The Genius of Judaism
Publisher: Random House (Audio)
Date: January 2017
Duration: 9 hours 43 minutes
From world-renowned public intellectual Bernard-Henri Lévy comes an incisive and provocative look at the heart of Judaism.
For more than four decades, Bernard-Henri Lévy has been a singular figure on the world stage—one of the great moral voices of our time. Now Europe's foremost philosopher and activist confronts his spiritual roots and the religion that has always inspired and shaped him—but that he has never fully reckoned with.
The Genius of Judaism is a breathtaking new vision and understanding of what it means to be a Jew, a vision quite different from the one we’re used to. It is rooted in the Talmudic traditions of argument and conflict, rather than biblical commandments, borne out in struggle and study, not in blind observance. At the very heart of the matter is an obligation to the other, to the dispossessed, and to the forgotten, an obligation that, as Lévy vividly recounts, he has sought to embody over decades of championing “lost causes,” from Bosnia to Africa’s forgotten wars, from Libya to the Kurdish Peshmerga’s desperate fight against the Islamic State, a battle raging as we speak. Lévy offers a fresh, surprising critique of a new and stealthy form of anti-Semitism on the rise as well as a provocative defense of Israel from the left. He reveals the overlooked Jewish roots of Western democratic ideals and confronts the current Islamist threat while intellectually dismantling it. Jews are not a “chosen people,” Lévy explains, but a “treasure” whose spirit must continue to inform moral thinking and courage today.
Lévy’s most passionate book, and in many ways his most personal, The Genius of Judaism is a great, profound, and hypnotic intellectual reckoning—indeed a call to arms—by one of the keenest and most insightful writers in the world.
Praise for Bernard-Henri Lévy’s Left In Dark Times
“Moving and inspiring . . . Bernard-Henri Lévy, perhaps the most prominent intellectual in France today, [speaks] truth to power.”—The Boston Globe
“Continually asking himself as well as others to confront the hard questions, [Lévy] produces a text that [is] highly absorbing.”—The New York Times Book Review
“[Lévy’s] discussion of contemporary anti-Semitism is sophisticated, detailed and convincing.”—Los Angeles Times
“An entertaining trip, as much in the tradition of Jack Kerouac as Tocqueville.”—The New York Times
“Perceptive, pugnacious, passionate [and] exquisitely written.”—The New York Observer
“It’s difficult to remember when a writer of any nationality so clearly and thoughtfully delineated both the good and bad in America. [Grade: A].”—Entertainment Weekly
From the Hardcover edition.