Love at the Center seeks to reclaim and restore the heart of Judaism. As the book will show, at its core Judaism is a story about a God of love who summons people to lives of love. Always already loved by God, we are called to reciprocate God’s love; to love our neighbor; and to love the “stranger,” the outsider who lives among us. We are invited to imitate God by living compassionate lives, being present with people as they endure moments of suffering and vulnerability.
This is not the way Judaism is usually portrayed; as the historian David Nirenberg has written, Judaism has frequently been accused of "lovelessness." The picture of Judaism I offer attempts to overcome the long history of caricature to which Judaism has been subjected (and which have been tragically internalized by many Jews). It will thus, I trust, be of great interest to both Jews and Christians.
Ultimately, though, I am after something deeper--not only to alter people’s perceptions of Judaism, but also to change their sense of what is possible and required in living a good life. I hope and trust that readers of all faiths will find in Love at the Center ideas and interpretations that will prod them to become better parents, spouses, friends, and community members; challenges that will push them to become better, more engaged citizens of their countries and the world; and insights that can help us negotiate the complex and often ethically confusing world of life in the twenty-first century.
The outcome of the project will be a book, to be published by Farrar, Straus, & Giroux.