An Introduction to Judaic Thought and Rabbinic Literature (Google eBook)

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Greenwood Publishing Group, Jan 1, 2007 - Religion - 172 pages
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Many people have heard the term "Talmud" but have little or no idea what it is, what it contains, and why it was written; moreover, few have ever actually looked into one of its works, and even fewer would make any sense of it if they did. Here, Sicker provides readers with insight into the nature and history of Judaic thought and its literature through illustrative examples and clear explanations. Rabbinic literature is important, even to those who are not religiously inclined, because it alone represents the embodiment of the intellectual legacy that has contributed enormously to the survival and continuity of the Jewish people. Through two thousand years of dispersion, rabbinic literature was their primary link to the past and provided hope for the future. It was, in effect, the intellectual homeland of the people scattered throughout the world. Even if a reader has never read any Judaic literature, he or she will have some notion of what it is after reading this book. This book is written for the vast majority of adults who either attend synagogues or have a general interest in Judaism, whether Jewish or not. It provides insight into the meaning of terms that are bandied about in sermons, lectures, and articles, such as "Torah," "halakhah," "midrash," "Talmud," "Jewish law," all of which are component elements of rabbinic literature, which many people have heard and hear without really understanding what is being referenced. Sicker explains the meaning of these and other terms, the bodies of literature they refer to, and the historical linkage between them in an easy, accessible manner. In a sense, this book is not only a guide to the literature but also an intellectual history of Judaic thought and culture that should be of interest to anyone even slightly curious about how Judaism managed to survive for millennia without central institutions or clerical hierarchy.
  

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An introduction to Judaic thought and rabbinic literature

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The title of this ambitious, short book is a bit deceptive. Although Sicker, a prolific writer of books on Jewish history and biblical studies, seeks to introduce the reader to traditional Judaic ... Read full review

Contents

2 Midrash Halakhah
23
3 The Mishnah
47
4 The Talmud
71
5 Midrash Aggadah
89
6 Law Codes and Related Literature
117
7 Bible Commentaries
135
8 The Contemporary State of the Literature
155
Notes
159
References
165
Index
169
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

MARTIN SICKER is author of over 30 books on Jewish and Middle East history, geopolitics, political theory, and Biblical studies. He is a private consultant, writer, and lecturer. His books include The Rise and Fall of the Ancient Israelite States, Political Culture of Judaism, The Islamic World in Ascendency, The Middle East in the Twentieth Century, and many others.

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