KTAV Pub. House
The conversion crisis; a continuing discussion.
In these articles from Tradition: A Journal of Jewish Thought, US and foreign rabbis, professors of Jewish studies, law, and philosophy, and an assistant attorney general for the state of New York all lend their views on the place of conversion in Jewish theology. While the articles are written from different perspectives, the contributors are united in their allegiance to the authority of the classical halakha and the belief that the pressure to recognize non-Jews who lack religious commitment leads to the erosion of halakhic standards. A shorter version of the book appeared 20 years ago under the title The Conversion Crisis. This edition adds two new articles: a review of Avi Sagi and Zvi Zohar's Transforming Identity: The Ritual Transition from Gentile to Jew; Structure and Meaning, which imposes a halakhic critique on Sagi and Zohar's attempt to reorder the Talmudic literature on conversion, plus a response from Sagi and Zohar. The book lacks a subject index. Feldman is editor emeritus of Tradition. Wolowelsky is dean of the faculty at the Yeshivah of Flatbush and an associate editor of Tradition. (Annotation ©2011 Book News Inc. Portland, OR)
Sefer Haibbur; a treatise on the calendar.
In response to criticism of the validity of the fixed Jewish calendar, Rabbi Iben Ezra, an exile from Spain living in Verona, composed a treatise in 1146-1147 in which he argued that Scripture was purposely vague on how the calendar was to be constructed. Goodman (emeritus, mathematics, Dominican U., River Forest, IL), who has rabbinical ordination, presents an annotated translation of the rabbi's arguments based on his expertise on Talmud, medieval astronomy and math. The book includes a current Hebrew version corrected from the single incomplete manuscript published in 1874, a glossary of technical terms, and extensive methodological appendices. (Annotation ©2011 Book News Inc. Portland, OR)