A People Apart

Chosenness and Ritual in Jewish Philosophical Thought

Edited by Daniel H. Frank

Subjects: Judaica
Series: SUNY series in Jewish Philosophy
Paperback : 9780791416327, 270 pages, September 1993
Hardcover : 9780791416310, 270 pages, October 1993

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents


Part 1 Choseness

Chapter 1 The Election of Israel: Outline of a Philosophical Analysis
David Novak

Chapter 2 Chosenness, Not Chauvinism: Maimonides on the Chosen people
Menachem Kellner

Response to Menachem Kellner
Norbert M. Samuelson

Reply to Norbert Samuelson
Menachem Kellner

Chapter 3 Judaism and Chosenness: On Some Controversial Aspects from Spinoza to Contemporary Jewish Thought
Ze'ev Levy

Part 2 Ritual

Chapter 4 Rational Law / Ritual Law
L. E. Goodman

Chapter 5 Mitzvah as Metaphor
Moshe Sokol

Chapter 6 Jewish Ritual and the Experience of "Rootedness"
Joshua L. Golding

Chapter 7 The Concept of Worship in Judaism
Norbert M. Samuelson




Philosphical speculations on chosenness and ritual in Judaism.

Daniel H. Frank is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Kentucky. He is the editor of Autonomy and Judaism: The Individual and the Community in Jewish Philosophical Thought.


"This book deals with two problems central to Jewish theology: the chosenness of the Jewish people and the rationale of the ritual commandments in Judaism. The two topics are naturally connected since the ritual commandments of Judaism most clearly demarcate Judaism from other religions and therefore contribute to the sense of chosenness so widespread among Jews." — Michael Wyschogrod, Baruch College

"These philosophical reflections sharpen our understanding of Jewish existence and deepen our knowledge of the history of Jewish philosophy, both medieval and modern. In addition, the book represents an important methodological breakthrough for the academic discipline of Jewish philosophy. By incorporating models from the field of anthropology and philosophy of language, the essays on Jewish ritual integrate Jewish philosophy into the larger academic discipline of religious studies. The philosophical reflection on Jewish particularism is very significant. It sheds light on the meaning of Jewish existence, the nature of Jewish philosophy, and the central questions of post-modernity." — Hava Tirosh-Rothschild, Indiana University