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Professor Yosef Faur has published another book - The Naked Crowd. From the blurb:

* "The Naked Crowd: The Jewish Alternative To Cunning Humanity" by José Faur [ISBN 978-1-935104-02-5]

Thousands of years ago, the Jewish nation became what Nobel laureate Elias Canetti called a "naked crowd"; a society built on transparency and inclusiveness, impervious to the attempts of would-be tyrants to control the "crowd" through mind-games, linguistic manipulation, and mass hysteria. While the Jewish people have, over the course of history, occasionally lost touch with this foundation of their society, they have never lost the dream of a truly free society for all. In this book, José Faur articulates the essence of the Jewish alternative to the cunning societies of world history.

The book is available in full on books.google.com under the Creative Commons Non-commercial No Derivatives 3.0 license.
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The most integral idea in the Hebrew Scripture is that of a bilateral covenant, freely contracted between God and Israel. This covenant is the basis for all the laws and institutions governing the Jewish people. Professor Stone objects that "the rabbis of the classical period [did not devote] any systematic attention to the idea of a bilateral, negotiated covenant." This objection is the consequence of a belief in the need to subordinate Jewish ideas to Western canons of truth. It is true that the rabbis did not devote any "systematic attention" to the covenant, but also to little else. The whole notion of a system, let alone systematic attention, was alien to them. Not only did the Talmud fail to devote any systematic attention to the concept of covenant, but also to other concepts such as God, monotheism, oral law, history, canonization, family law, civil law, and so forth. Indeed, it would be difficult to find a single subject to which the Talmud had given systematic attention. At the same time, the expression ha-berit ("by the covenant!") in Rabbinic literature was used as an oath, reflecting supreme sanctity. More to the point, the Rabbis developed the concept of covenant not as a theological doctrine or philosophical postulate, but as a juridical principle. This principle is known as mushba ve-omed me-har sinai, "(he/she) was already duly sworn at Mt. Sinai." This principle stipulates that every Jew is regarded as having personally entered into the Sinaitic covenant. Therefore, an oath contravening any of the commandments is to be considered an oath "pronounced in vain" (levatalah). Maimonides codified this principle and regarded it as a basic Jewish concept.

- Dr. Jose Faur, "Monolingualism and Judaism"


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Yisroel Markov

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