NEW BOOKS PUBLISHED BY HEBREW UNION COLLEGE PRESS - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
Skip to main content


Main Content
Wednesday, October 1, 2003

Available through our distributor, Wayne State University Press. 
Toll free: 1-800-978-7323.

Happiness in Premodern Judaism: Virtue, Knowledge, and Well-Being

Hava Tirosh-Samuelson

550 pages 
$50.00 cloth 
Monograph No. 29

According to conventional thought, the pursuit of happiness hardly seems like one of the major tenets of the religion. This book argues to the contrary. Not only did Jewish thinkers not disregard the concept of happiness. They devoted considerable attention to it. Tirosh-Samuelson shows how Aristotle's reflections on happiness were very much a part of rabbinic thought and how Jewish philosophers in the Hellenistic period read the Jewish Scriptures in light of the Greek conception of happiness. The fusion of Greek and Judaic perspectives reached its zenith during the Middle Ages, especially in the works of Moses Maimonides. Tirosh-Samuelon shows how even the controversies that arose regarding Maimonides' ideas can be viewed as discussions of the relationship of virtue to knowledge. Much of this book, then, concerns the reception of Aristotle's Ethics in medieval Jewish philosophy.

Hava Tirosh-Samuelson is Associate Professor of History at Arizona State University.


"Loosen the Fetters of Thy Tongue, Woman" A Study of the Poetry and Poetics of Yona Wallach

Zafrira Lidovsky Cohen

264 pages 
$39.95 cloth 
Monograph No. 30

Known for its "unique combination of elements of rock and roll, Jungian psychology and street slang, break-neck pace and insistent sexuality," as one critic described it, the work of maverick Israeli poet Yona Wallach (1944-1985) epitomizes the literary climate of her time. Influenced by the poetic revolution in Israel during the 1950s, this body of poetry reflects the cultural crises that rocked the academic world in the 1960s and the intellectual battles many artists fought with the "prison-house" of semiotic systems in which the human mind, they felt, was entrapped.

Zafrira Lidovsky Cohen describes Wallach's unconventional lifestyle, traces her poetic corpus, and surveys her critical reputation. Then, drawing on her own rich and varied background in Bible, mythology, Hebrew language, and Poststructuralist and Postmodernist literary and linguistic theory, Cohen translates and interprets representative examples of Wallach's oeuvre.

Zafrira Lidovsky Cohen is Associate Professor of Hebrew at Stern College for Women of Yeshiva University in New York. 

Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates leaders to serve North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, museums, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding.