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The Gate to Perfection

The Idea of Peace in Jewish Thought

Walter Homolka and Albert Friedlander
With a Preface by Elie Wiesel

142 pages, bibliog.

ISBN  978-1-57181-018-2 $120.00/£85.00 Hb Published (October 1994)



"This book is original, lucid and scholarly. It is a major contribution to theological thought, while at the same time an inspiration to non-scholars who are interested in the sources of belief. The book is not eurocentristic but covers all the various traditions in the United States and Israel as well."   · Neil Postman


A timely book: as Israelis and Arabs are moving towards a settlement, this study offers a valuable historical dimension, from the Jewish point of view, to the main issue involved, i.e., the idea of peace. The authors maintain that peace has always played an important role in Jewish thought, that in fact Judaism as a religion is characterized by the striving for peace. They reach this conclusion after having examined a variety of sources, ranging from the biblical texts of Old Israel to the Talmudic tradition and Jewish Philosophy of Religion up until the twentieth century.

Rabbi Professor Dr. Walter Homolka is rector of the Abraham Geiger College at Potsdam University, Germany's first rabbinical seminary since the Holocaust. He is Chairman of the Leo Baeck Foundation and an Executive Board Member of the World Union for Progressive Judaism. His publications include Leo Baeck: Teacher of Theresienstadt (1991) and Riders towards the Dawn(1993).

Subject: Jewish Studies General Cultural Studies


Chapter 1. The Concept of Peace in the Hebrew Bible
Chapter 2. The Jewish-Hellenistic Symbiosis in the 'Sefarim Chizoniim, and in Philo and Josephus
Chapter 3. Views on Peace in Talmudic Times: Mishnah, Talmud, Midrash
Chapter 4. Medieval Jewish Philosophy and its Attitude toward Peace
Chapter 5. The Concept of Peace in the Jewish Enlightenment and Emancipation
Chapter 6. The Jewish Reformation
Chapter 7. Jews, Judaism and the Concept of Peace in Our Time

Appendix: The PLO-Israel Accord, 13 September 1993

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