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I just finished reading Greg M. Epstein's book, Good Without God: What a Billion Nonreligious People Do Believe, a couple of days ago. The author is a Humanist chaplain at Harvard Univbersity, and he received an M. A. in Judaic studies from the University of Michigan, and an M.A. in theological studies from Harvard Divinity School. I wanted to know something about Humanism. One of the many people Epstein wrote about was Albert Einstein.
Then, yesterday and today I have been reading the Winter Issue of Reform Judaism magazine. Besides a long, interesting article, "Strategic Bedfellows", about India and Israel (the world's most populous democracy and the world's most beleaguered democracy) and the vibrant relationship they have developed, there is a piece on Einstein's God, and one entitled "Transcending an "Artless Tradition" (The Birth of a Modern Jewish Art Movement). The three-part piece on Einstein's God tied in with what I had just read in the Epstein book.
When I turned to and read the article on art, there sprang to mind a Chaim Potok novel I read a couple-three years ago, My Name Is Asher Lev. That book is about the troublesome relationship between a young fellow driven from within to pursue art (drawing and painting) and his father, a very tradtitional Jew whose work involves traveling and fostering yeshivas. After reading the novel AND the informative, illustrated article, I feel better informed about the relationship between Judaism and art, both historically and now.
The coincidence in reading material made me think again about how, if one simply keeps reading, and not too narrowly, eventually a LOT of it fuses together, or synthesizes, or whatever the correct word is.
P.S. My community is having its fifth annual Community Read this winter, and our book this year is The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot. It's a very good work of science journalism about the poor black woman whose cancer cells revolutionized medical science but whose family continues to live in poverty decades later.
Last Edited on: 12/1/10 11:13 PM ET - Total times edited: 1