The Legends of the Jews (2-Volume Set)

The Legends of the Jews (2-Volume Set)

3.8 5
by Louis Ginzberg
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

The JPS classic reissue of a Jewish masterpiece, reset in two volumes with all new indexes To this day Legends of the Jews remains a most remarkable and comprehensive compilation of stories connected to the Hebrew Bible. It is an indispensable reference on that body of literature known as Midrash, the imaginative retelling and elaboration on Bible stories in which

Overview

The JPS classic reissue of a Jewish masterpiece, reset in two volumes with all new indexes To this day Legends of the Jews remains a most remarkable and comprehensive compilation of stories connected to the Hebrew Bible. It is an indispensable reference on that body of literature known as Midrash, the imaginative retelling and elaboration on Bible stories in which mythological tales about demons and magic co-exist with moralistic stories about the piety of the patriarchs. Legends is the first book to which one turns to learn about the postbiblical understanding of a biblical episode, or to discover the source for biblical legends that cannot be traced directly to the Bible. It is also the first place to find the answers to such questions as: on what day was Abraham born; what was Moses' physical appearance, or what was the name of Potiphar’s wife.

Launched in 1901 by The Jewish Publication Society, the original project began as a single volume of 1,000 pages but grew much larger by 1938, when the seventh volume containing the indexes was finally published. Louis Ginzberg was 28 years old when Henrietta Szold, secretary of the Society, prepared the contract for what was conceived as a small, popular volume on Jewish legends. As the scion of two distinguished rabbinical families, Ginzberg studied in the great Lithuanian yeshivot of Telz and Slobodka. Later he received his secular education at Strassburg and Heidelberg universities. This combination of religious and secular learning enabled him to pursue with great passion the wide-ranging roots of Jewish legend. Ginzberg believed that Jewish legend was both earlier and greater than what was represented in the Talmud and midrashic collections—the primary Rabbinic sources. And so he scoured Jewish, Christian, Islamic, and Oriental sources to rediscover the fine threads of Jewish legend. The result was a masterpiece: a single, coherent collection of legends that follows the biblical narrative, accompanied by detailed notes that reveal a complex subtext of often intersecting and multi-layered levels of influence, borrowed notions, and interpretive commentaries.

Four new indexes and a new introduction by David Stern, Professor of Postbiblical and Medieval Hebrew Literature, and Director of the Jewish Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania, complete the reissue of one of the greatest classics of modern Jewish literature.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This collection, initially published between 1909 and 1938, here makes its paperback debut. Ginzberg offers new interpretations of traditional Bible stories as well as additional tales not commonly found in either Christian or Jewish teachings but involving many of the same characters. With scholarship of biblical proportion, this is essential for religion collections.
Booknews
First published in hardcover between 1909 and 1938, Louis Ginzberg's seven-volume collection of Jewish legends is a monumental work of scholarship. He assembled the many elaborations and embellishments of Biblical stories that flourished in the centuries following the Bible's own creation, stories that were created to impart lessons or to fill gaps in the Bible's own narrative. Gathered from a myriad of original sources<-->written in Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Syrian, Aramaic, Arabic, and Persian among other languages<-->the stories are presented with Ginzberg's extensive notes (contained in volumes 5 and 6) and an index to all the volumes in volume 7. Apparently, there is no ISBN for the entire set. See entries for the other volumes to learn their coverage, price, and ISBN. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
James L. Kugel
A truly monumental work of scholarship..."The Legends of the Jews" has itself become legendary, the magnum opus of one of the twentieth century's greatest and most original Jewish scholars. -- James L. Kugel

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780827607095
Publisher:
The Jewish Publication Society
Publication date:
07/24/2003
Edition description:
Second Edition
Pages:
1650
Product dimensions:
7.25(w) x 10.00(h) x 4.40(d)

What People are saying about this

James R. Kugel
A truly monumental work of scholarship...Read for pleasure by millions of Jews and Christians, consulted by students, scholars, and ordinary folk, The Legends of the Jews has itself become legendary, the magnum opus of one of the 20th century's greatest and most original Jewish scholars. -- Author of The Bible as It Was

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

The legends of the Jews 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A good read. Has a few errors. I enjoyed this deeper look into the Bible stories of the Old Testament. It is part of a series of books that tell the common stories of the faith. I would suggest beginning at the real beginning, "When God created.." I really hope you enjoy this as much as I did!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am and I am proud to be a Jew. I won't tell you my name or where I live because there are some mean humans out there who hate Jews like me.