‘Being Jewish Today – Confronting the Real Issues’ is a new book by former Head and President of Reform Judaism, Rabbi Professor Tony Bayfield CBE. Published by Bloomsbury Continuum on 5 September, the book gives an account of both the journey of a particular British Jew and the journey of millions of women and men through today’s perplexing and difficult world.
‘Mesmerizing, intelligent, honest . . . opens the soul of the reader. This book is a treasure.’
– Rabbi David Ellenson, Chancellor Emeritus Hebrew Union College
‘This inspiring book has made me a better Jew, one who understands more, who knows more.’
– Lord Daniel Finkelstein
‘Powerful, important, meaningful, yet very readable.’
– Stephen Grabiner, Chair, Jewish Chronicle
‘A deeply humane, learned and personal reflection on Jewish identity […]. At this time of resurgent prejudice, it is crucial to have books like this to keep mind and conscience awake’
– Dr Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury
‘A thoughtful and inviting statement of what it means to be a Jew in today’s complicated world.’
– Judith Plaskow, Author, Standing Again at Sinai
The book can be purchased online here with a special discount of 30% – enter the code BJT2019 to apply the reduced price.
With honesty and integrity Rabbi Bayfield breaks new ground in exploring the meaning of Jewish identity and its relationship to Jewish tradition and belief. He does so from the perspective of a person fully integrated into the modern Western world. The rigorous questions he asks of his Jewishness, Judaism and the Jewish God are therefore substantially the same as those asked by people of all faiths and none. Beginning with an account of the journey of Jewish people and thought from ancient times to the present day, he goes on to consider Jewish identity, Israel as land and the scourge of anti-Semitism. He then turns to the twin concerns of Torah: halachah – practice, and aggadah – ethics, along with the matter of belief in a world faced with global extinction.
Finally, in addressing the manifest injustice of life, Rabbi Bayfield confronts the widely evaded questions of universal suffering and divine inaction. Drawing on key religious and secular thinkers who contribute to the force of his argument, this masterful, challenging and urgent book will appeal to all Jews, whether religious or cultural, and to anyone curious about the nature of Judaism and religion today.
Rabbi Professor Tony Bayfield CBE is a graduate of Magdalene College Cambridge and Leo Baeck College, London. He has been both Head and President of the Movement for Reform Judaism. He also has a Lambeth doctorate for a body of published work in the world of theology and Christian Jewish relations. His CBE was awarded for services to Reform Judaism and he was also awarded the Inter Faith Gold Medallion. This is his sixth book. He has contributed to numerous learned journals and reviews.