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The God Who Hates Lies

In a deeply personal look at the struggle between commitment to Jewish religious tradition and personal morality, SHI President Emeritus David Hartman (1931-2013) probed the deepest questions at the heart of what it means to be a human being and a Jew. 

In the book, David Hartman draws on a lifetime of learning, teaching and experience as a social activist to present an intellectual framework for examining covenantal theology as it is applied to religious life. As much an expression of his impassioned commitment to Jewish law as it is testament to a lifetime of intellectual questioning and courage, this bold examination of the halakhic system offers fresh insights into Judaism and the quest for spiritual nourishment.

From the Introduction: "Anyone curious about the Jewish way of life, yet dissatisfied with much of contemporary Jewish theology and practice -repelled, perhaps, by the cheap and vulgar apologetics of those who seek to justify and sustain some of the tradition’s systematic immoralities, who smugly deny expression to any doubt or uncertainty, claiming a monopoly on absolute truth – is invited to join me on this pilgrimage.”

David Hartman received his rabbinic ordination from Yeshiva University’s theological seminary in New York City. He is the author of many award-winning books, including A Living Covenant: The Innovative Spirit in Traditional Judaism and Maimonides: Torah and Philosophic Quest, both winners of the National Jewish Book Award, A Heart of Many Rooms: Celebrating the Many Voices within Judaism, finalist for the National Jewish Book Award and a Publishers Weekly “Best Book of the Year”, and Love and Terror in the God Encounter: The Theological Legacy of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik.

Charlie Buckholtz, a rabbi and writer, is a senior editor at the Shalom Hartman Institute.

Praise for The God Who Hates Lies:

"David Hartman inhabits the places of the impossible – where truths collide – with courage. A traditional and halakhic Judaism will emerge from its clash with the ethical more faithful to its essence." – Rabbi Shira Milgrom, Congregation Kol Ami, White Plains, New York

"A masterful, passionate confessional of an encounter in one man’s soul between traditional Judaism and his deepest moral sensibilities. Whether or not you agree with Rabbi Hartman’s vision, this book will pursue you long after you have read it." – Yehuda (Jerome) Gellman, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

"Another essential and prophetic work from one of the great religious thinkers of the age. This deeply felt book is intensely personal yet intellectually rigorous – a challenge and a consolation for everyone who looks for God." – James Carroll, author, Jerusalem, Jerusalem: How the Ancient City Ignited Our Modern World

"This is the book from David Hartman we have been waiting for! Written with passion, clarity, and scholarship … [it] is sure to provoke a lively conversation on the nature of Jewish law, the State of Israel and what it means to live in a covenanted relationship with God." – Rabbi Elliot J. Cosgrove, PhD, Park Avenue Synagogue.

"A trenchant and controversial statement of Jewish theology…. No thinking Jew can afford to ignore this book." – Rabbi Neil Gillman, PhD, emeritus professor of Jewish philosophy, The Jewish Theological Seminary of America

"A powerful and important book for … Jews of every denomination and lifestyle who want to discover for themselves why Judaism matters. Brilliantly, boldly and creatively challenges all of us to understand that there are indeed two Torahs – the Torah of tradition and the Torah of our own lives." – Rabbi Laura Geller, senior rabbi, Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills

"Slides open the shut window of traditional authoritarianism and invites the fresh air of biblical and rabbinic conscience to refresh the contemporary Jewish agenda. [This book] cannot be ignored by any serious reader." – Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis

"One of the most important Jewish books of our time. This is a work of kiddush Hashem, sanctifying the Holy Name, too often desecrated by believers." – Yossi Klein Halevi.

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