New and Forthcoming

Forthcoming Titles

Agony in the Pulpit: Jewish Preaching in Response to Nazi Persecution and Mass Murder 1933-1945

Marc Saperstein

Many scholars have focused on contemporary sources pertaining to the Nazi persecution and mass murder of Jews between 1933 and 1945—citing dated documents, newspapers, diaries, and letters—but the sermons delivered by rabbis describing and protesting against the ever-growing oppression of European Jews have been largely neglected. Agony in the Pulpit is a response to this neglect, and to the accusations made by respected figures that Jewish leaders remained silent in the wake of catastrophe. The passages from sermons reproduced in this volume—delivered by 135 rabbis in fifteen countries, mainly from the United States and England—provide important evidence of how these rabbis communicated the ever-worsening news to their congregants, especially on important religious occasions when they had peak attendance and peak receptivity. No other book-length study has presented such abundant evidence of rabbis in all streams of Jewish religious life seeking to rouse and inspire their congregants to full awareness of the catastrophic realities that were taking shape in the world beyond their synagogues.

Engaging Torah: A Jewish Guide to Biblical Study

Walter Homolka and Aaron Panken

In this volume of essays, eminent Jewish scholars from around the world present introductions to the different parts of the Bible for the wider public. The essays encompass a general introduction to the Torah in Jewish life, and include specific essays on each of the Five Books of Moses, as well as on the Haftarot, Neviim, and Ketuvim. The contributions provide an overview of the core content of each book as well as highlight central themes and the reception and relevance of these themes in Jewish life and culture past and present. These essays, informed by and based on the profound academic research of their authors, together provide an invaluable bridge between high-level academic insight and the study of the Bible both in synagogues and in homes.

StowCover.jpgLevi’s Vindication: The “1007 Anonymous” as It Really Is

Kenneth Stow

The “1007 Anonymous,” an imaginative, brief text composed in the third or early fourth decade of the thirteenth century, illustrates the proper relations between Jews and their lay rulers and the pope. This message had to be conveyed indirectly, and the “1007’s” vehicle for doing so was a fictional story of murderous attack and forced conversion known as “The Terrible Event of the Year 1007.” Claims to the veracity of the story and the actuality of the supposed massacre are shown to be incorrect, as was demonstrated by the great French scholar Israel Levi at the turn of the twentieth century. No one, however, paid him heed—regrettably, for he was absolutely correct. Appropriately, this book is titled Levi’s Vindication.

Self-Portrait of a Holocaust Survivor

Werner Weinberg

Werner Weinberg was a professor of Hebraica at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (1961–1984). The breadth of his scholarship was prodigious, and to many generations of rabbis and doctoral students, Professor Weinberg was a beloved mentor. The collection of essays republished here, a little more than three decades after it first appeared, conveys Weinberg’s ongoing struggle to put into words something that might offer understanding to post-Holocaust generations. The essays fuse together the most personal of reflections with the careful analysis of an erudite theologian — theological questions are not permitted to remain abstractions. Weinberg moves between resisting and acquiescing to the implications of Bergen-Belsen, never shying away from the most painful questions about God, morality, virtue, and the individual’s potential to do good.

Exile as Home: The Cosmopolitan Poetics of Leyb Naydus

Jordan D. Finkin

Leyb Naydus (1890–1918) expanded the possibilities of Yiddish poetry via his rich cosmopolitan works, introducing a wealth of themes and forms seldom seen in that language, including some of its first sonnets of literary merit. A devotee of European Symbolism, Naydus’s poems shimmer with his love of nature, especially that of his native Lithuania. His ground-breaking poetry explores classicism, exoticism, eroticism, Orientalism, and Judaism with equal verve. Naydus’s work adds to our understanding of the creation of a major literature in a minor language. Indeed, this book shows how the poetics of minor-language literatures innovate simultaneously from within and without, and how those interactions can offer even greater creative possibilities than the major-language literatures with which they were in conversation. Naydus’s unique body of work not only expanded the repertoire of Yiddish poetry, but also cemented Yiddish’s place on the world literary stage, convincing young Yiddish writers that this was a language that could fulfill their artistic aspirations.

On the Surface of Silence: The Last Poems of Lea Goldberg

translated by Rachel Tzvia Back

On the Surface of Silence offers for the first time in English the final poems of Lea Goldberg, pre-eminent and central poet of modern Hebrew poetry. These extraordinary texts, composed in the last years and even last days of the poet’s life and published posthumously after her untimely death, exhibit a level of lyrical distillation and formal boldness that mark them as distinctive in the poet’s oeuvre. Often employing a fragment-like structure, where the unspoken is as present and forceful as the spoken, stripped of adornments and engaging the reader with an uncompromising, even disarming, directness, Goldberg’s last poems enact and manifest a poetics of intrepid truth-telling. The play between revelation and concealment, the language precision and the unflinching end-of-life gaze transform these texts into powerfully moving, and often surprising, poems. The book itself, in the original format as masterfully edited by Tuvia Ruebner and with drawings by Goldberg herself interspersed among the poems, is a significant and beautiful artifact of modern Hebrew culture.

This bilingual edition, with translations by award-winning translator Rachel Tzvia Back, brings us poems from a singular poetic voice of the 20th century – poems which will enrich, reflect, and stir the reader’s heart.

HUCA87coverHebrew Union College Annual 87 (2016)

edited by David H. Aaron and Jason Kalman

The Hebrew Union College Annual is the flagship journal of Hebrew Union College Press and the primary face of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion to the academic world. With a history spanning nearly a century, it stands as a chronicle of Jewish scholarship through the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. Go here to find out how you can order your copy.

 

New Titles

Drawing the Holocaust: A Teenager’s Memory of Terezín, Birkenau, and Mauthausen

Michael Kraus, translated by Paul Wilson

Twelve-year-old Michael Kraus began keeping a diary while he was still living at home in the Czech city of Nachód but continued writing while a prisoner at Theresienstadt. When he was shipped with other prisoners to the death camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau, all of his writings were confiscated and destroyed. After his liberation and while convalescing, he began to draw and make notes again about his experiences in Theresienstadt, in Auschwitz, the first death march out of Mauthausen and its satellite camps in Melk and Gunskirchen.

Indebted: Capitalism and Religion in the Writings of S. Y. Agnon

Yonatan Sagiv

Indebted: Capitalism and Religion in the Writings of S. Y. Agnon is the first book to examine the oeuvre of Shmuel Yosef Agnon, 1966 Nobel laureate in literature, through a reading that combines perspectives from economic theory, semiotics, psychoanalysis, narrative theory, and Jewish and religious studies. Sagiv outlines the vital role economy plays in the construction of religion, subjectivity, language, and thought in Agnon’s work, and, accordingly, explores his literary use of images of debt, money, and economy to examine how these themes illuminate other focal points.

HUCA86coverHebrew Union College Annual 86 (2015)

edited by David H. Aaron and Jason Kalman

The Hebrew Union College Annual is the flagship journal of Hebrew Union College Press and the primary face of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion to the academic world. With a history spanning nearly a century, it stands as a chronicle of Jewish scholarship through the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. Go here to find out how you can order your copy.

 

The Jews in Christian Europe: A Source Book, 315-1791

Jacob Rader Marcus and Marc Saperstein

First published in 1938, Jacob Rader Marcus’s The Jews in The Medieval World has remained an indispensable resource for its comprehensive view of Jewish historical experience from late antiquity through the early modern period, viewed through primary source documents in English translation. In this new work, Marc Saperstein has recast the volume’s focus, now fully centered on Christian Europe, updated the work’s organizational format, and added seventy-two new annotated sources. In his compelling introduction, Saperstein supplies a modern and thought-provoking discussion of the changing values that influence our understanding of history, analyzing issues surrounding periodization, organization, and inclusion.

Devotion and Commandment: THe Faith Of Abraham in the Hasidic Imagination

Arthur Green

Now available in paperback, Arthur Green’s Devotion and Commandment uses the Hasidic debate on the patriarchs and the commandments as a point of departure for a wide-ranging consideration of the relationship between piety and commandment in Hasidic Judaism. The result is a series of remarkable mystical defenses of the commandments and an original contribution of Hasidic thought to the ongoing history of Judaism.

 

Hebrew Union College Annual 84-85 (2013-2014)

edited by Edward A. Goldman and Richard S. Sarason

The Hebrew Union College Annual is the flagship journal of Hebrew Union College Press and the primary face of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion to the academic world. With a history spanning nearly a century, it stands as a chronicle of Jewish scholarship through the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. Go here to find out how you can order your copy.