A Kingdom of Priests: Ancestry and Merit in Ancient Judaism by Martha Himmelfarb

By Martha Himmelfarb

In accordance with the account within the publication of Exodus, God addresses the youngsters of Israel as they stand earlier than Mt. Sinai with the phrases, "You will probably be to me a nation of clergymen and a holy kingdom" (19:6). The sentence, Martha Himmelfarb observes, is paradoxical, for clergymen are by way of definition a minority, but the that means in context is apparent: the total humans is holy. The phrases additionally element to a couple major tensions within the biblical figuring out of the folk of Israel. If the whole humans is holy, why does it want clergymen? If club in either humans and priesthood is an issue now not of benefit yet of start, how can both the folk or its monks desire to be holy? How can one reconcile the gap among the distinction due the priest and the particular habit of a few who crammed the position? What can the folks do to make itself actually a nation of priests?Himmelfarb argues that those questions turn into important in moment Temple Judaism. She considers a number of texts from this era, together with the publication of Watchers, the e-book of Jubilees, criminal records from the lifeless Sea Scrolls, the writings of Philo of Alexandria, and the e-book of Revelation of the recent testomony, and is going directly to discover rabbinic Judaism's emphasis on descent because the basic criterion for inclusion one of the selected humans of Israel—a place, she contends, that took on new strength in response to early Christian disparagement of the concept that mere descent from Abraham used to be adequate for salvation.

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The Poetics of Ascent: Theories of Language in a Rabbinic by Naomi Janowitz

By Naomi Janowitz

This e-book represents the 1st English translation of Maaseh Merkabah, that's a part of a physique of early Jewish mystical texts often called palace (hekhalot) or chariot (merkabah) texts. via a fancy discussion, a rabbi-teacher finds to his pupil the thoughts of ascent, equipment for touring up during the heavens via recitation of hymns. the trainer offers shiny descriptions of the heavenly realm, jam-packed with flaming chariots and a refrain of angels engaged in praising the deity.

The emphasis within the textual content is on language, at the right recitation of the phrases to accomplish the ritual. the actual concentration is at the divine identify, that are hired in strange methods. the writer relates the constructions of the textual content to the linguistic idealogies. The complicated buildings of the textual content start to spread in mild of the theories in regards to the ritual functionality of language.

The hymns contain compliment of the deity and voces magicae, phrases that experience no semantic that means, yet draw cognizance to sounds of letters in God's identify. for the reason that God's identify is used to create the realm, the sounds of the identify are artistic, however the identify can't be spoken. The hymns create a multiplicity of Name-equivalents, phrases that experience the practical prestige of the divine identify and which are hired in ritual. Voces magicae are usually not lots nonsense as they areextensions of the linguistic thought. the ultimate bankruptcy surveys contemporary theories of formality language after which makes use of the conclusions from the examine to refine the final factor of the connection among the semantic which means of phrases and their ritual efficacy.

The dialogic constitution of the textual content allows the reader to develop into the subsequent pupil in a series going again to the deity via Moses.

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My Future Is in America: Autobiographies of Eastern European by Jocelyn Cohen, Daniel Soyer

By Jocelyn Cohen, Daniel Soyer

In 1942, YIVO held a competition for the simplest autobiography by means of a Jewish immigrant at the subject “Why I Left the outdated state and What i've got complete in America.” selected from over 2 hundred entries, and translated from Yiddish, the 9 existence tales in My destiny Is in the USA supply a compelling portrait of yank Jewish lifestyles within the immigrant iteration on the flip of the 20 th century.The writers arrived in the USA in each decade from the Nineties to the Twenties. They contain handbook staff, shopkeepers, housewives, communal activists, and pros who got here from all components of jap Europe and ushered in a brand new period in American Jewish background. of their personal phrases, the immigrant writers show the complexities of the transition among the outdated and New Worlds.An advent locations the writings in historic and literary context, and annotations clarify old and cultural allusions made by means of the writers. This certain quantity introduces readers to the complicated global of Yiddish-speaking immigrants whereas whilst elucidating vital topics and issues of curiosity to these in immigration reports, ethnic reviews, exertions heritage, and literary studies.Published at the side of the YIVO Institute for Jewish learn.

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The Jews, Instructions for Use: Four Eighteenth-Century by Paolo L. Bernardini, Diego Lucci

By Paolo L. Bernardini, Diego Lucci

This publication examines the 4 most crucial initiatives for Jewish emancipation in eighteenth-century Europe. The essays provided research the notion complicated by way of the freethinker John Toland in 1714 and 3 initiatives of the 1780s, formulated via the nation authentic Christian Wilhelm von Dohm in Frederick the Great’s Prussia, the economist count number D’Arco in Mantua lower than Habsburg rule, and the Abbé Henri Grégoire in France at the eve of the Revolution. targeting the mix of humanitarian and utilitarian arguments and ambitions within the proposals to redefi ne the criminal and social prestige of the Jews, this booklet is a very resource for students and scholars drawn to the historical past of Jewish-Gentile family and the Age of Enlightenment.

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Judaism and Hellenism Reconsidered (Supplements to the by Louis Feldman

By Louis Feldman

This publication is a suite of 26 formerly released articles, with a few additions and corrections, and with a protracted new advent on "The impact of Hellenism on Jews in Palestine within the Hellenistic Period." The articles care for such topics as "Homer and the close to East," "The Septuagint," "Hatred and allure to the Jews in Classical Antiquity," "Conversion to Judaism in Classical Antiquity," "Philo, Pseudo-Philo, Josephus, and Theodotus at the Rape of Dinah," "The effect of the Greek Tragedians on Josephus," "Josephus' Biblical Paraphrase as a remark on modern Issues," "Parallel Lives of 2 Lawgivers: Josephus' Moses and Plutarch's Lycurgus," "Rabbinic Insights at the Decline and approaching Fall of the Roman Empire."

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Eros and the Jews: From Biblical Isræl to Contemporary by David Biale

By David Biale

Contradictory stereotypes approximately Jewish sexuality pervade smooth tradition, from Lenny Bruce's hip eroticism to Woody Allen's little guy with the large libido (and even larger sexual neurosis). Does Judaism in reality release or repress sexual hope? David Biale does even more than resolution that question as he lines Judaism's evolving place on sexuality, from the Bible and Talmud to Zionism up via American attitudes at the present time. What he unearths is a continual clash among asceticism and gratification, among procreation and pleasure.
From the interval of the Talmud onward, Biale says, Jewish tradition continuously struggled with sexual abstinence, trying to include the virtues of celibacy, because it absorbed them from Greco-Roman and Christian cultures, inside of a theology of procreation. He explores either the canonical writings of male gurus and the choice voices of girls, drawing from a desirable diversity of assets that incorporates the publication of Ruth, Yiddish literature, the memoirs of the founders of Zionism, and the flicks of Woody Allen.
Biale's historic reconstruction of Jewish sexuality sees the current throughout the previous and the earlier throughout the current. He discovers an erotic culture that's not dogmatic, yet a checklist of actual humans being affected by questions that experience challenged each human tradition, and that experience relevance for the dilemmas of either Jews and non-Jews this present day.

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Beschreibung und Wahrnehmung des Fremden in der rabbinischen by Korbinian Spann

By Korbinian Spann

Oft entscheiden Äußerlichkeiten über unser Verhältnis zu Fremden. Zugleich erlaubt die sinnliche Wahrnehmung fremder Personen und Orte, Rückschlüsse auf die eigene Identität zu ziehen. Dies gilt auch für das Judentum und die jüdische Wahrnehmung. Während die Figur des Fremden im Alten testomony bereits einige Beachtung fand, wurde sie in der rabbinischen Literatur bisher kaum untersucht.
Diese Studie analysiert und vergleicht die Wahrnehmung und Beschreibung des Fremden in der rabbinischen Literatur. Dabei konzentriert sie sich auf die Traktate Brachot, Schabbat, Jebamot und Sanhedrin, um einen Einblick in die jeweilige Ordnung des Talmud zu geben. Grundlegende Fragen sind: In welchen Kontexten werden Fremdlinge thematisiert? Inwiefern gewährt deren Beschreibung einen Einblick in die Wahrnehmung der Autoren? Welche Selbstsicht der Autoren lässt sich der Auseinandersetzung mit dem Fremden entnehmen? Von besonderem Interesse ist, ob das Bild der Fremden im Talmud das Produkt der biblischen Exegese oder realistisch ist. Dafür werden bestimmte Bezeichnungen wie «Goy», «Ger» und «No?ri» verglichen und deren Darstellung untersucht. Die Beschreibung des Fremden gewährt aufschlussreiche Einblicke in die sozialen Veränderungen Israels in der rabbinischen Epoche.

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Maimonides as Biblical Interpreter (Emunot: Jewish by Sara Klein-Braslavy

By Sara Klein-Braslavy

Even if Maimonides didn't write a working remark on any booklet of the Bible, biblical exegesis occupies a crucial position in his writings, fairly in his consultant of the at a loss for words. during this booklet, Sara Klein-Braslavy bargains a set of essays on numerous key biblical interpretations through Maimonides facing the construction of the realm; the tale of the backyard of Eden; Jacob’s dream of the ladder; King Solomon as an esoterist thinker; and the matter of exoteric and esoteric biblical interpretations within the advisor. unique realization is paid to Maimonides’ tools of interpretation and to his esoteric means of writing. a few of the articles during this quantity have been initially released in Hebrew, and seem the following for the 1st time in English.


"Sara Klein-Braslavy is one in every of our generation's pre-eminent interpreters of Maimonides. This quantity makes to be had to the English reader a variety of her pioneering stories on Maimonides as interpreter of the Bible and on his artwork of writing. Professor Klein-Braslavy's vital paintings is hence made to be had to a wider viewers and makes a considerable contribution to the reader's realizing of this important figure." --Menachem Kellner

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Purity, Sacrifice, and the Temple: Symbolism and by Jonathan Klawans

By Jonathan Klawans

Historic Jewish sacrifice has lengthy been misunderstood. a few locate in sacrifice the main to the mysterious and violent origins of human tradition. Others see those cultic rituals as purely the fossilized vestiges of primitive superstition. a few think that historical Jewish sacrifice used to be doomed from the beginning, destined to get replaced by way of the Christian eucharist. Others imagine that the temple was once fated to be outmoded via the synagogue. In Purity, Sacrifice, and the Temple Jonathan Klawans demonstrates that those supersessionist ideologies have avoided students from spotting the Jerusalem temple as a robust resource of which means and symbolism to the traditional Jews who worshiped there. Klawans exposes and counters such ideologies by means of reviewing the theoretical literature on sacrifice and taking a clean examine a extensive variety of proof pertaining to historical Jewish attitudes towards the temple and its sacrificial cult. step one towards attaining a extra balanced view is to combine the learn of sacrifice with the research of purity-a ritual constitution that has generally been understood as symbolic by way of students and laypeople alike. the second one step is to rehabilitate sacrificial metaphors, with the certainty that those metaphors are home windows into the methods sacrifice was once understood by means of old Jews. through taking those steps-and through removal modern spiritual and cultural biases-Klawans permits us to raised comprehend what sacrifice intended to the early groups who practiced it. Armed with this new knowing, Klawans reevaluates the tips in regards to the temple articulated in a wide range of old assets, together with Josephus, Philo, Pseudepigrapha, the lifeless Sea Scrolls, New testomony, and Rabbinic literature. Klawans mines those resources with an eye fixed towards illuminating the symbolic meanings of sacrifice for historic Jews. alongside the best way, he reconsiders the ostensible rejection of the cult by way of the biblical prophets, the Qumran sect, and Jesus. whereas those figures could have noticeable the temple of their time as tainted or perhaps defiled, Klawans argues, they too-like essentially all historical Jews-believed within the cult, authorized its symbolic importance, and was hoping for its final efficacy.

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