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By Jacob Neusner / Wipf & Stock / 2004
These essays examine the sociology of Judaism in the last decades of the Second Jewish Commonwealth. The author discerns two kinds of religious fellowship, one constituted by the haber (“fellow”), based on observance of certain religious laws, and the other by the talmid hakham (“sage”), based on concern for study and application of the Torah. He contrasts the former with the contemporary community at Qumran and shows the difference between the haburah and the Dead Sea commune to have been based in some measure on a different attitude towards society. The final chapter presents an analysis of Jewish religious fellowship today and offers some concrete suggestions for recovering a more vital social religious life with the aid of the lessons of the ancient fellowships.