The Way Jews Loved

Marriage, Sexuality and Tradition in Jewish History

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About the Book

While acknowledging the ways in which persecution inevitably affects a community, this book deviates from most Jewish studies to survey the ways in which Jewish history has been shaped by the everyday experience of love. It examines erotic poetry, sensual art and literature, and biblical and rabbinic stories about lust. It reviews the ways in which Jewish law has both encouraged and regulated sexual interaction and studies the diversity of Jewish attitudes toward such relationships. It is a vast array of works whose authors and artists often speak to the confusion and failure of love while also finding a purpose in its pursuance. It tells the stories of those people who revel in love and of others who remember love and grieve in its absence.

About the Author(s)

Constance Harris was active in the Jewish Federation Council of Los Angeles, serving on a variety of Committees and as President of the Women’s Conference. She organized the Women’s Interfaith Committee with the purpose of fostering personal relationships and mutual understanding among differing religious experiences. She lives in Walnut Creek, California.

Bibliographic Details

Constance Harris
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages:
Bibliographic Info: ca. 80 photos, glossary, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2020
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7818-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3821-8
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

• “Constance Harris guides the reader through the many layers of Jewish texts with charm, wit, and a clear love for the wild and wonderful world of Jewish story telling.  The Way Jews Loved is an important reminder of the vitality and variety of embodied Jews who, throughout history, have given life to the words on the page”—Rabbi Jay Asher LeVine, Temple Isaiah, Lafayette, California

• “Constance Harris has written a book that explores Judaism’s breadth and depth. An impressive achievement that is sure to captivate many readers.”—Deborah E. Lipstadt, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia

• “Constance Harris has written a book about a subject of great complexity and importance in which she weaves together the often compartmentalized academic and personalized dimensions of the study of Jewish life, past and present. Culling together a broad array of interesting sources, and weaving them together with her own experiences and observations, she has produced a monograph that is at once interesting, illuminating, and engaging; that is accessible to lay readers of a variety of educational backgrounds. Her familiarity with the subject is impressive and well-constructed; her ability to identify and cite a variety of Jewish texts is equally impressive. Her analysis of works of art is terrific!”—Howard Lupovitch, Professor of History and Director of the Cohn Haddow Center for Judaic Studies, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan