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Testimony on the Lies by Rabbi Michael Lerner

Rabbi Lerner’s book Jewish Renewal: A Path to Healing and Transformation (published by Putnam in 1994 in hardback, and by HarperCollins in paperback in 1995, was described by David Biale, the chair of Jewish Studies at University of California at Davis, as “A major contribution to modern Jewish thought, a contribution that is a challenge to intellectuals even as it is accessible to a broad general audience.” David Kraemer, professor of Talmud and Rabbinics at the Jewish Theological Seminary, said that this book is “a sophisticated and intellectually challenging reinterpretation of Jewish tradition. With a rigor that has rarely been equaled, Lerner shows what a liberal Jewish theology must be in the late 20th century. No one who cares about a committed ethical Judaism can afford to ignore this book.” Michael Paley, chaplain of Columbia University (at the time, and now director of Outreach for the UJA/Federation in New York) wrote that: “Michael Lerner is America’s preeminent liberal Jewish intellectual. Jewish Renewal is potentially one of the most important Jewish books of our times, an enduring contribution that could shape the Judaism of the twenty-first century.” And Susannah Heschel, chair of Jewish studies at Dartmouth, wrote: “At last, here is a book on Judaism that places feminist concerns at the center, not the margins, and that shows us the direction Jewish life and thought will take in the twenty-first century.” In reviewing Jewish Renewal in the journal Conservative Judaism, Rabbi Brad Artson (now dean of the University of Judaism rabbinical school) said the following: “One of the most fruitful and honest presentations of the challenge of Judaism that I can remember reading. Lerner’s theology of God is inspiration (a remarkable blend of innovative, traditional and passionate). Lerner’s approach to God is stunning, miraculous, and faith-renewing … Jewish Renewal integrates insights gleaned from modern physics and literary theory for one of the most insightful and inspiring contemplations I’ve ever seen … I can’t recall a book so chock-filled with fresh new Torah as this one…. If you read no other book this year, push yourself to read this one cover-to-cover … We are all in need of some healing wisdom. There is no better place to turn than this remarkably sensitive, complex, and deeply insightful book.”

Additional Resources: 

http://www.tikkun.org/nextgen/biographical-notes-on-rabbi-lerner

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