Rabbinic Stories / Edition 1

Rabbinic Stories / Edition 1

by Jeffrey L. Rubenstein
     
 

An appealing contribution to the Classics of Western Spirituality, Jeffrey Rubenstein has translated stories from the main works of classical rabbinic literature that were produced by Jewish sages between 200-600 C.E. The narratives include stories, legends, anecdotes and other traditions that relate to basic rabbinic values and practical concerns

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    Overview

    An appealing contribution to the Classics of Western Spirituality, Jeffrey Rubenstein has translated stories from the main works of classical rabbinic literature that were produced by Jewish sages between 200-600 C.E. The narratives include stories, legends, anecdotes and other traditions that relate to basic rabbinic values and practical concerns

  • charity, good deeds, marriage and children; and those that address important theological question, including suffering, theodicy, atonement and story of Torah.

    Each story is accompanied by a brief analysis of the story's principal themes, meaning and literary character, while accompanying notes explain technical terms and references. In addition, to underscore the oral nature of the stories, the author offers translations of several versions of the same story, showing how later versions are more embellished and elaborate. The book treats the rabbinic stories not as accurate history, but as didactic fictions that model character, teach virtue and provide lessons.

    There is no standard corpus of rabbinic stories available, says Rubenstein, and therefore this volume is a unique resource for courses on Judaism and rabbinic culture, comparative religions and religious narrative. Anyone interested in Jewish culture, early Christianity, folklore and Late Antique culture will find it to be fascinating reading as well.

    About the Author:
    Jeffrey L. Rubenstein, who holds a Ph.D. from the department of religion, Columbia University, is associate professor in the department of Hebrew and Judaic studies, New York University. He is the author of numerous scholarly articles and two other books.

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  • Product Details

    ISBN-13:
    9780809140244
    Publisher:
    Paulist Press
    Publication date:
    02/28/2003
    Series:
    Classics of Western Spirituality Series
    Pages:
    352
    Product dimensions:
    6.16(w) x 9.08(h) x 0.91(d)

    Table of Contents

    Acknowledgments
    Preface
    Introduction1
    Pt. IHistorical Memories and the Lessons of History
    Ch. 1Hasmonean Memories25
    Ch. 2The Sages and King Yannai: Standing Up to Authority (Bavli Sanhedrin 19a-b)31
    Ch. 3Herod and Bava b. Buta (Bavli Bava Batra 3b-4a)33
    Ch. 4Stories of Destruction38
    Ch. 5Bar Kokhba: Hubris and Defeat (Yerushalmi Taanit 4:8, 68d)55
    Ch. 6Rebuilding the Temple (Genesis Rabbah 64:8)61
    Pt. IIRabbinic Authority, Rabbinic Character
    Ch. 7The Banning of Akavia b. Mehalalel: A Dissident Opposes the Majority (Mishna Eduyyot 5:6-7)67
    Ch. 8Hillel and the Passover71
    Ch. 9The "Oven of Akhnai": Rabbinic Authority and Human Dignity (Bavli Bava Metsia 59a-59b)80
    Ch. 10The New Month and the Authority of the Patriarch (Mishna Rosh HaShana 2:9-11)85
    Ch. 11Authority over the Calendar88
    Pt. IIILife and Death in the Rabbinic Academy
    Ch. 12Conflict in the Academy: The Deposition of Rabban Gamaliel95
    Ch. 13Leadership of the Academy: Lineage or Torah? (Bavli Horayat 13b-14a)104
    Ch. 14The Saga of Rav Kahana: The Torah of Babylonia vs. the Torah of Palestine (Bavli Bava Qama 117a-b)109
    Ch. 15The Tragedy of R. Yohanan and Resh Laqish: Give Me Dialectics or Give Me Death! (Bavli Bava Metsia 84a)114
    Ch. 16The Tragedy of Honi: Give Me Fellowship or Give Me Death! (Bavli Taanit 23a)117
    Pt. IVHoly Men and Rabbinic Masters
    Ch. 17R. Shimon bar Yohai121
    Ch. 18Honi the Circle-Drawer: The Holy Man and Rain128
    Ch. 19R. Yehoshua b. Levi and the Angel of Death (Bavli Ketubot 77b)133
    Pt. VWomen, Wives and Marriage
    Ch. 20Rabbis and Wives: Love, Babylonian Style (Bavli Ketubot 62b)139
    Ch. 21God as Marriage-Maker (Leviticus Rabbah 8:1)146
    Ch. 22Rabbis, Husbands and Wives148
    Ch. 23Beruria (Bavli Eruvin 53b, Berakhot 10a)151
    Pt. VIRomans, Gentiles and Others
    Ch. 24Alexander Macedon and the World Court (Bavli Sanhedrin 91a)157
    Ch. 25Alexander Macedon and the Faraway King (Yerushalmi Bava Metsia 2:5, 8c)161
    Ch. 26Antoninus and Rabbi163
    Ch. 27Jesus and His Disciples169
    Ch. 28Onqelos the Convert (Bavli Avodah Zarah 11a)176
    Pt. VIIThe Life of Piety: Charity, Commandments, Virtues
    Ch. 29Hillel, Shammai and Converts: Virtues and Theological Basics (Bavli Shabbat 31a)181
    Ch. 30The Commandment of the Fringes and Its Reward (Sifre Numbers 115)186
    Ch. 31The Power of Righteousness (Bavli Shabbat 156b)190
    Ch. 32The Honor of Parents (Yerushalmi Qiddushin 1:6, 61b / Bavli Qiddushin 31b)193
    Ch. 33The Pursuit of Torah (Bavli Yoma 35b, Sanhedrin 10a, Berakhot 62a)200
    Pt. VIIISuffering, Martyrdom and Theodicy
    Ch. 34Nahum of Gamzu: Happy that You See Me Suffer207
    Ch. 35Suffering: Not Them and Not Their Reward210
    Ch. 36Theodicy and Torah (Bavli Menahot 29b)215
    Ch. 37Stories of Martyrdom218
    Pt. IXSin and Repentance
    Ch. 38Stories of Elisha b. Abuya229
    Ch. 39The Power of Repentance (Bavli Avodah Zarah 17a)245
    Ch. 40A Sinner's Good Deed (Yerushalmi Taanit 1:4, 64b)247
    Notes249
    Bibliography303
    Indices305

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