Introduction.--The Old Testament as the main source of the later ethical teaching.--The development along the rabbinical line.--The non-rabbinicalliterature: The Apocrypha and pseudepigrapha. The New Testament and Philo.
The current study deals with the responsum of R. Shimon ben Zemah Duran, a Jewish halakhic adjudicator, on the trade in monkeys practiced by Algerian Jews in the middle ages. The basis of the discussion concerning the monkey trade is an ancient prohibition of the Mishna's sages against trading in non-kosher animals. The current study clarifies the halakhic, historical and zoological circumstances underlying the missive sent to Rashbatz. In fact, R. Shimon ben Zemah Duran permitted trading in monkeys. He bases (...) his ruling on ancient sources in rabbinicalliterature and states that this is not a new issue in the economic life of Algerian Jews and that his family also dealt in the monkey trade. (shrink)
The topic of this book is 'creation'. It breaks down into discussions of two distinct, but interrelated, questions: what does the universe look like, and what is its origin? The opinions about creation considered by Norbert Samuelson come from the Hebrew scriptures, Greek philosophy, Jewish philosophy, and contemporary physics. His perspective is Jewish, liberal, and philosophical. It is 'Jewish' because the foundation of the discussion is biblical texts interpreted in the light of traditional rabbinic texts. It is 'philosophical' because the (...) subject matter is important in both past and present philosophical texts, and to Jewish philosophy in particular. Finally, it is 'liberal' because the authorities consulted include heterodox as well as orthodox Jewish sources. The ensuing discussion leads to original conclusions about a diversity of topics, including the limits of human reason and religious faith, and the relevance of scientific models to religious doctrine. (shrink)
Here are the most significant ethical writings of the 12th-century philosopher, physician, and master of rabbinicalliterature—newly translated from the original sources by noted Maimonides scholars Raymond L. Weiss and Charles E. Butterworth. Among these are the first English versions of Eight Chapters and the Letter to Joseph. Other selections include Laws Concerning Character Traits, Treatise on the Art of Logic, and gleanings from Maimonides’ medical writings. Introduction. Notes.
In a broad survey of negative and hostile attitudes toward canines in pagan, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim traditions, the author posits that warm ties between humans and canines have been seen as a threat to the authority of the clergy and indeed, of God. Exploring ancient myth, Biblical and Rabbinicalliterature, and early and medieval Christianity and Islam, she explores images and prohibitions concerning dogs in the texts of institutionalized, monotheistic religions, and offers possible explanations for these attitudes, (...) including concern over disease. (shrink)
Comparing people to trees is a customary and common practice in Jewish tradition. The current article examines the roots and the development of the image of people as trees in Jewish sources, from biblical times to recent generations, as related to the prohibition against destroying fruit trees. The similarity between humans and trees in the Jewish religion and culture was firstly suggested in biblical literature as a conceptual-symbolic element. However, since the Amoraic period, this similarity was transformed to a (...) resemblance bearing mystical and Halakhic implications. Various sources in rabbinicalliterature describe trees as humans that may be spoken to or yelled at to produce fruit. Cutting down a tree was perceived by the rabbis of the Talmud not only as an unethical act or vandalism, but also as a hazard: the death of the tree corresponds to the death of the person who resembles it. All societies, cultures and religions have a system of values and practices that are aimed at shaping people, society and the environment according to a certain worldview.Contribution: The discussion in this article on the relationship between religion-culture and nature indicates how the Jewish religion shaped believers’ attitude to the world of flora over the generations by transforming the man-tree comparison into one with binding and even threatening practical religious meaning. (shrink)
Levinas’ thought concerning God continues the philosophical discussion – how to speak about the divine within human language. His thought takes into account Heidegger’s Ontology and Rosenzweig’s exploration of revelation and the meaning of Divinity. Levinas sees the meaning of God’s names as an ethical commandment toward the Beyond – toward the other person. By using the Talmudic writings, Levinas describes the custom of Jewish wisdom to talk about God’s names and attributes as referring the subject towards other persons. As (...) this paper suggested, Levinas’ thought reaches its full implications with his treatment towards the importance of writing and erasure of the Divine Names. -/- . (shrink)
"Neusner moves beyond the interpretation of individual texts to grasp as wholes two systems of Judaism, that of the Mishnah and that represented by Rabbinic documents of the fifth century. He thus provides an entirely fresh approach and a new answer to the central question 'What is Judaism?' At the same time, by providing a sound model for the evaluation and comparison of diverse religious systems, this book has an important place within the study of the history of religions in (...) general."--Alan J. Avery-Peck, author of The Talmud of the Land of Israel: Shebiit An eminent scholar of the history of Judaism, Jacob Neusner shows in this work how Judaism changed from a philosophy to a religion between 200 and 400 C.E. The Transformation of Judaism is a work both revolutionary in its method and unprecedented in its results. Comparing earlier and later sets of Judaic writings, Neusner sets forth how philosophy--abstract, elegant, orderly, and intellectual--turned into religion--tangible, down-to-earth, chaotic, and concrete. In the process, he offers an account of the birth of Judaism that has become normative. Moreover, Neusner's methodology can be applied to the study of religions other than Judaism because it examines the underpinnings of how a society sees the world (philosophy), orders itself (politics), and sustains itself (economics). "This prolific author provides in this book yet another of his clear and scholarly explorations into the nature of Judaism... Scholarly detail does not preclude clarity of style and more general reflection on the character of religion in relation to other modes of thought."--Peter Byrne, Religious Studies. (shrink)
The Hebrew Bible: glimpses of immortality -- Early post-biblical literature: gateways to heaven and hell -- The mishnah: who will merit the world to come? -- The Talmud: what happens in the next world? -- Medieval Jewish philosophy: faith and reason -- Mysticism: reincarnation in Kabbalah -- Modernity: what do we believe? -- The Messiah: the eternal thread of hope.
In Visión Deleytable, after explaining the absurdities and contradictions contained in several opinions on providence, Sabieza declares that it will be revealed the one she considers true, but then she argues that all they are partly true. Our aim in this paper is to prove that, in the study of the contradictions found in the Prologue of Maimonides’ Guide of the Perplexed, as well as in the various conceptions of God that coexist in this work, and even in Rabbinical (...)Literature, is traceable in nuce a Kabbalistic doctrine that could foreshadow Alfonso de la Torre’s conception of providence, namely, that truth is in multiplicity merely ‘from the perspective of the recipients’. (shrink)