Torah, Ritual, Body, Jew

By Benjamin D. Sommer

Jewish Family & Life (JFL Media), September 2009

The author argues that for most world religions, including Judaism, religion is an activity performed with the body every bit as much as with the mind, heart and soul. It is only the Western (Protestant) discomfort with the body, he contends, that has led some forms of Christianity (and many streams of Judaism) to downplay physicality and outward ritual. Thankfully, the author notes, this trend is beginning to reverse in the Jewish community, as new generations rediscover the physicality of religion as expressed in such rituals as tallit (prayer shawl), tefillah, lulav (palm frond), and tohorat hamishpacha (family purity practices).

Topic: Theology, Ritual, Culture, Spirituality, Change, Religion, Sexuality

Name of Publication: Sh'ma: A Journal of Jewish Ideas

Editor: Berrin, Susan

Volume/Issue: Vol.40/no.662

Page Number(s): 8-9

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Genre: Article

Coverage: United States

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Sommer, Benjamin D. Torah, Ritual, Body, Jew. Sh'ma: A Journal of Jewish Ideas. Jewish Family & Life (JFL Media). September 2009: 8-9.


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