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From the Publisher"This lucid and thoughtful book is the first extensive investigation into attitudes towards
Torah-study and educational practice in rabbinic Judaism. In a series of close analyses, Marc Hirshman expertly leads his readers through a number of important and complex passages in rabbinic literature, thereby exposing them not only to the rabbis' ideas but to their ways of thinking, and to how the rabbis wished to inculcate their students with those paths to knowledge."
—David Stern, Ruth Meltzer Professor of Classical Hebrew Literature at the University of Pennsylvania
"In this learned and engaging book Marc Hirshman illumines a central aspect of rabbinic culture, the attitude toward Torah study, through sensitive close readings of the most important rabbinic discussions of the subject and attention to the wider cultural context. This is an important contribution to our understanding of the world of the rabbis."
—Martha Himmelfarb, author of A Kingdom of Priests: Ancestry and Merit in Ancient Judaism
"Marc Hirshman is one of the most interesting and perceptive interpreters of rabbinic Judaism, and this new book of his explores this fascinating but underappreciated cultural and religious movement in a way that both scholars and laypersons can enjoy. For Jews today, his discussions of Jewish education in rabbinic times and its connections to Greco-Roman culture are especially valuable."
—Jon D. Levenson, Albert A. List Professor of Jewish Studies at Harvard Divinity School and author of Resurrection and the Restoration of Israel: The Ultimate Victory of the God of Life