Jews - Nearly Everything You Wanted to Know* *But Were Too Afraid to Ask - Peter Cave
Peter Cave [+]
The Open University and New York University (London)
Peter is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, sits on the Council of the Royal Institute of Philosophy and is Patron of Humanists UK and of Population Matters. He has published many papers, light and serious. His books include This Sentence is False: an introduction to philosophical paradoxes and three ‘beginner’s guides’: Humanism; Philosophy; and Ethics. His most recent work is The Big Think Book: Discover Philosophy Through 99 Perplexities. He has written and presented philosophy programmes for BBC radio, and often takes part in public debates.
Peter lives in Soho, central London, enjoys opera, lieder and chamber music (well, he thinks he knows what he likes), even delights in religious music, despite his atheism — and is irritated by builders’ drillings, pointless burglar alarms and unnecessary thuds of music in cafes, restaurants and shops. He is often to be found with a glass of wine — or two.
Dan Cohn-Sherbok [+]
University of Wales (Emeritus Professor) and Rabbi
Dan is the author and editor of a number of books dealing with Israel including Israel: The History of an Idea; The Palestine-Israeli Conflict (with Dawoud El-Alami); Debating Israel and Palestine (with Mary Grey); The Politics of Apocalypse: The History and Influence of Christian Zionism; Introduction to Zionism and Israel: From Ideology to History; The Palestinian State: A Jewish Justification. He has also published several books of cartoons.
Dan lives in Kensington (and Wales) with his wife Lavinia and his Burmese cat. He is frequently to be found drawing cartoons in his London club.
Who are the Jews? What do they believe? Why is Israel so important to them? What’s all this about self-hating Jews? These are just some of the questions that engage a Reform rabbi and a Humanist philosopher in their lively and intriguing conversations. From Antisemitism to Zionism, from animal slaughter kosher-style to the Zeitgeist of Jewish disparaging humour, rabbi Dan Cohn-Sherbok gives us the flavours, traditions and ‘feel’ of Jewish life and identity enmeshed in the importance of the Holy Land, while philosopher Peter Cave gets him to dig deeper, revealing philosophical perplexities, unsettling questions — and even Wittgenstein. The book is unique for it challenges unconscious assumptions such as the Jewish conviction that Judaism must survive and that Hitler must not secure a posthumous victory — as well as widening eyes to searching questions concerning a nation’s identity and what justifies territorial rights. Because Jewish humour plays a crucial role in Jewish life, this wide-ranging and thought-provoking exploration includes Jewish jokes and Dan’s Jewish cartoons, all designed to add some spice to the dish of what it is like to be a Jew in these modern times. The dialogues introduce the non-Jewish to the Jewish world of argument, anguish and identity — and will lead Jews to discover some fresh approaches and challenges to their interests and worries. For both Jews and non-Jews, this book cast lights — with an engaging and accessible tone — for, clearly, this rabbi and philosopher enjoy the cut and the thrust.