Turning Points in Jewish History by Marc J. Rosenstein
Examining the entire span of Jewish history by focusing on thirty pivotal moments in the Jewish people’s experience from biblical times through the present—essentially the most important events in the life of the Jewish people—Turning Points in Jewish History provides “the big picture”: both a broad and a deep understanding of the Jewish historical experience.
Zeroing in on eight turning points in the biblical period, four in Hellenistic-Roman times, five in the Middle Ages, and thirteen in modernity, Marc J. Rosenstein elucidates each formative event with a focused history, a timeline, a primary text with commentary as an intimate window into the period, and a discussion of its legacy for subsequent generations. Along the way he candidly analyzes various controversies and schisms arising from Judaism’s encounters with power, powerlessness, exile, messianism, rationalism, mysticism, catastrophe, modernity, nationalism, feminism, and more.
The book’s thirty distinct and logically connected events lend themselves to a full course or to customized classes on specific turning points. Discussion questions for every chapter (some in print, more online) facilitate reflection and continuing conversation.
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