In a discussion with Eve Harow, Lawrence Schiffman describes how he became one of the leading researchers into the Dead Sea Scrolls, what these documents say—and don’t say—about the development of both Judaism and Christianity, the differences among the major Jewish sects of the Second Temple era (Pharisees, Sadducees, and Christians), and the remarkable improvements in Jewish-Catholic relations in recent years. (Audio, 65 minutes).
What the Dead Sea Scrolls Mean for the History of Judaism and Christianity
Is American Jewish Liberalism Dying?
In the 1930s, a Republic Jewish judge, observing his coreligionists’ commitment to the Democratic party, quipped, in Yiddish, that Jews have three velt (worlds): di velt (this world), yene velt (the next world), and Roosevelt. Since then, Jewish devotion has attenuated somewhat, although Jews still overwhelming lean Democratic. Most American Jews, however, are unfamiliar with the terms “this world” or “the next world” in any language. Carefully examining a wealth of statistical data, Samuel J. Abrams and Jack Wertheimer argue that the sort of robust Jewish liberalism that characterized U.S. Jewry a few decades ago is in steep decline. Jews, they explain, are undergoing their own version of what political scientists call the “great sort,” whereby politics, religion, and place of residence increasingly align: