Volume 6, Number 1, May 2010
A WORD FROM THE EDITOR
“The Weaver creates the fabric in accordance with His Will, adorning it with a magnificent array of hues – G’vanim – as His heart may prompt.” It is in precisely these terms that the Kuzari describes God’s constantly unfolding work of Creation. Our own G’vanim – the Journal of the Academy for Jewish Religion – similarly makes a modest contribution to God’s work – and to our understanding of God’s Word – by weaving together the creative insights and heartfelt perspectives of an array of scholars and authors. The Academy for Jewish Religion intuitively embodies the vision of the Kuzari by understanding that a principled pluralism sensitive to the wide variety of hues reflected in the Jewish Community is indispensable to a full appreciation of God s Creation and God’s Will.
To this end, we and our readers are indebted to those who contributed to this edition of G’vanim. Rabbi Bernard Zlotowitz, beloved mentor to countlesss AJR students and my predecessor as Editor of this journal, together with Rabbi Leonard Kravitz have provided us with a fresh and critical insight into an ostensibly familiar liturgical text. Rabbi Einat Ramon of Jerusalem revisits the work of seminal thinker Abraham Joshua Heschel and his understanding of the modern Jewish experience. Professor Alyssa Gray analyzes a complex Halakhic principle critical to everyday Jewish observance and personal probity. I have offered some personal reactions to the scientific traveling exhibition known as Body Worlds, and suggested a Jewish response grounded (it is my hope) in both the classical sources and contemporary sensibilities. I am grateful to veteran G’vanim contributor, historian and attorney Harry Ezratty and “Aharon Aharon Haviv to AJR Rabbi-in-Residence Jeff Hoffman for contributing timely book reviews and pointing us to still further reading.
May this edition of G’vanim further strengthen AJR’s mission by providing a glimpse at the beautiful fabric emanating from the heart of the Divine Weaver.