Although the ideas of tradition and modernity may seem to be directly opposed, David Ellenson, a leading contemporary scholar of modern Jewish thought, understood that these concepts can also enjoy a more fluid relationship. In hor of Ellenson, editors Michael A. Meyer and David N. Myers have gathered contributors for Between Jewish Tradition and Modernity: Rethinking an Old Opposition to examine the permutations and adaptations of these intertwined forms of Jewish expression. Contributions draw from a range of disciplines and scholarly interests and range in subject from the theological to the liturgical, sociological, and literary. The geographic and historical focus of the volume is on the United States and the State of Israel, both of which have been major sites of inquiry in Ellenson's work. In twenty-two essays, contributors demonstrate that modernity did t simply replace tradition in Judaism but rather entered into a variety of relationships with it: adopting or adapting certain elements, repossessing rituals that had once been abandoned, or struggling with its continuing influence. In four parts - Law, Ritual, Thought, and Culture - contributors explore a variety of subjects, including the role of reform in Israeli Orthodoxy, traditions of twentieth-century bar/bat mitzvah, end-of-life ethics, tensions between Zionism and American Jewry, and the rise of a 1960s New York Jewish countrerculture. An introductory essay also presents an appreciation of Ellenson's scholarly contribution. Bringing together leading Jewish historians, anthropologists, sociologists, philosophers and liturgists, Between Jewish Tradition and Modernity offers a collective view of a historically and culturally significant issue that will be of interest to Jewish scholars of many discplines. Contributors Include: Adam S. Ferziger, Jack Wertheimer, Jonathan D. Sarna, Deborah E. Lipstadt, Michael A. Meyer, Steven M. Lowenstein, William Cutter, Riv-Ellen Prell, Carole B. Balin, Arld J. Band, Paula E. Hyman, Zvi Zohar, Elliot N. Dorff, Isa Aron, Dalia Marx, Arld M. Eisen, Michael Marmur, Rachel Adler, Lewis M. Barth, Lawrence A. Hoffman, Wendy I. Zierler.
Michael A. Meyer is Adolph S. Ochs Professor of Jewish History Emeritus at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is the author or editor of a dozen books and has published more than two hundred scholarly articles. David N. Myers is professor of Jewish history at UCLA. He is the author of Re-Inventing the Jewish Past: European Jewish Intellectuals and the Zionist Return to History, Resisting History: Historicism and Its Discontents in German-Jewish Thought, and Between Jew and Arab: The Lost Voice of Simon Rawidowicz; and the editor of six books, including The Jewish Past Revisited and Enlightenment and Diaspora: The Armenian and Jewish Cases.