Legends of the Jews Page 15...

A most remarkable and comprehensive compilation of stories connected to the Hebrew Bible drawn largely on Jewish lore and tradition. It is an indispensable reference on that body of literature known as Midrash, the imaginative retelling and elaboration on Bible stories in which mythological tales about demons and magic co-exist with moralistic stories about the piety of the patriarchs.

C h a p t e r Home  | T O C  | I n d e x   INTRODUCTION to the 2003 Edition n 1898 a young scholar named Louis Ginz-berg published the first in a series of articles on the Aggadah in the Church Fathers and in the apocryphal literature. 1 The word “ aggadah”*— literally, “ narrative” or “ what is transmitted through telling”— is a technical term in classical Jewish literature for the nonlegal traditions of the Rabbis who lived in Roman Palestine and Baby-lonia in the first six centuries of the Common Era. These traditions are preserved in both the Talmud and the various collections of Midrash, or Rabbinic biblical interpretation. Ginzberg himself was mainly interested in aggadot about biblical characters— stories famous in Jewish tra-dition but not found in the Bible, like the story that Abraham was the first monotheist and that he had deduced the existence of one God by de-stroying his father’s idols, or the tale about Moses, who, before returning to Egypt to lead the Israel-ites, had first been general, then king of the Ethi-opians and had married their queen. Ginzberg called such stories “ legends” and sought in his articles to recover the remains of what he believed were some of the earliest exist-ing aggadot. These, he argued, had been para-doxically preserved only in the books of the Apocrypha, the earliest postbiblical writings, and in the writings of the early Church Fathers. Now such a scholarly task would seem easy enough if these ancient authors had referred to them as Jewish aggadot; but they did not. So Ginzberg hunted them down with the assiduity and ingenuity of a tireless Sherlock Holmes. The articles, that resulted, as one later scholar noted, were in fact close to revolutionary and signaled an entirely new approach to the study of ancient Rabbinic lore. They were also the germ of this book, Legends of the Jews, arguably the sin-gle most important contribution to the study of Rabbinic Aggadah in the modern period. At the time he published his first articles, Louis Ginzberg was twenty- five years old. Born in Kovno, Lithuania, in 1873, Ginzberg was the direct descendant of several distinguished rab-bis, including on his mothers side, the brother of the Gaon of Vilna ( 1720– 97). Recognized as a prodigy, even as a child, Ginzberg studied in the great Lithuanian yeshivot of Telz and Slo-bodka. After his father moved the family to * “ Aggadah” is the Aramaic form of the Hebrew “ Haggadah.” Ginzberg himself tended to use the latter, but for purposes of consistency ( because the Aramaic form is the more common one in use today) and clarity ( to avoid any confusion with the Passover Haggadah) I have consis-tently used Aggadah and changed all instances of Hag-gadah to Aggadah. I

Legends of the Jews


About Book Legends of the Jews

Front MatterTitle PageCopyright PageContentsIntroduction to the 2003 EditionIntroduction to the NotesPreface to the Original EditionAbbreviations of Titles of Books in the NotesI. THE CREATION OF THE WORLDTHE FIRST THINGS CREATEDTHE ALPHABETTHE FIRST DAYTHE SECOND DAYTHE THIRD DAYTHE FOURTH DAYTHE FIFTH DAYTHE SIXTH DAYALL THINGS PRAISE THE LORDII. ADAMMAN AND THE WORLDTHE ANGELS AND THE CREATION OF MANTHE CREATION OF ADAMTHE SOUL OF MANTHE IDEAL MANTHE FALL OF SATANWOMANADAM AND EVE IN PARADISETHE FALL OF MANTHE PUNISHMENTSABBATH IN HEAVENADAM'S REPENTANCETHE BOOK OF RAZIELTHE SICKNESS OF ADAMEVE'S STORY OF THE FALLTHE DEATH OF ADAMTHE DEATH OF EVEIII. THE TEN GENERATIONSTHE BIRTH OF CAINFRATRICIDETHE PUNISHMENT OF CAINTHE INHABITANTS OF THE SEVEN EARTHSTHE DESCENDANTS OF CAINTHE DESCENDANTS OF ADAM AND LILITHSETH AND HIS DESCENDANTSENOSHTHE FALL OF THE ANGELSENOCH, RULER AND TEACHERTHE ASCENSION OF ENOCHTHE TRANSLATION OF ENOCHMETHUSELAHIV. NOAHTHE BIRTH OF NOAHTHE PUNISHMENT OF THE FALLEN ANGELSTHE GENERATION OF THE DELUGETHE HOLY BOOKTHE INMATES OF THE ARKTHE FLOODNOAH LEAVES THE ARKTHE CURSE OF DRUNKENNESSNOAH'S DESCENDANTS SPREAD ABROADTHE DEPRAVITY OF MANKINDNIMRODTHE TOWER OF BABELV. ABRAHAMTHE WICKED GENERATIONSTHE BIRTH OF ABRAHAMTHE BABE PROCLAIMS GODABRAHAM'S FIRST APPEARANCE IN PUBLICTHE PREACHER OF THE TRUE FAITHIN THE FIERY FURNACEABRAHAM EMIGRATES TO HARANTHE STAR IN THE EASTTHE TRUE BELIEVERTHE ICONOCLASTABRAHAM IN CANAANHIS SOJOURN IN EGYPTTHE FIRST PHARAOHTHE WAR OF THE KINGSTHE COVENANT OF THE PIECESTHE BIRTH OF ISHMAELTHE VISIT OF THE ANGELSTHE CITIES OF SINABRAHAM PLEADS FOR THE SINNERSTHE DESTRUCTION OF THE SINFUL CITIESAMONG THE PHILISTINESTHE BIRTH OF ISAACISHMAEL CAST OFFTHE TWO WIVES OF ISHMAELTHE COVENANT WITH ABIMELECHSATAN ACCUSES ABRAHAMTHE JOURNEY TO MORIAHTHE 'AKEDAHTHE DEATH AND BURIAL OF SARAHELIEZER'S MISSIONTHE WOOING OF REBEKAHTHE LAST YEARS OF ABRAHAMA HERALD OF DEATHABRAHAM VIEWS EARTH AND HEAVENTHE PATRON OF HEBRONVI. JACOBTHE BIRTH OF ESAU AND JACOBTHE FAVORITE OF ABRAHAMTHE SALE OF THE BIRTHRIGHTISAAC WITH THE PHILISTINESISAAC BLESSES JACOBESAU'S TRUE CHARACTER REVEALEDJACOB LEAVES HIS FATHER'S HOUSEJACOB PURSUED BY ELIPHAZ AND ESAUTHE DAY OF MIRACLESJACOB WITH LABANTHE MARRIAGE OF JACOBTHE BIRTH OF JACOB'S CHILDRENJACOB FLEES BEFORE LABANTHE COVENANT WITH LABANJACOB AND ESAU PREPARE TO MEETJACOB WRESTLES WITH THE ANGELTHE MEETING BETWEEN ESAU AND JACOBTHE OUTRAGE AT SHECHEMA WAR FRUSTRATEDTHE WAR WITH THE NINEVITESTHE WAR WITH THE AMORITESISAAC BLESSES LEVI AND JUDAHJOY AND SORROW IN THE HOUSE OF JACOBESAU'S CAMPAIGN AGAINST JACOBTHE DESCENDANTS OF ESAUVII. JOSEPHTHE FAVORITE SONJOSEPH HATED BY HIS BRETHRENJOSEPH CAST INTO THE PITTHE SALEJOSEPH'S THREE MASTERSJOSEPH'S COAT BROUGHT TO HIS FATHERJUDAH AND HIS SONSTHE WIVES OF THE SONS OF JACOBJOSEPH THE SLAVE OF POTIPHARJOSEPH AND ZULEIKAJOSEPH RESISTS TEMPTATIONJOSEPH IN PRISONPHARAOH'S DREAMSJOSEPH BEFORE PHARAOHTHE RULER OF EGYPTJOSEPH'S BRETHREN IN EGYPTJOSEPH MEETS HIS BRETHRENTHE SECOND JOURNEY TO EGYPTJOSEPH AND BENJAMINTHE THIEF CAUGHTJUDAH PLEADS AND THREATENSJOSEPH MAKES HIMSELF KNOWNJACOB RECEIVES THE GLAD TIDINGSJACOB ARRIVES IN EGYPTJOSEPH'S KINDNESS AND GENEROSITYJACOB'S LAST WISHTHE BLESSING OF EPHRAIM AND MANASSEHTHE BLESSING OF THE TWELVE TRIBESTHE DEATH OF JACOBTHE SONS OF JACOB AT WAR WITH THE SONS OF ESAUZEPHO KING OF KITTIMTHE NATIONS AT WARJOSEPH'S MAGNANIMITYASENATHTHE MARRIAGE OF JOSEPHKIND AND UNKIND BRETHRENTREACHERY PUNISHEDTHE DEATH AND BURIAL OF JOSEPHVIII. THE SONS OF JACOBSIGNIFICANT NAMESREUBEN'S TESTAMENTSIMON'S ADMONITION AGAINST ENVYTHE ASCENSION OF LEVIJUDAH WARNS AGAINST GREED AND UNCHASTITYISSACHAR'S SINGLENESS OF HEARTZEBULON EXHORTS UNTO COMPASSIONDAN'S CONFESSIONNAPHTALI'S DREAMS OF THE DIVISION OF THE TRIBESGAD'S HATREDASHER'S LAST WORDSBENJAMIN EXTOLS JOSEPHIX. JOBJOB AND THE PATRIARCHSJOB'S WEALTH AND BENEFACTIONSSATAN AND JOBJOB'S SUFFERINGTHE FOUR FRIENDSJOB RESTOREDX. MOSES IN EGYPTTHE BEGINNING OF THE EGYPTIAN BONDAGEPHARAOH'S CUNNINGTHE PIOUS MIDWIVESTHE THREE COUNSELLORSTHE SLAUGHTER OF THE INNOCENTSTHE PARENTS OF MOSESTHE BIRTH OF MOSESMOSES RESCUED FROM THE WATERTHE INFANCY OF MOSESMOSES RESCUED BY GABRIELTHE YOUTH OF MOSESTHE FLIGHTTHE KING OF ETHIOPIAJETHROMOSES MARRIES ZIPPORAHA BLOODY REMEDYTHE FAITHFUL SHEPHERDTHE BURNING THORN-BUSHTHE ASCENSION OF MOSESMOSES VISITS PARADISE AND HELLMOSES DECLINES THE MISSIONMOSES PUNISHED FOR HIS STUBBORNNESSTHE RETURN TO EGYPTMOSES AND AARON BEFORE PHARAOHTHE SUFFERING INCREASESMEASURE FOR MEASURETHE PLAGUES BROUGHT THROUGH AARONTHE PLAGUES BROUGHT THROUGH MOSESTHE FIRST PASSOVERTHE SMITING OF THE FIRST-BORNTHE REDEMPTION OF ISRAEL FROM EGYPTIAN BONDAGETHE EXODUSXI. MOSES IN THEWILDERNESSINTRODUCTIONTHE LONG ROUTEPHARAOH PURSUES THE HEBREWSTHE SEA DIVIDEDTHE PASSAGE THROUGH THE RED SEATHE DESTRUCTION OF THE EGYPTIANSTHE SONG AT THE SEATHE AWFUL DESERTTHE HEAVENLY FOODTHE GATHERING OF THE MANNAMIRIAM'S WELLAMALEK'S WAR AGAINST ISRAELAMALEK DEFEATEDJETHROTHE INSTALLATION OF ELDERSJETHRO REWARDEDTHE TIME IS AT HANDTHE GENTILES REFUSE THE TORAHTHE CONTEST OF THE MOUNTAINSTHE TORAH OFFERED TO ISRAELISRAEL PREPARES FOR THE REVELATIONTHE REVELATION ON MOUNT SINAITHE FIRST COMMANDMENTTHE OTHER COMMANDMENTS REVEALED ON SINAITHE UNITY OF THE TEN COMMANDMENTSMOSES CHOSEN AS INTERMEDIATORMOSES AND THE ANGELS STRIVE FOR THE TORAHMOSES RECEIVES THE TORAHTHE GOLDEN CALFMOSES BLAMED FOR ISRAEL'S SINTHE PUNISHMENT OF THE SINNERSMOSES INTERCEDES FOR THE PEOPLETHE INSCRUTABLE WAYS OF THE LORDTHE THIRTEEN ATTRIBUTES OF GODTHE SECOND TABLESTHE CENSUS OF THE PEOPLETHE ERECTION OF THE TABERNACLE COMMANDEDTHE MATERIALS FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE TABERNACLEBEZALELTHE ARK WITH THE CHERUBIMTHE TABLE AND THE CANDLESTICKTHE ALTARTHE SYMBOLICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF THE TABERNACLETHE PRIESTLY ROBESTHE STONES IN THE BREASTPLATETHE COMPLETION OF THE TABERNACLETHE SETTING UP OF THE TABERNACLETHE CONSECRATION OF THE PRIESTSTHE DAY OF THE TEN CROWNSTHE INTERRUPTED JOYTHE GIFTS OF THE PRINCESTHE REVELATIONS IN THE TABERNACLETHE CLEANSING OF THE CAMPTHE LIGHTING OF THE CANDLESTICKTHE TWELVE PRINCES OF THE TRIBESTHE CENSUS OF THE LEVITESTHE FOUR DIVISIONS OF THE LEVITESTHE FOUR STANDARDSTHE CAMPTHE BLASPHEMER AND THE SABBATH-BREAKERTHE UNGRATEFUL MULTITUDETHE FLESH-POTS OF EGYPTTHE APPOINTMENT OF THE SEVENTY ELDERSELDAD AND MEDADTHE QUAILSAARON AND MIRIAM SLANDER MOSESMIRIAM'S PUNISHMENTTHE SENDING OF THE SPIESSIGNIFICANT NAMESTHE SPIES IN PALESTINETHE SLANDEROUS REPORTTHE NIGHT OF TEARSINGRATITUDE PUNISHEDTHE YEARS OF DISFAVORTHE REBELLION OF KORAHKORAH ABUSES MOSES AND THE TORAHMOSES PLEADS IN VAIN WITH KORAHKORAH AND HIS HORDE PUNISHEDON AND THE THREE SONS OF KORAH SAVEDISRAEL CONVINCED OF AARON'S PRIESTHOODTHE WATERS OF MERIBAHMOSES' ANGER CAUSES HIS DOOMEDOM'S UNBROTHERLY ATTITUDE TOWARD ISRAELTHE THREE SHEPHERDSPREPARING AARON FOR IMPENDING DEATHAARON'S DEATHTHE GENERAL MOURNING FOR AARONTHE FALSE FRIENDSTHE BRAZEN SERPENTAT ARNONSIHON, THE KING OF THE AMORITESTHE GIANT OGMOSES' SPEECH OF ADMONITIONBALAK, KING OF MOABBALAAM, THE HEATHEN PROPHETBALAK'S MESSENGERS TO BALAAMBALAAM ACCEPTS BALAK'S INVITATIONBALAAM'S ASSBALAAM RUNS INTO HIS OWN DESTRUCTIONBALAAM WITH BALAKBALAAM'S SACRIFICES REFUSEDBALAAM EXTOLS ISRAELBALAAM'S HOPES DISAPPOINTEDCURSES TURNED TO BLESSINGSBALAAM'S WICKED COUNSELPHINEHAS, ZEALOUS FOR GODTWELVE MIRACLESPHINEHAS REWARDEDTHE DAUGHTERS OF ZELOPHEHADTHE APPOINTMENT OF JOSHUAMOSES' LEGACY TO JOSHUAMOSES' LAST CAMPAIGNTHE COMPLETE ANNIHILATION OF MIDIANTHE GRUESOME END OF BALAAMTHE VICTORIOUS RETURN FROM THE WARWEALTH THAT BRINGETH DESTRUCTIONMOSES' DEATH IRREVOCABLY DOOMEDMOSES' PRAYER FOR SUSPENSION OF JUDGMENTGOD TRIES TO COMFORT MOSES CONCERNING HIS DEATHTHE INTERCESSIONS FOR MOSESMOSES SERVES JOSHUATHE LAST DAY OF MOSES' LIFEMOSES BEHOLDS THE FUTUREMOSES MEETS THE MESSIAH IN HEAVENTHE LAST HOURS OF MOSESTHE BLESSING OF MOSESMOSES PRAYS FOR DEATHSAMAEL CHASTISED BY MOSESGOD KISSES MOSES' SOULTHE MOURNING FOR MOSESSAMAEL'S VAIN SEARCHMOSES EXCELS ALL PIOUS MENXII. JOSHUATHE SERVANT OF MOSESENTERING THE PROMISED LANDCONQUEST OF THE LANDTHE SUN OBEYS JOSHUAWAR WITH THE ARMENIANSALLOTMENT OF THE LANDXIII. THE JUDGESTHE FIRST JUDGECAMPAIGNS OF KENAZOTHNIELBOAZ AND RUTHDEBORAHGIDEONJEPHTHAHSAMSONTHE CRIME OF THE BENJAMITESXIV. SAMUEL AND SAULELKANAH AND HANNAHTHE YOUTH OF SAMUELELI AND HIS SONSTHE ACTIVITIES OF SAMUELTHE REIGN OF SAULTHE COURT OF SAULXV. DAVIDDAVID'S BIRTH AND DESCENTANOINTED KINGENCOUNTER WITH GOLIATHPURSUED BY SAULWARSAHITHOPHELJOABDAVID'S PIETY AND HIS SINABSALOM'S REBELLIONDAVID'S ATONEMENTVISITATIONSTHE DEATH OF DAVIDDAVID IN PARADISETHE FAMILY OF DAVIDHIS TOMBXVI. SOLOMONSOLOMON PUNISHES JOABTHE MARRIAGE OF SOLOMONHIS WISDOMTHE QUEEN OF SHEBASOLOMON MASTER OF THE DEMONSTHE BUILDING OF THE TEMPLETHE THRONE OF SOLOMONTHE HIPPODROMELESSONS IN HUMILITYASMODEUSSOLOMON AS BEGGARTHE COURT OF SOLOMONXVII. JUDAH AND ISRAELTHE DIVISION OF THE KINGDOMJEROBOAMTHE TWO ABIJAHSJEHOSHAPHAT AND AHABJEZEBELJORAM OF ISRAELXVIII. ELIJAHELIJAH BEFORE HIS TRANSLATIONAFTER HIS TRANSLATIONCENSOR AND AVENGERINTERCOURSE WITH THE SAGESGOD'S JUSTICE VINDICATEDELIJAH AND THE ANGEL OF DEATHTEACHER OF THE KABBALAHFORERUNNER OF THE MESSIAHXIX. ELISHA AND JONAHELISHA THE DISCIPLE OF ELIJAHTHE SHUNAMMITEGEHAZITHE FLIGHT OF JONAHJONAH IN THE WHALETHE REPENTANCE OF NINEVEHXX. THE LATER KINGS OF JUDAHJOASHTHREE GREAT PROPHETSTHE TWO KINGDOMS CHASTISEDHEZEKIAHMIRACLES WROUGHT FOR HEZEKIAHMANASSEHJOSIAH AND HIS SUCCESSORSXXI. THE EXILEZEDEKIAHJEREMIAHNEBUCHADNEZZARTHE CAPTURE OF JERUSALEMTHE GREAT LAMENTJEREMIAH'S JOURNEY TO BABYLONTRANSPORTATION OF THE CAPTIVESTHE SONS OF MOSESEBED-MELECHTHE TEMPLE VESSELSBARUCHTHE TOMBS OF BARUCH AND EZEKIELDANIELTHE THREE MEN IN THE FURNACEEZEKIEL REVIVES THE DEADNEBUCHADNEZZAR A BEASTHIRAMTHE FALSE PROPHETSDANIEL'S PIETYXXII. THE RETURN OF THE CAPTIVITYBELSHAZZAR'S FEASTDANIEL UNDER THE PERSIAN KINGSTHE GRAVE OF DANIELZERUBBABELEZRATHE MEN OF THE GREAT ASSEMBLYXXIII. ESTHERTHE FEAST FOR THE GRANDEESTHE FESTIVITIES IN SHUSHANVASHTI'S BANQUETTHE FATE OF VASHTITHE FOLLIES OF AHASUERUSMORDECAIESTHER'S BEAUTY AND PIETYTHE CONSPIRACYHAMAN THE JEW-BAITERMORDECAI'S PRIDECASTING THE LOTSTHE DENUNCIATION OF THE JEWSTHE DECREE OF ANNIHILATIONSATAN INDICTS THE JEWSTHE DREAM OF MORDECAI FULFILLEDTHE PRAYER OF ESTHERESTHER INTERCEDESTHE DISTURBED NIGHTTHE FALL OF HAMANTHE EDICT OF THE KINGINDEXESSubjectPassagesHebrew and Aramaic Words and Phrases
legends jews page https publishersrow ebookshuk books jewish hebrew ebooks most remarkable comprehensive compilation stories connected bible drawn largely lore tradition indispensable reference that body literature known midrash imaginative retelling elaboration which mythological tales about demons magic exist with moralistic piety patriarchs
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The Mystical Element in Judaism
An alternative to Gershom Scholem's view of Kabbalah by one of the greatest Jewish thinkers; a succinct yet much revealing introduction to Jewish mysticism.

Tanna Debe Eliyyahu: The Lore of the School of Elijah
Tanna debe Eliyyahu is a midrashic work thought to have been composed between the third and the tenth centuries. Unlike all the other Midrashim, it is a unified work shaped with a character of its own. This work has never before been translated from the original Hebrew.

History of Jewish Coinage and of Money in the Old and New Testament
Madden's work constitutes . . . a record of many rare or unique examples of Jewish art, preserving spontaneity and directness in our contact with the Jewish past. Michael Avi-Yonah Professor of Archaeology at Hebrew University, Jerusalem