Can Robots Be Jewish? And Other Pressing Questions of Modern Life

New book features rabbis answering questions from whether robots can be Jewish to whether children’s genes should be edited.

WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, UNITED STATES, December 11, 2020 /EINPresswire.com/ — Are there things that can’t be forgiven? Do Jews believe in an afterlife? Is democracy a Jewish idea? Does Jewish law forbid racism? Should we edit our children’s genes? Can robots be Jewish?

These questions and more are answered by rabbis from Humanist and Reform to Orthodox and beyond, in “Can Robots be Jewish?,” a new book from MomentBooks, Based on Moment Magazine’s popular “Ask the Rabbis” feature, it includes fun and thoughtful answers to an array of timely and timeless questions. Sometimes the rabbis agree―but not often. What results is a deep interrogation of Jewish text, law and commentary and an unparalleled look at the breadth, creativity and continued relevance of the Jewish tradition.

“Can Robots Be Jewish? is a celebration—of the ongoing vitality of the Jewish encounter with modernity, of the shared religious language that persists across denominations, of the spiritual power of machloket l’shem Shamayim, argument for the sake of Heaven,” says Yossi Klein Halevi, senior fellow, Shalom Hartman Institute and author of Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor. No matter where you position yourself on the Jewish spectrum, this book is a gift.”

Says MomentBooks editor-in-chief, Nadine Epstein. “This is a smart, hip and provocative book for anyone interested in the rich diversity of Jewish thought on contemporary questions. You don’t have to be a scholar to get a lot from these lively, accessible voices.”

As the book’s editor, Amy E. Schwartz provides delightful commentary, celebrating the rabbinic impulse to question every assumption and highlighting the sometimes surprising ways ancient texts can speak to us today. Rabbi Irving Yitzchak Greenberg writes the foreword; Rabbi Shira Stutman writes the afterword.


Amy E. Schwartz (editor) is Moment’s opinion and book editor, as well as editor of the magazine’s “Ask the Rabbis” feature. She previously was a longtime editorial writer and op-ed columnist at The Washington Post, and also worked for Harper’s, The New Republic and The Wilson Quarterly. She is president of the non-denominational Jewish Study Center in Washington, DC and speaks and runs workshops on topics of Jewish commentary, psalms and literature nationwide.

Rabbi Irving (Yitz) Greenberg (foreword) is president of the Hadar Institute’s J.J. Greenberg Institute for the Advancement of Jewish Life. His books include The Jewish Way, Sage Advice: Pirkei Avot and the forthcoming The Triumph of Life.

Rabbi Shira Stutman is the senior rabbi at Sixth & I in Washington, DC, rabbi-in-residence for the Jewish Federations of North America and teaches on the faculty of the Wexner Foundation’s Heritage Program. She has been named one of America’s Most Inspiring Rabbis by The Forward, a Woman to Watch by Jewish Women International, and a notable rabbi by Tablet Magazine.

MomentBooks is the imprint of Moment, an independent magazine that since its founding in 1975 by Elie Wiesel and Leonard Fein has produced award-winning, in-depth reporting on issues that trouble, concern, excite and inspire American Jews. It has been led by Nadine Epstein since 2004. MomentBooks publishes creative written and visual nonfiction and fiction to inspire and enlighten readers. This book is a partnership with Mandel Vilar Press.

To arrange an interview, request a review copy or more information, contact Pat Lewis plewis@momentmag.com or 202.363.6422.


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