Judaism’s Challenge: Election, Divine Love, and Human Enmity

Judaism’s Challenge: Election, Divine Love, and Human Enmity

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Edited by Alon Goshen-Gottstein

Series: Jewish Thought, Jewish History: New Studies
ISBN: 9781644691489 (hardcover), 9781644691496 (paperback)
Pages: approx 180 pp.
Publication Date: January 2020

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One cannot think of Judaism without taking some stance relating to Israel’s special status, its election. The present collection highlights the challenges that Judaism faces, as it continues to uphold a sense of chosenness and as it seeks to engage the world beyond it—nations, as well as religions. The challenge is captured by the dual implication of election: divine love on the one hand and enmity with others on the other. Israel’s election, mission and vocation are played out within this tension of love, grounded in God and extending to humanity, and the opposite of love, as this finds expression in Israel’s relations with others. Israel must work out the purpose of its election and its realization in history in the tension between these two extremes. This challenge takes on great urgency in the context of advances in interfaith relations. These lead us to reflect on the meaning of Israel’s election as part of developing a contemporary Jewish theology of world religions.


Rabbi Dr. Alon Goshen-Gottstein is acknowledged as one of the world’s leading figures in interreligious dialogue. He is founder and director of the Elijah Interfaith Institute since 1997. His work bridges the theological and academic dimension with a variety of practical initiatives, especially involving world religious leadership. His academic work is divided between contributions to early rabbinic thought, Jewish spirituality, interfaith theory and Jewish theology of religions. He has held academic posts at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University, and has served as director of the Center for the Study of Rabbinic Thought, Beit Morasha College, Jerusalem. The present volume continues his ground-breaking work in the field of Jewish theology of religions.


Table of Contents

Introduction

The Election and Sanctity of Israel in the Hebrew Bible
Israel Knohl

A Kingdom of Priests and a Holy Nation
Alon Goshen-Gottstein

Israel as Blessing: Theological Horizons
Eugene Korn

Jewish Chosenness—A Contemporary Approach
Jerome Gellman

Aleinu—a Prayer Common to Jews and Gentile God-Fearers
Menahem Katz

Two Dimensions of Jewish Identity
Stanislaw Krajewski

Images of the Non-Jew in the Kedushat Levi: A Textual and Theological Exploration
Or Rose

Israel’s Election and the Suffering of the Holocaust
Gershon Greenberg

Israel’s Election and the Moral Dilemma of Amalek and the Seven Nations of Canaan
Reuven Kimelman

From Enmity to Unity—Recovering the Ba’al Shem Tov’s Teachings on Non-Jews
Menachem Kallus

Conclusion: Judaism’s Challenge—Being Israel in Changing Circumstances

Notes on Contributors