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The Myth of the Cultural JewCulture and Law in Jewish Tradition$
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Roberta Rosenthal Kwall

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780195373707

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195373707.001.0001

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The Lessons of Cultural Analysis

The Lessons of Cultural Analysis

(p.281) 10 The Lessons of Cultural Analysis
The Myth of the Cultural Jew

Roberta Rosenthal Kwall

Oxford University Press

Chapter 10 illustrates how the lessons of cultural analysis can be applied to inform and shape Jewish identity and to enhance the discussion concerning the survival of Judaism and the Jewish people. These lessons focus on the importance of the intersection between law and culture. The discussion illuminates how the mesorah negotiates issues involving authenticity and particularity of the tradition on the one hand, and cultural fluidity and pluralism on the other. Drawing from the theory and insights of cultural analysis, this chapter demonstrates how the explicit synergy between Jewish law and culture can facilitate important conversations for Jews in the United States and elsewhere. It emphasizes the importance of creating a strong middle ground among Jews and the role of both halakhah and Jewish narrative (known as aggadah) in effective Jewish education.

Keywords:   Jewish survival, Jewish people, Jewish identity, pluralism, authenticity, cultural analysis, halakhah, aggadah, narrative, Jewish education

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