In the Footsteps of the Kuzari
An Introduction to Jewish Philosophy

ISBN 978-1-933143-18-7, 326 pages, hardcover, $24.95
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By Shalom Rosenberg

In the Footsteps of the Kuzari is an exciting work that guides readers through Judaism’s views on the most pressing philosophical issues of the day. Combining a keen sensitivity to the religious dilemmas of our day with the intellectual rigor of the university, this book serves as an introduction to Jewish philosophy, and unapologetically argues that Judaism presents a coherent and sophisticated religious worldview that is as relevant today as it has been for millennia. Building on the classic work of Jewish thought, The Kuzari, noted Orthodox thinker Prof. Shalom Rosenberg takes readers through the Jewish views that have been voiced throughout the ages and shows how they can be transformed into a compelling worldview in this postmodern age. Intellectually stimulating and philosophically creative, this important work made large waves when published in Hebrew and is now being offered to the Englishreading public. Take a tour through Jewish philosophy over the ages, from the Talmud to Maimonides to Rav Kook and beyond, and learn where the next stage of Jewish thought will take us.

The book addresses such pressing issues as:

  • The sources of the individual’s religious experience,
  • Religious truth in the context of changing intellectual trends and fads,
  • Jewish uniqueness and the nations of the world,
  • The relations between the individual and the collective,
  • The challenges of educating toward a rich religious life.

Prof. Rosenberg has for decades been one of the leading intellectual forces in Israeli Modern Orthodoxy. In the Footsteps of the Kuzari will be an important resource for teachers and students of Jewish thought, as well as for English-speaking Jews in search of a rich, sophisticated, and coherent Jewish voice. Readers of Prof. Rosenberg’s work will discover his rare ability to use medieval texts to address contemporary issues, without sacrificing an awareness that these same texts are not themselves contemporary.

This book was published in conjunction with ATID, Academy for Torah Initiatives and Directions. See below for more information about this innovative institution.

Praise for the Book
ATID is proud to be able to bring Shalom Rosenberg's In the Footsteps of the Kuzari to an English-speaking audience as part of our effort to produce quality, thought-provoking material for Jewish educators and the general public. The work is invaluable for articulating the message of classical Jewish thought in a compelling, mature, and contemporary way. Teachers, in particular, will find a clear and sophisticated approach to Judaism that they can share and explore with their students.

—Rabbi Chaim Brovender, President, ATID Foundation
Finally, English readers now have an opportunity, long denied to them, to learn from the works of Prof. Shalom Rosenberg, one of our generation's most respected and distinguished teachers of Jewish philosophy. Using the immortal Kuzari of R. Yehuda Halevi as both text and pretext, he introduces the reader to the most beloved of all the giants of medieval Jewish thought. Rosenberg has a phenomenal gift for explaining otherwise recondite ideas. As a gifted pedagogue, he leads the reader through the exciting highways and byways of Jewish thought without either condescension or oversimplification. His Introduction alone is a masterpiece. I would make it required reading for all who wish to understand Jewish philosophy and, as well, the intellectual background of Modern Orthodoxy and its leitmotif, Torah Umadda without polemics or institutional hubris. He is not only a prominent philosopher, not only a superb educator who eschews both dogmatism and relativism but, above all, a man of wisdom combined with humility. Rosenberg not only instructs his readers; he also charms them with his good sense. This is not a work of history or formal philosophy remote from modern man and his sensibilities. Rosenberg always bears in mind the contemporary reader, his language, concepts, and background, and succeeds in bridging the gap of many centuries, This, his first major work to be published in English, is Prof. Rosenberg's gift to both students and laymen — all who would understand Jewish thought by reading a master teacher expound a major Jewish work that has persisted in its importance for the last one thousand years.

—Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm, Chancellor, Yeshiva University

Inside the Book

Table of Contents

    Section 1: The Search for God in the Modern World
  1. God’s Call to Man
  2. God’s Universal Call
  3. Judaism Confronts the “Ism”s
  4. In the Marketplace of Ideas
  5. The Philosophical Triangle

  6. Section 2: Religion on Defense
  7. Belief in God and the Dialogue with Philosophy (download PDF)
  8. Torah and Philosophy: The Foci of the Conflict
  9. Intentions and Actions
  10. The Dream as Parable
  11. Judaism as the Source: The Other Religions Respond
  12. The Jewish Response

  13. Section 3: Jews and Gentiles
  14. Particularism and Universalism: The Choice of the Jewish People
  15. Heart & Body: The Jewish People and the Nations
  16. An Approach to Cosmopolitanism
  17. On Conflict and Tolerance
  18. You and the Gentiles are Called Man: The Jewish Attitude to Gentiles

  19. Section 4: Thinking Religion Through
  20. The Parable of the Indian King
  21. Who is Rational?
  22. The Concept of Creation
  23. The Four Books and the Book of Books

  24. Section 5: Lessons in Science
  25. Nature and other Magic Words
  26. Nature and Evolution
  27. Science and Religion

  28. Section 6: The Human Tradition
  29. Man and the Cosmos
  30. The Unity of the Human Race
  31. Tradition in Conflict
  32. The Battle over Jewish Tradition

  33. Subject Index
    Name Index


Chapter 6: Belief in God and the Dialogue with Philosophy (PDF)

About the Author

Prof. Shalom Rosenberg (Google him) is a leading contemporary Orthodox thinker who specializes in using modern philosophy to elucidate and develop Jewish thought. Dr. Rosenberg is Professor Emeritus in the Departments of Jewish Thought and of Philosophy at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His numerous articles and books have focused on the relationship between modern philosophy and Jewish thought in issues related to revelation and tradition, and the relationship between religion and ethics in Judaism. Prof. Rosenberg works extensively in the educational field and has contributed widely to the development of Jewish thought as an integral and important part of Israeli and Jewish culture. His most important books in this field are Not in Heaven (Hebrew) on revelation and Jewish law, Torah and Science (Hebrew) on religion and science, and In the Footsteps of the Kuzari, of which the current book is an English translation.

About ATID

ATID is an independent institution fostering new and significant thought, strategies, and policies for the crucial issues facing Jewish education. ATID’s longrange programs include the ATID Fellows, a training fellowship for young Orthodox Jewish educators and future educational leadership, as well as professional and institutional development projects with lead-schools in Israel and the Diaspora, and a research and publishing division. ATID is the parent body of – the world’s first fully interactive online yeshiva.

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