reborn w Leo Baeck—One Moral Standard w Abraham Joshua Heschel—A Prophecy: “One World or No World”Joseph B. Meszler
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