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Home Page Between Zealotry and Grace
From Category - Mahshavot - A Series for Studies in Jewish Thought in Memory of Isidore Friedman
Between Zealotry and Grace
Anti-zealotic Trends in Rabbinic Thought
By David Brezis
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In a world challenged by the continual strengthening of fundamentalist trends, this book explores the complex relationship of the Sages of the Talmud to the phenomenon of zealotry.

In view of the affinities of Bet Shammai with the circles supporting the war against Rome, one can analyze this relationship as a combination of two approaches: one that rejects the radical line out of hand – as we learn from the unequivocal decision in favor of Bet Hillel – and one that lends it a kind of legitimacy – in accordance with the saying: “Both are the words of the Living God” (Eruvin 13b).

With this ambiguity in mind, zealotry is explored using a special intertextual analysis, uncovering hidden threads connecting it to key narratives in the Bible, including some that are not directly related to zealotry, such as the story of the messianic birth (from the daughters of Lot to Ruth) or the stories of Judah and Joseph.

Due to this interpretation, the book offers a comprehensive mapping of zealotic and anti-zealotic archetypes in rabbinic literature. But at the same time, it shows how the rejection of zealotry is anchored deep in the rabbinic world – sign of a holistic concept that recognizes the unique value of grace, and not just of a pragmatic approach on the political level.

Title Details
Danacode: 110-20220
ISBN: 978-965-226-463-3
Categories: Mahshavot - A Series for Studies in Jewish Thought in Memory of Isidore Friedman Talmud and Rabbinic Literature Philosophy and Aesthetics
Published: May 2015
Language: Hebrew
17x24 cm
1100 gr
544 pages

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