The author presents a new approach to God and prayer, and offers a reinterpretation of Jewish history from the ancient world through the Holocaust and contemporary Israel
In Jewish Renewal, Lerner helps us reunderstand the classic Jewish texts, presents a startling new approach to God and prayer, and offers a masterly reinterpretation of Jewish history and destiny from the ancient world through the Holocaust and contemporary Israel. Finally, his book opens to us the process of Jewish renewal, which is today bringing thousands of Jews back to a Judaism that they are both discovering and helping create.Lerner maintains that there are two voices in the Torah that have contended with each other throughout Jewish history: the voice of accumulated pain and cruelty that is passed from generation to generation and that masquerades as a patriarchal god, and the voice of God, whose massage of healing and compassion insists the world can be fundamentally transformed. Neoconservatives and some right-wing Israelis have used the Holocaust to justify a Judaism that is cynically "realistic" and demeaning of non-Jews. But that tendency to do unto others what was done to us can be overcome, Lerner says, and Jewish renewal attunes us to the voice of God and strengthens our ability to recognize the image of the divine in every human being.Jewish Renewal is more than a rethinking of Judaism - it is also a concrete and empathic guide to building a spiritually rich Jewish life. Its ideas are at the vanguard of Jewish thought, but its style assumes no previous knowledge and thus makes it a perfect introduction to what is most exciting in Jewish thought.