Characteristic histories and literatures of the Jewish people are brought together in this volume and arranged in the form of a cultural mosaic, a distinctly Canadian approach to life. The articles and scholarly contributions contained herein investigate Jewish life and thought, not merely in the Canadian and contemporary context but also in other geographical localities and historical epochs that were formative in the shaping of Jewish history. The wealth of knowledge represented within these pages engages traditional ancient Jewish sources (Talmud and Tanakh, Mishnah and Midrash); topics in Jewish mysticism (Lurianic Kabbala, popularization of kabbalistic literature, the Tosher Rebbe); historical and contemporary themes that address aspects and environ of everyday life (kitchen, classroom, theologian's desk, synagogue, Holocaust survival, women's and peace studies). Jewish life and identity, better described than defined, come alive in the reading of this book. Both general readers and specialists will find value in this collection of studies. For the former, it offers a glimpse into the complicated network of themes and perspectives in which contemporary Jews engage. Rich bibliographies of cogent resources avail themselves to the latter. They will nevertheless commonly conclude that, however diverse the terrain, Jewish Studies in Canada-with research ongoing and range ever-expanding-offers vibrant and real response to key questions raised in past generations: Who is a Jew? and What is Judaism?
About the Author: Daniel Maoz (PhD, Universite des Sciences Humaines de Strasbourg, France) is a Research Associate in the Department of Religion at Concordia University, Montreal, Canada. He is Vice President of the Canadian Society for Jewish Studies and author of B'Qol Echad: The Sermon on the Mount and Rabbinic Literature (Bethesda: International Scholars Press, 1995), a critical analysis of rabbinic and New Testament parallels. He is presently completing the first volume of a two-volume reference work on ancient Jewish legend and lore literature written primarily in Aramaic: Aggadic Midrash I: Florilegium (Lewiston: Mellen Reference Library) provides sample readings in the original language and in translation of the aggadic corpus. Volume 2 will offer a systematic catalogue of various manuscripts and versions of the aggadot. Andrea Gondos is a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Religion at Concordia University, Montreal, Canada. Her doctoral dissertation examines the impact of printing on the popularization of Kabbalah in 17th Century Eastern and Central Europe. In general, she is interested in how technological changes in material culture, such as printing, transform the genres and content of the texts produced. Her research pays special attention to the interface between Jewish and Christian readers, who required new tools to cope with the printed panoply of Kabbalistic texts. She was selected as one of the graduate student participants at the Radcliffe Summer Workshop entitled, History of reading across Cultures: The Jewish Book and Its Readers in Early Modern Europe held at Harvard University in 2008.