Hebrew Ethical Wills Page 10...

This volume includes specimens which, either as complete texts or as extracts, are representative of the type of literature known as Ethical Wills. The testaments give an intimate insight into the personal religion of Jews and Jewish experience through many centuries.

what does he say? I hope nobody sees me!” ( Babylo-nian Talmud, Berakot 28b). In other words, it may well be that those who were reflective and articulate, and had responsibilities to hand on, always and everywhere spoke to their des-cendants and successors in hortatory words which they hoped would be heeded in the future. But it is a fair guess ( not certainty) that the writing down of ethical testaments by individuals for the reading on the part of their immediate family and kin ( though they might sometimes wish for a wider circle too) became something of a “ general” practice, a kind of adopted, personal ritual, only after moralistic trea-tises began to circulate. (“ In the Geniza there are no ethical wills, a document so frequent in later cen-turies”— S. D. Goitein.) The formal, written treatises would have provided a model of themes that should be uppermost in a person’s mind as he thinks about guiding principles for a righteous life. Not that mul-titudes of virtuous admonitions were unavailable in the classical sources, nor are quotations from these lacking in the written informal testaments. But the written testaments suggest the development of a genre, a more or less distinctive form of com-position, beyond the ad hoc address. Once mora-listic treatises began to be read, a focus was provided and even, one might say, a table of contents, a concentrated assembly of directives that a human being required and could consult if he was not to disgrace his life in this world now and had hopes of the world to come. Here finally were systematic works for inculcation of moral conduct: memorandums for immediate and future performances. The author of moralistic treatises gave to the writer of private testaments a [ 6] FOREWORD   C h a p t e r Home  | T O C

Hebrew Ethical Wills


About Book Hebrew Ethical Wills

Front MatterTitle PageCopyright PageForewordAdvertisementContentsIntroductionPART ONEI. SELECTIONS FROM THE EARLY RABBINIC LITERATURE1. Eleazar B. Hyrkanos and Johanan B. Zakkai2. Akabya son of Mahalalel3. Jose son of Kisma and Hanina son of Teradyon4. Joshua son of Hananya5. Samuel the Younger6. Akiba7. Judah ha-Nasi8. Rab9. Joshua B. Levi10. A Group of Sayings11. Causes of LongevityII. THE ''PATHS OF LIFE'', BY R. ELEAZAR THE GREATIII. A FATHER'S ADMONITION BY JUDAH IBN TIBBONIV. THE VIRTUE OF HUMILITY BY NAHMANIDESV. THE GATE OF INSTRUCTION ATTRIBUTED TO MAIMONIDESVI. EXTRACTS FROM THE ''RULE'' DRAWN UP BY R. ASHERVII. GUIDE TO KNOWLEDGE BY JOSEPH IBN KASPIIntroductionPART TWOVIII. THE TESTAMENT OF JUDAH ASHERIIX. THE FRUIT OF PIETISM FROM THE TESTAMENT OF JACOB ASHERIX. THE IDEALS OF AN AVERAGE JEW (TESTAMENT OF ELEAZAR OF MAYENCE)XI. A REGIMEN OF SELF-TAXATION AND THE TESTAMENT OF SOLOMON SON OF ISAACXII. PROTHANATION OF MOSES RIMOSXIII, XIV, XV. THE STUDY OF THE LAW COUNSELS OF THREE GENERATIONS BY ABRAHAM, JACOB, AND SHABTHAI HURVITZXVI. THE PASSING OF NATHANIEL TRABOTTI AS RECORDED BY HIS DISCIPLE SAMUEL BELGRADIXVII-XVIII. OCCASIONAL PRAYERSCOUNSELS OF A MYSTIC FROM THE TESTAMENT OF MOSES HASIDXIX. IN DEFIANCE OF DESPONDENCY FROM THE TESTAMENT OF ISRAEL BAALSHEMXX. ELIJAH DE VEALI TO HIS CHILDREN FROM THE TESTAMENT OF ELIJAH SON OF RAPHAEL DE VEALIXXI. LETTER OF ELIJAH (GAON) OF WILNAXXII. A TRUE MAN OF GIMZO. EXTRACTS FROM THE TESTAMENT OF ALEXANDER SUESSKINDXXIII. LOVE AND PEACE. EXTRACTS FROM THE TESTAMENT OF JOEL SON OF ABRAHAM SHEMARIAH
hebrew ethical wills page https publishersrow ebookshuk books jewish ebooks this volume includes specimens which either complete texts extracts representative type literature known testaments give intimate insight into personal religion jews experience through many centuries
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