Volume 3, Number 1, May 2007

The Journal of The Academy for Jewish Religion


There is no end to learning. As the Mishnah puts it “the study of the Torah is equal to them all” (i.e., specific mitzvoth) (Pe’ah 1:1 and the Prayer Book)

In this issue we are blessed with articles that open our eyes to new vistas and insights and into a better understanding of certain biblical and Talmudic passages, ancient Roman and Jewish laws, as well as medieval philosophers and theologies both Jewish and non-Jewish.

David Greenstein gives new meaning to the verse in Leviticus 18:22. He offers a new midrashic understanding so that the verse no longer refers to homosexuality. Marshall Hurwitz “studies the parallel between the historical development of ancient Jewish law and Roman law.” Leonard Kravitz examines the similarity in thought of Maimonides and St. Thomas and Bachya; and Gilbert Rosenthal examines the two diffferent versions in the Babylonian Talmud of “if you save a life, you save the world” and “if you save a Jewish life, you save the world.”

Also included in this our third issue are two sermons, one by Arthur Kolatch and the other by myself, that challenge and uplift our spirits. Finally, four fascinating and worthy book reviews by Matthew Eilenberg, Paul Kushner, Charles Lightner and Regina Sandler-Phillips.

It is with great joy that AJR celebrates the 50th anniversary of its founding in 1956 as a pluralistic seminary. On Monday, March 19, 2007 – Rosh Hodesh Nisan – a gala banquet was held to commemorate this happy event. To cap it off, we have included selected documents from our archives illuminating our early history.

Herewith in this special supplement, the program is reproduced as well as the inspirational remarks of the various speakers.

As Hillel so sincerely put it, “go you and study, the rest is commentary.”

Bernard M. Zlotowitz

Editorial Board


Pit`hu Li Sha`arei Tzedeq
Open the Gates of Righteousness for Me: An Opening Toward a New Reading of the Torah in Light of the New Statuds of Gays and Lesbians in the Jewish Community

David Greenstein
Read article (PDF)

Jewish and Roman Law – The Dating of the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds Corrsponding to Dating Justinian Corpus Juris
Marshall S. Hurwitz
Read article (PDF)

Bachya and St. Thomas – The Other Maimonidean
Leonard Kravitz
Read article (PDF)

The Strange Tale of a Familiar Text
Gilbert S. Rosenthal
Read article (PDF)

S E R M O N S:

Who Am I?
Arthur J. Kolatch
Read sermon (PDF)

Why I Joined the March on Washington
Bernard M. Zlotowitz
Read sermon (PDF)


Steven V. Mazie: Israel’s Higher Law: Religion and Liberal Democracy in the Jewish State
Reviewed by Matthew L. Eilenberg

Harry Ezratty: The Builders: Jews and the Growth of America
Reviewed by Paul R. Kushner

Jonathan M. Brown & Laurence Kutler: Nelson Glueck: Biblical Archeologist and President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
Reviewed by Charles R. Lightner

Isabel Vincent: BODIES AND SOULS: The Tragic Plight of Three Jewish Women Forced into Prostitution in the Americas
Reviewed by Regina Sandler-Phillips

Read book reviews (PDF)


View Remarks (PDF)