Title: Search Judaism – Judaism’s Answers to a Changing World
Author: Yitzchok Fingerer
Publisher: Targum Press
Skepticism about the existence of Hashem reigns supreme in some circles and there is clearly no shortage of unabashed atheists circulating in the literary world, blogosphere, and the media. Tragically, it is the Jew that has been most affected by the deluge of misinformation spewed forth by those who question the veracity of G-d’s existence while they fecklessly attempt to navigate the vicissitudes of life.
Search Judaism by Rabbi Yitzchok Fingerer is a new scrupulously researched hashkafah book. It is a repository of exceptionally enlightening information culled from both religious and secular sources on the eternal questions of moral relativism, free choice, pleasure and happiness, good and evil, the meaning of modesty, reincarnation, why bad things happen to good people, divine revelation and the essence of our souls.
Most importantly, this book focuses on how these Divine concepts help to refine our character and sharpen our middos. While this book is not specifically geared for intellectuals of the secular humanist genre, it does address issues related to G-d from an empirical perspective; and with a level of gravitas that would appeal to the denizens of the world of academia.
Yet and still, this book is for all thinking Jews; irrespective of background and level of observance. Its pages are punctuated by poignant stories and pithy anecdotes, as Rabbi Fingerer posits himself as an earnest maggid shiur and courageously offers a refreshingly honest treasure trove of answers to such questions as “Does G-d exist?”, “Is our free choice pre-determined?”, “Did a Divine revelation really take place?”, “Whose morality do we follow?”, among others.
Utilizing a plethora of Torah and Talmudic sources along with the timeless wisdom of our rabbinic sages as a solid foundation, he explores the findings of such psychologists as Yale professor Stanley Milgram, repentant atheists as British professor Antony Flew and controversial figures as Harvard professor of ethics, Bertrand Russell.
Analyzing their reports and nuanced data, Rabbi Fingerer proves that true morality cannot be self-defined and that despite critical scientific modalities for research, the omnipotence of G-d is readily apparent. He makes it abundantly clear that the Torah is not just an isolated study in ethics in which one can divorce himself, but a genuine, hands on “road map to life” that, if studied properly, becomes infused in the fiber of our very beings.
Search Judaism will serve as an invaluable resource for frum yidden and ba’alei teshuva alike, who harbor lingering, unresolved hashkafah questions and the facts presented here are a must read for kiruv professionals and lay people in their quest to bring alienated Jews on a path back to Hashem and a Torah life.Fern Sidman