Between Jerusalem and Benares

Comparative Studies in Judaism and Hinduism

Edited by Hananya Goodman

Subjects: Jewish Studies
Paperback : 9780791417164, 344 pages, October 1994
Hardcover : 9780791417157, 344 pages, October 1994

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Table of contents


David Shulman

1. Introduction: Judaism and Hinduism: Cultural Resonances
Hananya Goodman

2. The Love and Hate of Hinduism in the Work of Jewish Scholars
Wendy Doniger

Part One: Historical Encounters

3. Lexical Borrowings in Biblical Hebrew from Indian Languages as Carriers of Ideas and Technical Concepts
Chaim Rabin

4. Abraham and the Upanishads
David Flusser

5. Between Jews and Greeks: The Indian Model
Francis Schmidt

6. A Hindu Response to the Written Torah
D. Dennis Hudson

7. Yom Kippur: The Festival of Closing the Doors
Shalva Weil

Part Two: Cultural Resonances

8. Veda and Torah: The World Embodied in Scripture
Barbara A. Holdrege

9. From Dharma to Law
Bernard S. Jackson

10. Union and Unity in Hindu Tantrism
Elizabeth Chalier-Visuvalingam

11. Union and Unity in Kabbalah
Charles Mopsik

12. Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook and Sri Aurobindo: Towards a Comparison
Margaret Chatterjee





This book stands at the crossroads between Jerusalem and Benares and opens a long awaited conversation between two ancient religious traditions. It represents the first serious attempt by a group of eminent scholars of Judaic and Indian studies to take seriously the cross-cultural resonances among the Judaic and Hindu traditions.

The essays in the first part of the volume explore the historical connections and influences between the two traditions, including evidence of borrowed elements and the adaptation of Jewish Indian communities to Hindu culture. The essays in the second part focus primarily on resonances between particular conceptual complexes and practices in the two traditions, including comparative analyses of representations of Veda and Torah, legal formulations of dharma and halakhah, and conceptions of union with the Divine in Hindu Tantra and Kabbalah.


"What I like best about this book is simply that it exists. " —Daniel Gold, Cornell University