In Bringing the Psalms to Life: How To Understand and Use the Book of Psalms, Rabbi Polish (Ph.D., Harvard) analyzed the Book of Psalms and explained why generations of people have turned to it for comfort and inspiration. In his new book, he addresses the beliefs that make up our personal theology: our quest for God and a personal relationship with Him, our quest for an understanding of evil in the world and our own mortality, and our quest for social justice. He then explores what the Book of Psalms can contribute to those quests. Introducing each chapter with an eloquent Yiddish poem that evokes the theme of the chapter in a moving and contemporary way, he quotes heavily from the psalms as he points out the "facets of truth, aspects of answers, glimmers of deep understanding" that the psalms can provide. While there are other good explications of this seminal book in Judeo-Christian theology, this is a particularly worthwhile addition to public and church/synagogue collections.-Marcia Welsh, Dartmouth Coll., Hanover, NH Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews
With the Book of Psalms as a guide, Polish offers Jewish readers a workbook to construct their personal theology. In this sequel to Bringing the Psalms to Life, Polish presents the Psalms as a resource to refine an understanding of God and to shape a religious worldview. "Psalms is more like our own faith experience than other books of the Bible," he posits. "Belief is not `steady-state': unwavering and unchanging." The Book of Psalms, he says, often talks in "questioning tones rather than in terms of certainty." Quoting generously from the Psalms, Polish applies their wisdom to perplexing religious questions: How do we know God? What makes a life righteous? How do we deal with mortality? The idea of an afterlife? The book is divided into three parts: the quest for God in nature, Torah and history; the quest for insight in grappling with dilemmas like the problem of evil; the quest for commitment in living a life of faith, through acts of social justice and devotion to Jerusalem. Each chapter opens with a Yiddish poem (translated into English) that evokes that chapter's theme. Though readers might not regard questions of faith as "intimate and immediate" issues like those that arise from personal crises, they are "every bit as compelling and fundamental to our lives," says Polish. This is a book to peruse not lightly but with great concentration if the texts are to offer messages for our lives. (Jan.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
The Book of Psalms is intimate and personal; instead of telling stories with God as the central actor, the psalmists talk to—and about—God. Keeping Faith with the Psalms leads you into the Psalms to discover and shape your own personal theology.Review by Publisher Summary 2
Explore your spiritual life. Create a personal theology. Challenge and test your faith—all using the Book of Psalms. The Book of Psalms has been beloved by generations of readers. It offers solace in times of trouble, holds out hope for rescue and redemption and helps to answer some of the difficult questions raised by faith. The Book of Psalms is more personal than other books of the Bible; instead of telling stories with God as the central actor, the psalmists talk to—and about—God.Keeping Faith with the Psalms leads you into the Bible to discover ways you can use the Psalms to shape your own personal spiritual outlook. Daniel Polish does not give any simple solutions, but reveals how you can discover answers for yourself through the Psalms. You will explore:Meeting God in NatureFinding God in TorahFinding God through the Historical Experience of the Jewish PeopleThe Problem of Evil in Our WorldFacing Our MortalityFinding Our Relationship with GodJerusalem as Symbol and RealityWhat Does the Lord Require? The Call to Social JusticeThrough the threads of meaning, questions, and perspectives offered in the psalms themselves, Rabbi Polish's guide offers an intimate look at the issues that touch and influence your personal theology.