Heavenly Torah: As Refracted through the Generations / Edition 1

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Known most widely for his role in the civil rights and peace movements of the 1960s, Abraham Joshua Heschel made major scholarly contributions to the fields of biblical studies, rabbinics, medieval Jewish philosophy, Hasidism, and mysticism. Yet his most ambitious scholarly achievement, his three-volume study of Rabbinic Judaism, is only now appearing in English. Heschel's great insight is that the world of rabbinic thought can be divided into two types or schools, those of Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Ishmael, and that the historic disputes between the two are based on fundamental differences over the nature of revelation and religion. Furthermore, this disagreement constitutes a basic and necessary ongoing polarity within Judaism between immanence and transcendence, mysticism and rationalism, neo-Platonism and Aristotelianism. Heschel then goes on to show how these two fundamental theologies of revelation may be used to interpret a great number of topics central to Judaism.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826418920
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 11/29/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 848
  • Sales rank: 1,056,643
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907-1972) was a preeminent scholar, acclaimed spiritual writer, and prophetic activist. He was a professor of ethics and mysticism at Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City.

Gordon Tucker is senior rabbi of Temple Israel Center in White Plains, NY, and adjunct assistant professor of Jewish philosophy at Jewish Theological Center, New York. He is the editor and translator of "Heavenly Torah as Refracted through the Generations" by Abraham Joshua Heschel.

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1
2 Two approaches to Torah exegesis 46
3 Miracles 65
4 The tabernacle and the sacrifices 71
5 The abode of the Shekhinah 93
6 Teachings concerning the Shekhinah 104
7 Afflictions 127
8 Torah and life 144
9 In awe and trembling 168
10 Duties of the heart 189
11 Issues of supreme importance 208
12 Scriptural language not befitting God's dignity 223
13 The language of Torah 239
14 Transcendental and terrestrial perspectives 259
15 Go 'round the orchard! 279
16 Beholding the face of God 299
17 The Torah that is in heaven 321
18 Moses' ascent to heaven 341
19 The descent of the divine glory 358
20 Torah from heaven 368
21 The sectarians 387
22 Moses did things on his own authority 407
23 Two methods of understanding "thus says the Lord" 423
24 Is it possible that it was on his own say-so 439
25 The book of deuteronomy 451
26 Is the prophet a partner or a vessel? 478
27 "See, how great was Moses' power!" 502
28 Moses' prophecy 517
29 How the Torah was written 538
30 The maximalist and minimalist approaches 552
31 The maximalist approach to the principle "Torah from heaven" 589
32 The minimalist approach to the principle "Torah from heaven" 610
33 Lost books 641
34 It is not in the heavens 658
35 Renewal of Torah 680
36 Both these and these are the words of the living God 701
37 Against multiplying rules 720
38 Stringencies and leniencies 740
39 Former and latter authorities 757
40 Theology in the legal literature 770
41 Interpersonal relationships 777
App Rabbinic authorities of the Mishnah and Talmud (Tannaim and Amoraim) 790
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  • Posted May 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Heschel's Heavenly Torah

    Unlike Heschel's better-known works, this book is a challenge for one who is not a rabbinical student or already a scholar of Judaism. However, it is full of information and insights into the founders of Rabbinical Judaism and the diversity of opinion and methods of that group. A very big book, it is not likely to be read straight through.

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