The Classics of Judaism: A Textbook and Reader

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Westminster John Knox Press, Jan 1, 1995 - Religion - 486 pages
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In order to understand the faith of Judaism, according to Jacob Neusner, one must look at the very foundation of that faith: the Torah. To believers, this act of studying the Torah provides a direct and immediate link to the living God and forms the very basis of a faithful Jewish life. In this book, Jacob Neusner introduces the reader to selections from all the documents of the Torah, in addition to Scripture, that define the canon of Judaism in its formative age. The Classics of Judaism is, however, more than a collection of writings. It is also a primer for learning how to approach and read any book of Judaism.

 

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Contents

How to Read a Book of Judaism
1
The Hebrew Scriptures
11
The Mishnah ca 200 c e
25
Reading from the Mishnah
39
Tractate Abot ca 250 c e
71
Reading from Tractate Abot
77
PART THREE
91
Reading from the Mekhilta Attributed to R Ishmael
107
Pesiqta deRab Kahana
256
Reading from Pesiqta deRab Kahana And a Recapitulation of the Traits of the Later Midrash Compilations
263
PART Six THE SECOND TALMUD THE TALMUD OF BABYLONIA ca 600 C E
281
The Talmud of Babylonia
283
Why the Bavli Won
291
The Bavli and the Integrity of Truth
310
Lamentations Rabbati
327
Reading from Lamentations Rabbati
335

Sifra to Leviticus
119
Reading from Sifra
127
Sifré to Numbers
137
Reading from Sifré to Numbers
144
Sifré to Deuteronomy
150
Reading from Sifré to Deuteronomy
163
PART FOUR THE FIRST TALMUD THE TALMUD OF THE LAND OF ISRAEL ca 400 C E
173
What is a Talmud? An Example of a Talmud
175
Defining the Two Talmuds
192
Reading from the Talmud of the Land of Israel
204
PART FIVE THE LATER MIDRASH COMPILATIONS ca 450 C E
211
Genesis Rabbah
213
Reading from Genesis Rabbah
223
Leviticus Rabbah
231
Reading from Leviticus Rabbah
243
Ruth Rabbah
346
Reading from Ruth Rabbah
357
Esther Rabbah I
367
Reading from Esther Rabbah I
373
Song of Songs Rabbah
383
Reading from Song of Songs Rabbah
392
PART EIGHT
403
Prayers for the Sabbath and Festivals
429
Circumcision the Marriage Rite
436
Singing the Torah
447
Letter to the Teacher
455
Suggestions for further Reading
475
Index
481
Copyright

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About the author (1995)

Jacob Neusner is Distinguished Service Professor of the History and Theology of Judaism and Bard Center Fellow at the Bard College Institute of Advanced Theology in Annondale-on-Hudson, New York. He is the author of several books, including Judaism When Christianity Began, The Emergence of Judaism, and the popular textbook World Religions in America, all of which are available from WJK.

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