Our nation's founding document, the Declaration of Independence, confidently declares, "These truths we hold to be self-evident" And yet, America today seems mired in a truth crisis. Postmodern relativism has cast doubt on the Enlightenment notion of shared, self-evident truths held by all; technologies have made the swift proliferation of untruths commonplace; political sensibilities have become so partisan as to tolerate public personalities who brazenly lie. Many Americans, Jews among them, are understandably concerned for the future of truth as we once knew it.
With this book, These Truths We Hold: Judaism in an Age of Truthiness, the editors and HUC-JIR have demonstrated a commitment to full engagement in the contemporary moment as well as to our Jewish heritage as a repository of complex and deep truths. We have assembled an impressive list of contributors who address the subject of truth in Jewish tradition and in contemporary Jewish life from several important perspectives: biblical, talmudic, liturgical, scientific, philosophical, satirical, pluralistic, and poetic. The articles are meant to shore up faith and to serve as a bank of resources to orient readers to Judaism's rich, multi-faceted and morally edifying teachings about truth.