The Philosophy of Judaism, by Zvi Cahn

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Ed. Macmillan, 1962. Hard cover. Size 24,5 x 16 cm. State: Used, very good. 524 pages

By the Author
New York, 1962

One evening, some ten years ago, I addressed the members of a Jewish center in a small town near New York on “What Is Judaism.” My audience I was composed of businessmen, professional people, and college students. At the conclusion of my formal address, the chairman declared a question period. I was amazed at the lack of knowledge of even the basic elements of Judaism that the questions from my listeners revealed. This was particularly disconcerting to me because I knew that my audience consisted largely of men and women who played an active part in the affairs of the Jewish community.

A short time later, I had a parallel experience with a non-Jewish audience. On that occasion, too, I found that even the most well-informed in the group knew surprisingly little about one of mankind’s most ancient religions.

These two experiences gave me something akin to a “mission complex”, and I set out to produce a work which, I hoped, would provide answers for some of layman’s basic questions on the origin and development of the ideas and ideals that make up Judaism.

I was particularly eager to fulfill this self-set task because, while I discovered the lack of precise knowledge among the people I addressed, I found that the degree of genuine interest in, and curiosity about, the underlying concepts of Judaism was greater still.

I should feel more than rewarded for my labors if this work, in part, satisfies that interest and that curiosity.

CONTENTS
Preface
INTRODUCTION
1- Universalism and Nationalism in the Course of Jewish History
2- Faith and Reason
3- What Are the Basic Principles of Judaism?
4- Light and Shadows in Jewish History
5- The Fight for Ideals in Jewish History
6- Hebrew and Aramaic, the Languages of the Jews Bible Criticism
7- Bible Criticism
8- Biblical Archaeology
9- The Jewish Chronology
THE BIBLICAL ERA
1- The Patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
2- Moses and Aaron
3- Joshua, the Son of Nun
4- The Era of the Prophets
5- The Four Periods of Prophecy
6- Prophets, True and False
7- Samuel and His Ideals
8- The “Silent” Prophets
9- The Fiery Prophets: Amos, Hosea, and Micah
10- The Great Prophecies of Isaiah
11- The Sufferings of Jeremiah
12- The Visions of Ezekiel
13- Fïve Prophets Who Prophesied Only to Non-Jewish Nations
14- The Last Prophets
15- Was Daniel a Prophet? L
16- Were There Prophets Among Other Nations?
17- The Sacred Writings (Hagiographia)
-The Book of Psalms
-The Book of Proverbs
-The Book of Job
-The Five Scrolls (The Song of Songs, The Book of Ruth, The Book of Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, The Book of Esther)
-The Book of Ezra
-The Book of Nehemiah
-Chronicles, First and Second
18- Other Literary Créations of the Biblical Era (Apocrypha)
THE TALMUDIC ERA
I- THE TIME OF THE TANNAIM
1- How the Talmud Came into Being
-The First Tannaim
-Hillel and Shammai
2- The Three Parties: Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes
3- Rabbi Johanan ben Zakkai
4- Rabban Gamaliel of Yavneh
5- Rabbi Akiba
6- Rabbi Meir
7- Rabbi Judah the Prince
8- The Structure of the Talmud
9- The Contribution of the Tannaim to Judaism
10- The Idéologies of the Three Parties
-The Pharisees
-The Sadducees
-The Essenes
11- The Messianic Ideal
-The Beginning
-The Messiah of the Pharisees
-The Hezekiah Group
-The Qualities of the Messiah
-The New Views
-Ideology of the Gnostics
-The Beginning of Christianity
-The Jewish View as of Today
12- The Ideology of Reward and Punishment
-The Reward and Punishment Ideology in the Bible Beginning of the New Ideology
-The View of the Mystics Concerning the New Ideology Who’s Who in the «Other World»
-Paradise and Hell (“Gan Eden” and “Gehenna”)
-Where Is Paradise?
-Where Is Gehenna?
13- The Ideology of the Resurrection of the Dead
-Various Opinions About Résurrection
-Are There Biblical Sources for the Belief in Résurrection?
-Debates Among Jews and Non-Jews About Resurrection
-What Is the Jewish Belief?
II- THE TIME OF THE AMORAIM
14- Rav, the First of the Amoraim
15- Rabbi Samuel: Physician, Jurist, and Astronomer
16- The Second Génération of Amoraim
17- Abbaye and Rabba
18- Rav Ashi, Who Completed the Talmud
19- How to Understand the Talmud
-The Halacha
-The Haggada
20- Parables and Allégories in the Talmud
21- Debates with Unbelievers
22- Tales, Folk Medicine, and Wise Sayings
23- The Code of Jewish Ethics
-The Creators of Jewish Ethics
-Personal Conduct
-On Food and Table Manners
-On Dress
-Personal Cleanliness
-On Labor
-On Agriculture
-On Business and Commerce
-Ethics of Family Living
-Ethics of Child-Rearing
-Ethics of Friendship
-Virtue and Vice
-How to Understand Men, Women, and Children
24- Other Creations of the Talmudic Era
-The Jerusalem Talmud
-The “Saboraim” Group
-The Gaonim
-The Sects Against the Talmud
-The Karaites
-The Masorah
-The Jewish Prayer Book
-The Holiday Prayers—Liturgical Poetry
-Midrashic Literature
-The Beginnings of the Cabala
-The Revival of the Hebrew Language
THE ERA OF THE PHILOSOPHERS
I- THE “GOLDEN AGE” IN SPAIN
1- Who Were the Jewish Philosophers?
2- Saadia Gaon and His Views
3- Rabbi Bachya and His Duties of the Heart
4- The Doctrine of Rabbi Shlomo ibn Gabirol
5- Abraham ibn Ezra and Moses ibn Ezra
6- Rabbi Judah Ha-Levi
7- Maimonides, the Giant of Jewish Philosophers
8- Nachmanides and His Teachings
9- Rabbi Abraham Abulafia
10- Rabbi Levi ben Gershon (Gersonides)
11- Rabbi Hasdai Crescas
12- Rabbi Joseph Albo and His Book of Principles
13- Don Isaac Abrabanel
14- The Discovery of the «Zohar»
15- Were the Jewish Philosophers Free-Thinkers?
16- Other Creations of the First Part of the Era of the Philosophers
-The Commentators
-The “Poskim” and the Responsa
-The Renaissance of Hebrew Literature in Spain
-False Messiahs
II- FROM SPINOZA TO THE PRESENT TIME
17- Baruch Spinoza and His Philosophy
18- Moses Mendelssohn and the New Era
19- Rabbi Israël Baal Shem Tov, the Founder of Hassidism
20- Nachman Krochmal and His Disciples
21- The New Idea—Reform Judaism
22- “The Science of Judaism” in Germany
23- The Four Philosophers of Reform Judaism
24- Neo-Orthodoxy and Apostasy
25- The Three Great Philosophers of Jewish Ethics
26- Moses Hess and His Rome and Jérusalem
27- Ahad Ha-Am and His Contribution to Jewish Thought
28- Theodor Herzl and His Jewish State
29- Other Créations of the Second Part of the Era of the Philosophers
-Further Development of the Cabala
-The “Musar” Movement and Its Literature
SUMMARY
1- Judaism—Static or Dynamic?
2- What Judaism Has Given the World
Bibliography