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In "Reading the Rabbis" Eva De Visscher examines the Hebrew scholarship of Englishman Herbert of Bosham (c.1120-c.1194). Chiefly known as the loyal secretary and hagiographer of Archbishop Thomas Becket and enemy of Henry II, he appears here as an outstanding Hebraist whose linguistic proficiency and engagement with Rabbinic sources, including contemporary teachers, were unique for a northern-European Christian of his time. Two commentaries on the Psalms by Herbert form the focus of scrutiny.
We think of the "Hebrew Bible" as the Book – and yet it was produced by a largely non-literate culture in which writing, editing, copying, interpretation, and public reading were the work of a professional elite. The scribes of ancient Israel are indeed the main figures behind the "Hebrew Bible", and in this book Karel van der Toorn tells their story for the first time.
The study of the ancient Jewish Diaspora is developing in exciting new directions as a result of fresh archaeological material and new frameworks of interpretation. The six studies collected in this volume have been composed by an international group of scholars at the forefront of Diaspora studies and explore key features of the cultural dynamics of the Jewish Diaspora.Studies on Jews in Rome (Margaret Williams) and Alexandria (Sarah Pearce) examine the dialectic of local and translocal identities, including a new theory on Jewish sabbath-fasting in Rome.
The first-century C.E. Jewish historian Flavius Josephus is our main source of information for the early history of the Samaritans, a community closely related to Judaism whose development as an independent religion is commonly dated in the Hellenistic-Roman period. Josephusâ€TM two main works, Jewish War and Jewish Antiquities, contain a number of passages that purport to describe the origin, character and actions of the Samaritans. In composing his histories, Josephus drew on different sources, some identifiable others unknown to us.
For centuries, dyed fabrics ranked among the most expensive objects of the ancient Mediterranean world, fetching up to 20 times their weight in gold. Huge fortunes were made from and lost to them, and battles were fought over control of the industry. The few who knew the dyes’ complex secrets carefully guarded the valuable knowledge. The Rarest Blue tells the amazing story of tekhelet, or hyacinth blue, the elusive sky-blue dye mentioned 50 times in the Hebrew Bible. The Minoans discovered it; the Phoenicians stole the technique; Cleopatra adored it; and Jews—obeying a Biblical commandment to affix a single thread of the radiant color to the corner of their garments—risked their lives for it.
This book investigates the character of the Peshitta in Psalms 90-150 in order to facilitate the proper use of this version in textual criticism. It identifies the Peshitta’s translation techniques and it discusses the version’s interpretation of difficult passages in the Hebrew text. The question of the Hebrew Vorlage behind the Peshitta Psalter is raised. Also investigated here is the relationship between the Peshitta Psalms and the LXX and Targum, and an assessment of the supposed influence of these versions on the Peshitta Psalter is offered.
This work defends a new thesis for the word "hebel", a word with which the interpreters of Ecclesiastes have struggled (traditionally meaning "vanity", but literally meaning "vapour"). The positions adopted by interpreters have influenced their interpretation of the book as a whole. This book presents a methodology for metaphor and symbol, then demonstrates how Qohelet employs hebel in the book with referents related to "insubstantiality", "transience" and "foulness".
Why have Jews risen to the top of the business and professional world in numbers staggeringly out of proportion to their percentage of the American population? Steven Silbiger has the answer. Based on the author’s synthesis of wide reading and research, The Jewish Phenomenon sets forth seven principles that form the bedrock of Jewish financial success.With startling statistics, a wealth of anecdotes, and the fascinating details behind some of America’s biggest business success stories, Silbiger convincingly shows how these seven keys have helped the Jews historically and how they continue to ensure Jewish success today.
In examining one of the defining events of the twentieth century, Doris L. Bergen situates the Holocaust in its historical, political, social, cultural, and military contexts. Unlike many other treatments of the Holocaust, this revised, third edition discusses not only the persecution of the Jews, but also other segments of society victimized by the Nazis: Roma, homosexuals, Poles, Soviet POWs, the disabled, and other groups deemed undesirable. In clear and eloquent prose, Bergen explores the two interconnected goals that drove the Nazi German program of conquest and genocide-purification of the so-called Aryan race and expansion of its living space-and discusses how these goals affected the course of World War II.
In the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth century, Christian scholars portrayed Judaism as the dark religious backdrop to the liberating events of Jesus’ life and the rise of the early church. Since the 1950s, however, a dramatic shift has occurred in the study of Judaism, driven by new manuscript and archaeological discoveries and new methods and tools for analyzing sources. George Nickelsburg here provides a broad and synthesizing picture of the results of the past fifty years of scholarship on early Judaism and Christianity.
In 1965 the Second Vatican Council declared that God loves the Jews. Before that, the Church had taught for centuries that Jews were cursed by God and, in the 1940s, mostly kept silent as Jews were slaughtered by the Nazis. How did an institution whose wisdom is said to be unchanging undertake one of the most enormous, yet undiscussed, ideological swings in modern history? The radical shift of Vatican II grew out of a buried history, a theological struggle in Central Europe in the years just before the Holocaust, when a small group of Catholic converts (especially former Jew Johannes Oesterreicher and former Protestant Karl Thieme) fought to keep Nazi racism from entering their newfound church.
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