Between the Lines: Choosing Hope

By :  Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary Posted On Nov 14, 2022 / 5783 | Author Conversations: Between the Lines Library Programs


Part of Between the Lines: Author Conversations from The Library of JTS

Throughout our history, Jews have traditionally responded to our trials with hope, psychologist David Arnow says, because we have had ready access to Judaism’s abundant reservoir of hope. The first book to explore the depths of this reservoir, Choosing Hope journeys from biblical times to our day to explore nine fundamental sources of hope in Judaism:

  • Teshuvah: The method to fulfill our hope to become better human beings
  • Tikkun olam: The hope that we can repair the world by working together
  • Abraham and Sarah: Models of persisting in hope amid trials
  • Exodus: The archetype of redemptive hope
  • Covenant: The hope for a durable relationship with the One of Being
  • Job: The “hard-fought hope” that brings a grief-stricken man back to life
  • World-to-Come: The sustaining hope that death is not the end
  • Israel: High hope activists work to build a just and inclusive society for all Israelis
  • Jewish Humor: “Hope’s last weapon” in our darkest days

Grounded in a contemporary theology that situates the responsibility for creating a better world in human hands, with God acting through us, Choosing Hope can help us both affirm hope in times of trial and transmit our deepest hopes to the next generation.


David Arnow is a psychologist and scholar of the festival of Passover. He is the author of Creating Lively Passover Seders, coeditor of My People’s Passover Haggadah, and co-author of Leadership in the Bible: A Practical Guide for Today. His most recent book is Choosing Hope: The Heritage of Judaism.