Who Are the Jews--And Who Can We Become?

Who Are the Jews--And Who Can We Become? - Donniel Hartman

Who Are the Jews--And Who Can We Become?

Who Are the Jews--And Who Can We Become? tackles perhaps the most urgent question facing the Jewish people today: Given unprecedented denominational tribalism, how can we Jews speak of ourselves in collective terms?
Crucially, the way each of us tells our "shared" story is putting our collective identity at risk, Donniel Hartman argues. We need a new story, built on Judaism's foundations and poised to inspire a majority of Jews to listen, discuss, and retell it. This book is that story.
Since our beginnings, Hartman explains, the Jewish identity meta-narrative has been a living synthesis of two competing religious covenants: Genesis Judaism, which defines Jewishness in terms of who one is and the group to which one belongs, independent of what one does or believes; and Exodus Judaism, which grounds identity in terms of one's relationship with an aspirational system of values, ideals, beliefs, commandments, and behaviors. When one narrative becomes too dominant, Jewish collective identity becomes distorted. Conversely, when Genesis and Exodus interplay, the sparks of a rich, compelling identity are found.
Hartman deftly applies this Genesis-Exodus meta-narrative as a roadmap to addressing contemporary challenges, including Diaspora Jewry's eroding relationship with Israel, the "othering" of Israeli Palestinians, interfaith marriage, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and--collectively--who we Jews can become.
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