Hasidic Commentary on the Torah

Ora Wiskind-Elper

£29.95
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ISBN: 9781906764128

Publication: February 28, 2018

Series: The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization

In the USA? Buy the Hardback US edition
The homiletical literature of hasidism is an innovative contribution to the Jewish hermeneutical tradition and an important element of the intellectual and social history of Judaism. In their sermons (derashot), the hasidic masters contemplate the nature and meaning of existence and provide guidance to disciples in their quest for self-transformation. Ora Wiskind-Elper’s original study explores 200 years of hasidic commentary, from the Ba’al Shem Tov to Kalonymus Kalman Shapira, placing a hitherto neglected subject on the map of scholarly enquiry. Drawing creatively on contemporary philosophy and literary theory, she paints a portrait of hasidism by reflecting on the purpose and methods of its biblical exegesis. Among her central themes is the role of external historical forces in shaping the hasidic world-view as it is manifested in original interpretations of Torah. Her close readings of the commentaries invite the reader to explore their textual layers, exegetical questions, and shifting meanings. This book will be a welcome addition to academic courses on hasidism and religious studies, and an accessible introduction to this vast literature.

Ora Wiskind-Elper Associate professor, Lander Institute of Jewish Studies, Jerusalem.

Note on Transliteration Introduction 1. Dimensions of Collective Self-Understanding Beginnings Receiving, Revealing ‘When Your Wellsprings Will Flow Forth’ To Create New Worlds with Words ‘They Made Their Souls Anew’ To See and to be Seen ‘Well said, Moses!’ 2. Modes of Reading Metaphors We Live By A Parable in Wait Imagining the World The Essence of Being Human Bread-Eaters and Dreamers Know Me in Translation Conclusions So Far How to Teach, How to Learn To Know or Not to Know Finding the Words The Secret of Exile The Secret of Redemption Summing Up 3. Responses to a Shifting Landscape Introduction The Space in the Middle ‘For the Times They are A-Changin’ ’ Reason for Hope The Inward Turn Modernity and Its Discontents ‘God is in the Detail’ Prophets of the Past, Prophets of the Future Deep Blue Sky and Yellow Stars Song of Dust and Ashes Postscript Bibliography Index

Format: Hardback

Size: 235 x 155 mm

272 Pages

ISBN: 9781906764128

Publication: February 28, 2018

Series: The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization

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