Daily Israel Report

'God is not Dead'

How do you 'build faith'? Ambitious new book draws on Russian-born rabbi and scientist's Soviet-era experiences to give an answer.
By Yoni Kempinski
First Publish: 5/22/2014, 10:31 AM

Dr. Moshe Finkelman
Dr. Moshe Finkelman
Courtesy

"G-d Is Not Dead: Man’s Pursuit of Faith in Judaism" - this is the title of a new book inspired by the personal religious evolution of the author Dr. Moshe Finkleman. Finkelman, who illegally practiced Judaism in Russia when the practice of the religion was banned under the Soviets, based his writing on various sources of Judaism, including the teachings of Maimonides, the principles of Ramhal, and the writings of twentieth-century Israeli philosopher Yeshayahu Leibowitz.

In his book, Finkelman says, his aim is to tackle the subject of Jewish faith in a novel and inspirational way.

"The Jewish faith", explains Dr. Finkelman, "is a program of action for every Jew. It’s gained gradually through an ongoing process, and requires continuous pursuit and development to prevent it from fading away".

According to Finkelman the book speaks to Jews of every level of religious observance. The idea is to offer a clear and accessible path to deepen their faith, "allowing them to master faith as the form of art as it truly is". The goal of the system Finkelman protrays in the book is to give anyone the potential to grow in faith from the initial level to the level of knowledge of G-d.

Throughout the book Finkelman presents the process as easy-to-grasp and actionable.

"The book conveys messages that resonate with the worldview of a contemporary believer", note the publishers, "This easy to read work provides reasonable goals and realistic expectations and is enlivened with anecdotes about both historic figures and everyday people". 

Dr. Moshe Finkelman studied medicine in Russia, after which he emigrated to Israel, where he served in the Israeli Army and fought in the first Lebanon War.

Dr. Finkelman received his scientific training at the Medical School of Hebrew University in Jerusalem and then founded and headed the Jerusalem-based Institute for Research and Treatment of Infertility according to the Jewish law. Finkelman also trained in both "kiruv" (Jewish outreach) and religious leadership; he is a popular speaker on issues of Jewish faith in both Israel and the United States, and serves as a rabbi and a communal leader.

Today, Dr. Finkelman works in clinical research and drug development and lives with his wife Anna in Phoenix, Arizona.