An Introduction to Judaic Thought and Rabbinic Literature
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.
What people are saying - Write a review
An introduction to Judaic thought and rabbinic literatureUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
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
academies accordance afﬂiction aggadist Akiba ancient sages applied asserted Avot azharot Babylonian Talmud beginning bereshit Bible biblical texts biblical verse blessing canon century chapter children of Israel cited codiﬁcation commentaries compiled considered creation deal Deut Deuteronomy difﬁcult discussed divine editions Egypt exegesis fathers ﬁeld ﬁfth ﬁnal ﬁrst ﬁrst verse ﬁve Gemara halakhic heaven Hebrew hermeneutic rules Hillel Ibn Ezra implications included interpretation Ishmael Israelites issues Jerusalem Talmud Jewish Johanan Judah haNasi Judaic thought Judaism known Land of Israel Lord matter meaning midrash aggadah midrash halakhah Mishnah mishnaic Mishneh Torah Moses opinion oral Oral Torah passage precepts presumably prooftext Prophets question rabbinic literature Rashi refers reﬂected regard responsa Sabbath scholars Scripture scrolls Seder Sefer Shammai Sifra Sifre signiﬁcant speciﬁc statement stipulation suggested TaNaKH teachings term thee tion Torah Tosefta tractate tradition translation unto word written