Cover image for Friendship in Jewish History, Religion, and Culture Edited by Lawrence Fine

Friendship in Jewish History, Religion, and Culture

Edited by Lawrence Fine

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$95.95 | Hardcover Edition
ISBN: 978-0-271-08794-8

Available as an e-book

270 pages
6" × 9"
6 b&w illustrations
2021

Dimyonot: Jews and the Cultural Imagination

Friendship in Jewish History, Religion, and Culture

Edited by Lawrence Fine

“This innovative and accessible anthology highlights the significance of a frequently neglected facet of Jewish life. I know of no other scholarly work that explores the varieties of human friendship in such a wide range of Jewish sources. The attention to gender is particularly noteworthy and adds immensely to the value and interest of this important volume.”

 

  • Description
  • Reviews
  • Bio
  • Table of Contents
  • Sample Chapters
  • Subjects
The ubiquity of friendship in human culture contributes to the fallacy that ideas about friendship have not changed and remained consistent throughout history. It is only when we begin to inquire into the nature and significance of the concept in specific contexts that we discover how complex it truly is. Covering the vast expanse of Jewish tradition, from ancient Israel to the twenty-first century, this collection of essays traces the history of the beliefs, rituals, and social practices surrounding friendship in Jewish life.

Employing diverse methodological approaches, this volume explores the particulars of the many varied forms that friendship has taken in the different regions where Jews have lived, including the ancient Near East, the Greco-Roman world, Europe, and the United Sates. The four sections—friendship between men, friendship between women, challenges to friendship, and friendships that cross boundaries, especially between Jews and Christians, or men and women—represent and exemplify universal themes and questions about human interrelationships. This pathbreaking and timely study will inspire further research and provide the groundwork for future explorations of the topic.

In addition to the editor, the contributors are Martha Ackelsberg, Michela Andreatta, Joseph Davis, Glenn Dynner, Eitan P. Fishbane, Susannah Heschel, Daniel Jütte, Eyal Levinson, Saul M. Olyan, George Savran, and Hava Tirosh-Samuelson.

“This innovative and accessible anthology highlights the significance of a frequently neglected facet of Jewish life. I know of no other scholarly work that explores the varieties of human friendship in such a wide range of Jewish sources. The attention to gender is particularly noteworthy and adds immensely to the value and interest of this important volume.”

Lawrence Fine is Irene Kaplan Leiwant Chair of Jewish Studies and Professor of Religion Emeritus, at Mount Holyoke College. He is the author or editor of seven books, including the award-winning Physician of the Soul, Healer of the Cosmos: Isaac Luria and His Kabbalistic Fellowship.

Acknowledgements

Introduction: Studying Friendship in Jewish History, Religion, and Culture

Lawrence Fine

Part 1: Love, Intimacy, and Friendship Between Men

1. “Cherished in Life, for They Loved Each Other Exceedingly”:

Friendship in Medieval Ashkenaz

Eyal Levinson

2. God in the Face of the Other: Mystical Friendship in the Zohar

Eitan P. Fishbane

3. Friendship and Gender: The Limits and Possibilities of Jewish Philosophy

Hava Tirosh-Samuelson

Part 2: Women and the Bonds of Friendship

4. “She and Her Friends”: On Women’s Friendship in Biblical Narrative

Saul M. Olyan

5. Friends and Friendship in the Memoir of Glückel of Hameln:

Learning from Experience

Joseph Davis

6. “Got Yourself Some Friends? Now Build a Movement!” Friendship in the Jewish Women’s Movement in the United States

Martha Ackelsberg

Part 3: Friendship and its Challenges

7. Jacob and Esau: Twinship, Identity, and Failed Friendship

George Savran

8. Hebraica Amicitia: Leon Modena and the Cultural Practices of Early Modern Intra-Jewish Friendship

Michela Andreatta

9. Friendship and Betrayal: Hasidism and Secularism in Early

Twentieth-Century Poland

Glenn Dynner

Part 4: Crossing Boundaries: Friendship Between Women and Men, and Between Jews and Gentiles

10. Interfaith Encounters Between Jews and Christians in the Early Modern Period and Beyond: Toward a Framework

Daniel Jütte

11. Friendship, Jewish Female Philosophers, and Feminism

Hava Tirosh-Samuelson

12. A Friendship in the Prophetic Tradition: Abraham Joshua Heschel and Martin Luther King Jr.

Susannah Heschel

List of Contributors

Index

Download a PDF sample chapter here: Introduction