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"Hear O Israel", "Hear O Isral", 0817311955, 0-8173-1195-5, 978-0-8173-1195-7, 9780817311957,

"Hear O Israel"
The History of American Jewish Preaching, 1654-1970

Quality Paper
2002. 193 pp.
978-0-8173-1195-7
Price:  $29.95 s

 

            Biblical passages indicate that as early as the return to Palestine from Babylon, Hebrew was no longer understood by the masses, which necessitated the use of vernacular translations to explain the Torah. Thus, the preaching tradition was well established in Judaism during the biblical period, predating Christianity, and long before the New World was explored and colonized. However, for reasons that have never been fully explained, sermons largely disappeared from European Jewish services in the late 17th and early 18th centuries.
            “Hear O Israel” is the only examination of the history of American Jewish preaching, from the settlement of the first Jews in the United States until 1970. Drawing on three centuries of American Jewish sermons, this study addresses two principal questions. First, how did the American Jewish preaching tradition evolve? Second, how have national and international events been treated in Jewish sermons, and in turn, how have these events affected Jewish preaching?

 


 

Robert V. Friedenberg is Professor of Communication at Miami (Ohio) University.

"An important account of the development of Jewish homiletics in the United States."
—The Jewish Quarterly Review

 

“This is an excellent study. It will be valuable both in rhetoric and communication and in Judaic studies. It is the only study of which I am aware that focuses on the Jewish sermon from the standpoint of rhetorical theory and criticism, and which grounds theological developments in the matrix of social and historical studies.”
—David Zarefsky
    Northwestern University

 


1989 Religious Communication Association Outstanding Book of the Year, sponsored by Religious Communication Association

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