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Rabbi Josh Yuter

Recommended Books

31 books on the list
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American Prophets book cover
American Prophets
The Religious Roots of Progressive Politics and the Ongoing Fight for the Soul of the Country
Jack Jenkins - 2020-04-21
Goodreads Rating
From one of the country's most respected religion reporters, a paradigm-shifting discussion of how the Religious Left is actually the moral compass that has long steered America’s political debates, including today.Since the ascendancy of the Religious Right in the 1970s, common wisdom holds that it is a coalition of fundamentalist powerbrokers who...
Rabbi Josh Yuter
@NuritBaytch @beliefnet @jackmjenkins has an excellent book discussing religious rhetoric adopted by progressives across several religions.      source
Virtuous Violence book cover
Virtuous Violence
Hurting and Killing to Create, Sustain, End, and Honor Social Relationships
Alan Page Fiske, Tage Shakti Rai - 2014-11-27
Goodreads Rating
What motivates violence? How can good and compassionate people hurt and kill others or themselves? Why are people much more likely to kill or assault people they know well, rather than strangers? This provocative and radical book shows that people mostly commit violence because they genuinely feel that it is the morally right thing to do. In perpet...
Rabbi Josh Yuter
Book Recommendation: Virtuous Violence: Hurting and Killing to Create, Sustain, End, and Honor Social Relationships by Fiske and Rai This made my top list last year and I think it explains many of the arguments one finds on Twitter across ideologies.      source
The Origins of the Seder book cover
The Origins of the Seder
Baruch M. Bokser - 2002-01-01
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The Passover and its rite are central in the history of Judaism and Christianity. Explaining hot the Passover evening celebration, the seder, became one of the most popular Jewish rituals, Baruch M. Bokser shows how it was based on and transformed a biblical sacrificial meal. Bokser demonstrates the significance of the motif of Passover inb ancient...
Rabbi Josh Yuter
Recommendation: One of the best Passover books you'll find is The Origins of the Seder by Baruch Bokser:      source
Jewish Identity book cover
Jewish Identity
Who is a Jew?
Baruch Litvin - 2012-12-12
Goodreads Rating
Rabbi Josh Yuter
@Asher24956548 Very tricky question bec even if I were to say yes, then we'd get into what counts as halakhic (less of an issue re direct descendants, more of a problem re various opinions of conversion). Here's a great book collecting may diff perspectives      source
Against Empathy book cover
Against Empathy
The Case for Rational Compassion
Paul Bloom - 2018-01-09 (first published in 2016)
Goodreads Rating
New York Post Best Book of 2016We often think of our capacity to experience the suffering of others as the ultimate source of goodness. Many of our wisest policy-makers, activists, scientists, and philosophers agree that the only problem with empathy is that we dont have enough of it.Nothing could be farther from the truth, argues Yale researcher P...
Rabbi Josh Yuter
I also highly recommend everyone read Paul Bloom's excellent book: Against Empathy. It's not that empathy is "Bad" but it's a manipulative way to set policy with severe negative consequences.      source
Also recommended by
Vinod Khosla
Seeing Like a State book cover
Seeing Like a State
How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed (Veritas Paperbacks)
James C. Scott - 2020-03-17 (first published in 1998)
Goodreads Rating
"One of the most profound and illuminating studies of this century to have been published in recent decades." —John Gray, New York Times Book ReviewHailed as "a magisterial critique of top-down social planning" by the New York Times, this essential work analyzes disasters from Russia to Tanzania to uncover why states so often fail—sometimes catastr...
Rabbi Josh Yuter
@AvBronstein I think you'll also appreciate his book Seeing Like a State:      source
What's Wrong With Morality? book cover
What's Wrong With Morality?
A Social-Psychological Perspective
C. Daniel Batson - 2015-11-16
Goodreads Rating
Most works on moral psychology direct our attention to the positive role morality plays for us as individuals, as a society, even as a species. In What's Wrong with Morality?, C. Daniel Batson takes a different approach: he looks at morality as a problem. The problem is not that it is wrong to be moral, but that our morality often fails to produce ...
Rabbi Josh Yuter
One of the most important books I've read this year is C. Daniel Batson's What's Wrong with Morality. The most relevant and depressing finding pertains to hypocrisy and how people prioritize *appearing* moral over actually *being* moral. I.e. Twitter.      source
How Judaism Became a Religion book cover
How Judaism Became a Religion
An Introduction to Modern Jewish Thought
Leora Batnitzky - 2013-08-25
Goodreads Rating
Is Judaism a religion, a culture, a nationality--or a mixture of all of these? In "How Judaism Became a Religion," Leora Batnitzky boldly argues that this question more than any other has driven modern Jewish thought since the eighteenth century. This wide-ranging and lucid introduction tells the story of how Judaism came to be defined as a religio...
Rabbi Josh Yuter
@Brooklyn654321 @RachelBethGross @ymiller419 See JZ Smith's classic article, "Religion Religions, Religious" (PDF) and/or Leora Banitzky's book How Judaism Became a Religion:      source
Critical Race Theory book cover
Critical Race Theory
An Introduction (Critical America, 20)
Richard Delgado - 2017-03-07 (first published in 1995)
Goodreads Rating
Updated to include the Black Lives Matter movement, the presidency of Barack Obama, the rise of hate speech on the Internet, and moreSince the publication of the first edition of Critical Race Theory in 2001, the United States has lived through two economic downturns, an outbreak of terrorism, and the onset of an epidemic of hate directed against i...
Rabbi Josh Yuter
@navmydreams So far the easiest book I can recommend is Critical Race Theory: An Introduction. One of the co-authors has been one of CRT's primary proponents in academia and the book is exceptionally readable esp compared to much of the actual scholarship.      source
Peshat and Derash book cover
Peshat and Derash
Plain and Applied Meaning in Rabbinic Exegesis
David Weiss Halivni - 1998-09-03 (first published in 1991)
Goodreads Rating
From the days of Plato, the problem of the efficacy and adequacy of the written word as a vehicle of human communication has challenged mankind, yet the mystery of how best to achieve clarity and exactitude of written expression has never been solved. The most repercussive instance of this universal problem has been the exegesis of the law embodied...
Rabbi Josh Yuter
@prranch @spengjr @TheJogre46 Thanks for the tag! I think much has to do not only with interpretation but authority, meaning which interpretations are legally authoritative and/or who has the authority to make which interpretations (or their practical consequences. Here's a great book:      source
Social Vision by Philip Wexler
Jewish Materialism by Eliyahu Stern
The Fractured Republic by Yuval Levin
The Demon in Democracy by Ryszard Legutko
The Magician's Land by Lev Grossman
From the Maccabees to the Mishnah, Third Edition by Shaye Cohen
The Study of Judaism by Aaron W. Hughes
The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt
The Magician King by Lev Grossman
Confidence Men by Ron Suskind
Limits of Orthodox Theology by Marc B. Shapiro
The Magicians by Lev Grossman
Laws of Fear by Cass Sunstein
Inventing Human Rights by Lynn Hunt
A Conflict of Visions by Thomas Sowell
The White Man's Burden by William Easterly
Jewish Law, 4-volume set by Menachem Elon
The Quest for Cosmic Justice by Thomas Sowell
Evil by Roy Baumeister
The Vision of the Anointed by Thomas Sowell