What Can a Modern Jew Believe? is an attempt to present to intelligent, contemporary Jews a brief summation of basic beliefs and tenets of Judaism. Divided into sixteen chapters and an introduction, the book deals with salient principles of faith: Why Religion? What Can a Modern Jew Believe? What Can We Believe About God? Can We Believe in Revelation? What Is a Human Being? Are Jews the Chosen People? Halakhah: Divine or Human? Why Ritual? Why Pray? Why Eretz Yisrael? Tolerance? Pluralism? Which? Why Evil? Can We Repair the World? How Can Jews Relate to Other Faiths? Messiah: Fact or Fancy? Is There an Afterlife? Each chapter analyzes traditional interpretations of the themes, citing appropriate biblical, rabbinic, medieval, and modern texts. The chapters also include the views of contemporary Jewish thinkers as well as the positions of the various modern Jewish religious movements. The author critiques the diverse opinions and then offers his own insights as to the significance and relevance of these principles for contemporary Jews. ""Points to Ponder"" follow each chapter and are designed to stimulate discussion and further reading and thinking. ""Rabbi Rosenthal combines academic erudition with a facility for language that makes the diversity and depth of what Jews have believed throughout Jewish history accessible, informative, and provocative. With equal respect for the core central affirmations of Jewish faith and for the many additional and alternative Jewish perspectives about that faith, Rabbi Rosenthal is able to embrace the pluralism in Jewish thought without reducing issues of belief to mere personal choice. We are challenged to think again about just what it is that we can affirm, what we are challenged to believe, and how we can take a respectful position regarding tradition without succumbing to a false fundamentalism."" --Rabbi Richard Hirsh, Executive Director, Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association ""Every once in a while, a book comes along that helps us understand our beliefs, enhances our lives, and gives meaning and substance to our daily existence. This is a book to remember."" --Rabbi Bernard M. Zlotowitz, Senior Scholar of the Union for Reform Judaism ""Rabbi Rosenthal in 'What Can a Modern Jew Believe?' has once again produced a thought-provoking, scholarly, and controversial excursion into basic Jewish thought and belief. Written lucidly and with marvelous 'points to ponder' following each chapter, it is destined to become a basic text in all Synagogue adult education programs. ""Paralleling his leadership in inter-faith dialogue, Gil Rosenthal reaches across the barriers that separate Jews from one another to seek the common ground and shared beliefs that unite us."" --Rabbi Jeremiah Wohlberg, Past President, New York Board of Rabbis Rabbi Gilbert S. Rosenthal is executive director of the National Council of Synagogues. He served as a pulpit rabbi for thirty-three years and as executive vice president of The New York Board of Rabbis for ten years. He is the author and editor of eleven books including Contemporary Judaism and The Many Faces of Judaism.