By Hayyim Nahman Bialik, Yehoshua Hana Ravnitzky, William G. Braude, David Stern

The 1st whole English translation of the Hebrew vintage Sefer Ha-Aggadah brings to the English-speaking international the best and best-loved anthology of classical Rabbinic literature ever compiled. First released in Odessa in 1908-11, it was once famous instantly as a masterwork in its personal correct, and reprinted quite a few occasions in Israel.

The Hebrew poet Hayim Nahman Bialik and the well known editor Yehoshua Hana Ravnitzky, the architects of this masterful compendium, chosen hundreds of thousands of texts from the Talmud and midrashic literature and organized them thematically, for you to offer their contemporaries with easy accessibility to the nationwide literary history of the Jewish humans -- the texts of Rabbinic Judaism that stay on the center of Jewish literacy today.

Bialik and Ravnitzky selected Aggadah -- the non-legal parts of the Talmud and Midrash -- for his or her anthology. Loosely translated as "legends", Aggadah contains the genres of biblical exegesis, tales approximately biblical characters, the lives of the Talmudic period sages and their modern historical past, parables, proverbs, and folklore. a charming melange of knowledge and piety, fable and satire, Aggadah is the expressive medium of the Jewish inventive genius.

The association of this compendium displays the theological matters of the Rabbinic sages: the function of Israel and the international locations; God, stable and evil; human family; the area of nature; and the artwork of therapeutic. the following, the reader who desires to discover conventional Jewish perspectives on a selected topic is taken care of to a range of suitable texts at his fingertips yet will quickly develop into immersed in a fashion of considering, exploring, and wondering that's the hallmark of Jewish inquiry.

"Whatever the mind's eye can invent is located within the Aggadah," wrote the historian Leopold Zunz, "its goal continuously being to coach guy the methods of God." The ebook of Legends/Sefer Ha-Aggadah, now to be had in william Braude’s beautifully annotated translation, permits smooth Jews to event firsthand the richness and pleasure in their cultural inheritance.

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Extra resources for The Book of Legends/Sefer Ha-Aggadah: Legends from the Talmud and Midrash

Example text

Likewise, the world was full of water upon water, and the earth was sunk deep in the water. And so when the Holy One said, "Let the dry land appear" (Gen. 1 :9), the waters replied: Behold, we fill the whole world; if we hardly had sufficient room hitherto, where shall we go now? At that, the Holy One tamped down the waters of the Great Ocean and slew its prince, as is said, "With His power He made the sea shrink, and by His understanding He smote through Rahab"3 (Job 26: 12). Mter He slew him, the waters wept.

85: 12). 4 The elder R. Huna of Sepphoris said: While the min­ istering angels were parleying with one another and dis­ puting with one another, the Holy One created Adam and then said: What are you parleying about? 5 13 verses, 'Lord, our Lord, how glorious is Thy Name in all the earth' [Ps. 8: 10]. Do what pleases You. "6 48. R. Samuel bar Nahman said in the name of R. Jon­ athan: At the time when Moses was engaged in writing the Torah, he had to set down what happened on each of the six days of creation.

R. Samuel bar Nahman said: Because the disposition of the waters was not yet finished. 8 Con­ sequently, "It was good" is written twice in connection with the third day, once about the disposition of the waters and a second time about the work that was begun and completed on that day. A Roman noblewoman asked R. Yose, "Why is 'It I . Gen. R. 3:6. 2· Gen. R. 3:7. 3· JV: "With the river of God that is full of water. " •· Gen. R. 1:4. s. " Gen. R. 5:4. •· "The meaning of the word is doubtful. It would appear to mean a clepsydra, a contrivance for measuring time by the flow of water.

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