Making God's Word Work: A Guide to the Mishnah
"The Mishnah is the crown jewel of Rabbinic Judaism in its formative age," so says the distinguished author of this book. Initiated in the aftermath of the Roman destruction of Jerusalem, and developed and amplified over the next five centuries, the Mishnah is the product of an age of calamity giving birth to a renewed search for recovery. As such, it speaks to every age, but to none more particularly and clearly than to our own which has witnessed the destruction wrought by the Shoah and the return to the land of Israel.
Nevertheless, the Mishnah does not explicitly address the agenda of the contemporary world. To reduce the social theology and legal system of the Mishnah to a specific historical setting would be to distort its religious mission which, as Jacob Neusner affirms, is to influence while transcending the world of time and circumstance.
The Mishnah is not a series of niggling precepts, as its misinterpreters contend, but neither is it simply a source of interesting information or of legal directives for shaping everyday life. Rather, the central theme of Making God's Word Work is that throughout the rules and norms of the Mishnah, and beneath their surface, is a governing theological pattern which both defines the detail relating to social conduct as well as brings to the fore a coherent system of analysis, thought, and argumen. "The Mishnah is a law code in form, a work of philosophy and theology in substance, and a work of natural history in execution. Its medium of expression and mode of thinking mark it as close to unique among philosophical and theological writings."
Making God's Word Work will be of interest not only to students of Judaica or those who practice Judaism, but also to students of the history of religions and of comparative religion. Additionally, the book will fascinate philosophers, theologians, literary critics, and humanists in general for its remarkable insights into a way of discursive analysis and rigorous argumentation that is without parallel among the foundational documents of the great world religions.
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A Personal Note
Making Gods Word Work
Gods Justice and the Ordeal of the Accused WIFE
Gods Justice Israel and the Gentiles
Corporate Israel as a Moral Entity
The Israelite Household Responsibility and Intentionality
The Israelite Household When Intention Does Not Count
Gods Perpetual Presence in Israelite Contention The Oath
God the Landlord Israel the Tenant
Eating Together Israels Presence in Gods House
Dwelling Together Gods Presence in the Israelite Household
God and the Individual Israelite
Israel in History and in Eternity The Messiah
Ownership and Possession
The Norm and the Exception
When Israelites Deliberately Violate the Norms
The Israelite Family
How the Topical Rhetorical and Logical Media
The Mishnah in Context Making Gods Word Work Today
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act of slaughter altar attitude Baba Batra Baba Mesia Baba Qamma bailment beast cAm Ha'ares chapter claim concerning conflict context corporate Israel crop Day of Atonement death defines Deut dough offering eternal Exod exposition facts Firstfruits gentiles God's governing Halakhah heave offering Heaven Holy Things Hullin human imposes individual Israelite intentionality Israelite householder issue Jerusalem Judaism justice Land of Israel law of Mishnah-tractate Levirate marriage liable Lord marriage matter meat Messiah Mish Mishnah Mishnah-tractate Mishnah's law Moses narrative Nazirite norms ownership party Passover pattern penalty person pertain possession priest principle private domain produce prohibited punishment Rabbinic sages relationship responsibility rite rules Sabbath sanctification says Scripture second tithe share Sinai social order Sotah specific statement status Sukkah Sukkot take an oath Talmud Temple theological tion tithe Tohorot topical Torah Tosefta tractate transaction uncleanness usucaption wife woman Zebahim