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Book details
  • Genre:RELIGION
  • SubGenre:Judaism / General
  • Language:English
  • Pages:254
  • Format:Paperback
  • Paperback ISBN:9781543984811

A Full-Figured Faith

The Expanding Effects of Doubt & Skepticism on an Evolving Jewish Faith

by Perry Rank

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Overview
A Full-Figured Faith is a collection of essays on traditional Jewish values and practices that Jews have sometimes found less than convincing or compelling. God wrote the Bible—really? Miracles are a fact of life—is that so? Jews must marry Jews—but, isn't that a little racist? Tapping into his almost 40 years of experience in the pulpit, Rabbi Rank delves into many such and similar issues with a light-hearted style and a logic that is easy to follow. The thrust of the book is not to reject the skepticism of doubters, but to encourage it as a way of legitimate engagement with one's heritage. The questions that people may pose about the values and rituals that an ancient tradition promotes, far from undermining faith, may just serve to enhance it. The best of faith is not a place of narrowness, but to the contrary, an expansive space. And though one may never fully figure what faith is all about, an honest and contemporary faith allows for lots of questions and skepticism and doubts. That is what might be referred to as a full-figured faith.
Description
A Full-Figured Faith is a collection of essays on traditional Jewish values and practices that Jews have sometimes found less than convincing or compelling. God wrote the Bible—really? Miracles are a fact of life—is that so? Jews must marry Jews—but, isn't that a little racist? Tapping into his almost 40 years of experience in the pulpit, Rabbi Rank delves into many such and similar issues with a light-hearted style and a logic that is easy to follow. Among the topics discussed are the existence of God, the messiah, the chosenness of the Jewish people, sexual mores, and Zionism.The thrust of the book is not to reject the skepticism of doubters, but to encourage it as a way of legitimate engagement with one's heritage. The questions that people may pose about the values and rituals that an ancient tradition promotes, far from undermining faith, may just serve to enhance it. The best of faith is not a place of narrowness, but to the contrary, an expansive space. And though one may never fully figure what faith is all about, an honest and contemporary faith allows for lots of questions and skepticism and doubts. That is what might be referred to as a full-figured faith.
About the author
Rabbi Perry Raphael Rank holds a bachelors degree in Hebrew Studies from the University of Minnesota and was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1981. He served as a pulpit rabbi in New Jersey for 18 years before moving to his present pulpit, Midway Jewish Center in Syosset, Long Island. He is co-editor of Moreh Derekh, a rabbi's manual designed for use by rabbis conducting life-cycle ceremonies, and is past president of the International Rabbinical Assembly. He is married to Ellen Rank, an editor and author of many Jewish educational texts and a consultant with the Jewish Education Project.
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