The Jewish Political Tradition: Volume II: Membership

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Kazik Simha Rotem, Barbara Harshav, Ari Ackerman, Michael Walzer (editor), Menachem Lorberbaum (editor), Noam J. Zohar (editor)

Publisher: Yale University Press

“The Jewish Political Tradition is remarkable for both what it does and how it does it. It is a splendid achievement. When Jews call themselves the people of the book, this is the sort of book they have, or at least ought to have, in mind.â€-Noah J. Efron, Boston Book Review

“This work is the most comprehensive attempt that has ever been undertaken to present a thematic compilation of the important texts of the Jewish political tradition. It is a monumental project.â€-Jeffrey Macy, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

This thought-provoking second volume of The Jewish Political Tradition is concerned with the theme of membership. The book brings together the most important texts on membership topics from 3,000 years of Jewish history, many newly translated or translated for the first time. Commentaries from modern religious and secular scholars, representing a range of viewpoints on the right and the left, accompany the texts. Among the contributors are Arthur Isak Applbaum, Ruth Gavison, Moshe Halbertal, Martha Minow, David Novak, Ilana Pardes, Steven B. Smith, and Nomi Maya Stolzenberg. They deal with some of the most controversial issues in Jewish life, not only in the past but also right now.

Who is a Jew? How are the boundaries of a community drawn, and how are they policed? How does one join the community? How does one leave? The volume also takes up the question of degrees of membership: What kinds of hierarchies exist among Jews? In the final chapter, the book deals with “others,” gentiles, because the boundaries of Jewish membership cannot be understood without asking who stands on the other side.

Michael Walzer is UPS Foundation Professor of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. Menachem Lorberbaum is senior lecturer in the department of Jewish philosophy at Tel Aviv University. Noam J. Zohar is senior lecturer in the department of philosophy at Bar Ilan University. Ari Ackerman is lecturer in the School of Education at the Schechter Institute in Jerusalem. All four editors are research fellows at the Shalom Hartman Institute.

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