The Aroma of Righteousness: Scent and Seduction in Rabbinic Life and Literature

The Aroma of Righteousness: Scent and Seduction in Rabbinic Life and Literature

by Deborah A. Green
     
 

In The Aroma of Righteousness, Deborah Green explores images of perfume and incense in late Roman and early Byzantine Jewish literature. Using literary methods to illuminate the rabbinic literature, Green demonstrates the ways in which the rabbis’ reading of biblical texts and their intimate experience with aromatics build and deepen their

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Overview

In The Aroma of Righteousness, Deborah Green explores images of perfume and incense in late Roman and early Byzantine Jewish literature. Using literary methods to illuminate the rabbinic literature, Green demonstrates the ways in which the rabbis’ reading of biblical texts and their intimate experience with aromatics build and deepen their interpretations. The study uncovers the cultural associations that are evoked by perfume and incense in both the Hebrew Bible and midrashic texts and seeks to understand the cultural, theological, and experiential motivations and impulses that lie behind these interpretations. Green accomplishes this by examining the relationship between the textual traditions of the Hebrew Bible and Midrash, the surviving evidence from the material culture of Palestine in the late Roman and early Byzantine periods, and cultural evidence as described by the rabbis and other Roman authors.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780271037677
Publisher:
Penn State University Press
Publication date:
03/25/2011
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Acknowledgments xi

Note on Style xv

1 Tracking the Trail of Scent: An Introduction 1

2 The Aroma of Daily Life: Aromatics in Roman and Rabbinic Culture 19

3 Election and Erotic: Biblical Portrayals of Perfume and Incense 64

4 Spicy Ideologies: Fragrance and Rabbinic Beliefs 116

5 Soothing Odors: Death, Suffering, and Sacrifice 169

6 Ephemerality and Fragrance: Desire for Divine Immanence 197

Notes 209

Bibliography 257

Source Index 271

General Index 275

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