Review of The Encyclopedia of Jewish Values

November 2, 2015

By Rabbi Johnny Solomon 

Just over twenty years ago, Rabbi Nachum Amsel wrote his brilliant EncyclopediaofJewishValues9789655241631The Jewish Encyclopedia of Moral and Ethical Issues (Aronson, 1994) which contained seventy one essays that addressed a wide variety of topics such as ‘Hate and Revenge’, ‘Inciting Others to Sin’ and ‘Triage: Priorities in Allocating Resources’.  As someone who has consulted this work on countless occasions, I can say little else than it is a brilliant work by a brilliant author who has a unique blend of depth of understanding, human sensitivity and clarity of expression.

This year saw the publication of The Encyclopedia of Jewish Values (Urim, 2015) which contains 39 essays on a wide range of issues (nb. according to Rabbi Amsel, it is hoped that The Encyclopedia of Jewish Values will be the first of a 4 volume series which, together, will cover ‘the entire gamut of Jewish values’). While some of the essays in The Encyclopedia of Jewish Values are revised versions of previous essays, many are new to this volume, and like its predecessor, this work includes an appendix with all the Hebrew sources cited in each of the essays. Read the rest of this entry »