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Greatest Jewish Stories

Overview

This unique collection brings together Biblical, Talmudic, Midrashic, kabbalistic, folk, Hasidic, and modern tales that were selected for their prominence within the many traditions of Jewish life. Presented in categories that reflect the history of their telling, the stories are prefaced by David Patterson's sage insights and thought-provoking perspective.

From Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden to the suffering of Job, Patterson retells the greatest Biblical stories, those ...

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More About This Book

Overview

This unique collection brings together Biblical, Talmudic, Midrashic, kabbalistic, folk, Hasidic, and modern tales that were selected for their prominence within the many traditions of Jewish life. Presented in categories that reflect the history of their telling, the stories are prefaced by David Patterson's sage insights and thought-provoking perspective.

From Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden to the suffering of Job, Patterson retells the greatest Biblical stories, those that are at the heart of the Jewish tradition and represent some of the earliest examples of storytelling. Great stories from the Talmud and Midrash illuminate the eternal wisdom of the Torah that ensured the continuity of Judaism through the ages.

The kabbalistic selections penetrate the realm of the mystical, the meaning of prayer, and the mystery of the alphabet. They include a wide selection of stories from the best known and most extensive text of the Kabbalah, the Zohar. Spanning across the centuries and around the globe, Jewish legends and folktales encompass the richness and variety of Jewish life from Ethiopia to Poland.

In no other single movement in Jewish religious life has storytelling played as large a role as in Hasidism. Mining the rich Hasidic tradition, Patterson selects stories that accentuate the love, joy, and fervor of Jewish belief and prayer.

Striking selections by modern writers—Shalom Aleichem, Isaac Babel, and S. Y. Agnon, among others—illuminate the past three centuries of Jewish life, from the golem of the ghetto of Prague to the disillusionment of a young immigrant to New York's Lower East Side.

Greatest Jewish Stories is a collection to be savored, one that will captivate readers of every faith and every age

"These eternal tales declare the holiness and chosenness of all human beings, a chosenness that has its origin in the beginning of all things. Almost every year some author compiles a collection of Jewish tales and they are always a delight to read and to own because they remind us of the wonderful skill in storytelling and the vast rich resources of the Jewish heritage from which they come. This is a wonderful collection for anyone to own and read at leisure, particularly because of the variety of themes and sources." (Jewish World News)

"The author, Distinguished Professor and Director of the University of Memphis Honors Program, is an active member of the World Union of Jewish Studies and the Association for Jewish Studies. He brings a unique perspective to this collection, since he became a Jew by choice in 1990. He has collected, as the title indicates, some of the most important and beautiful tales of Jewish literature. The chapters are divided chronologically, including biblical, talmudic, midrashic, kabbalistic, hasidic and modern tales. A rich tapestry and delightful reading for anyone who wants to scan Jewish fiction from the earliest days of Judaism to the present." (The Jewish Reporter)

Author Biography: David Patterson received a B. A. (1972) in philosophy from the University of Oregon and went on to earn an M. A. (1976) and Ph.D. (1978) in comparative literature from the same university. In 1990 he converted to Judaism under the guidance of Rabbi Charles Shalman, of Emanuel Synagogue, Oklahoma City.

Currently Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature and Director of the University of Memphis Honors Program, Dr. Patterson has taught at Oklahoma State University and the University of Oregon. An active member of the World Union of Jewish Studies and the Association for Jewish Studies, he has lectured at universities and organizations throughout the world. He is a consultant to the Philadelphia Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, a participant in the Goldner Symposium on the Holocaust, and a member of the Advisory Board for the Annual Scholars' Conference on the Holocaust.

David Patterson has published more than eighty articles in a variety of journals. His books include When Learned Men Murder; Exile: Alienation in Modern Russian Letters; Pilgrimage of a Proselyte; The Shriek of Silence; In Dialogue and Dilemma with Elie Wiesel; Literature and Spirit; and Faith and Philosophy.

Dr. Patterson resides in Germantown, Tennessee, with his wife Gerri, and daughters, Miriam and Rachel.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780824604356
  • Publisher: David, Jonathan Publishers, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/28/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

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