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By Attias, Jean-Christophe

Despite its deceptively basic name, this booklet ponders the thorny factor of where of the Bible in Jewish faith and tradition. via completely analyzing the advanced hyperlink that the Jews have shaped with the Bible, Jewish pupil Jean-Christophe Attias increases the uncomfortable query of if it is nonetheless proper for them.

Jews and the Bible unearths how the Jews outline themselves in numerous instances and areas with the Bible, without the Bible, and against the Bible. Is it divine revelation or nationwide delusion? Literature or legislative code? One e-book or a disparate library? textual content or item? For the Jews, during the last thousand years or extra, the Bible has been all that and masses extra. actually, Attias argues that the Bible is not anything in and of itself. just like the Koran, the Bible hasn't ever been something except what its readers make of it. yet what they have made up of it tells a desirable tale and increases provocative philosophical and moral questions.

The Bible is certainly an elusive publication, and so Attias explores the elemental discrepancy among what we predict the Bible tells us approximately Judaism and what Judaism truly tells us in regards to the Bible. With ardour and mind, Attias informs and enlightens the reader, by no means shying clear of the tough questions, eventually asking: In our post-genocide and post-Zionist tradition, can the Bible be saved?

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Sample text

The individual is no longer the only support or actor; rather, the ­mezuzah marks a territory generally common to more than one member of the collective. In essence, it is the space of the family, but by extension (though not as a strict requirement) mezuzot are also fixed to the gates of Jewish public places such as synagogues, community centers, and schools, or even, as in Israel, to official buildings and the gateways to the Old City in Jerusalem. The attachment of this small Bible-object thus “judaizes” certain segments of the space in question, in both the topographical and social sense of the word.

Whereas the reading of the Torah is spaced out through the year, that of the Scrolls takes place all at once, on a single day of festival or mourning. The fact remains, however, that Esther is the megillah par excellence; this word is used alone, with no further specification, only to refer to the Book of Esther; and, above all, Esther is the only one of the five texts to be ritually read aloud from a true parchment scroll. Of course, this singularity of the Scroll of Esther does not cancel the distance between it and the Sefer Torah.

And to begin losing it is to begin losing oneself. If we are to believe the fourth-century Palestinian Jewish master Rabbi Yehuda bar Shalom: “The Holy One, blessed be He, foresaw that the nations of the world would one day translate the Bible, that they would read it in Greek, and that they would say: ‘We are Israel’”—and so He rejected Moses’s request to convey the M ­ ishnah* 54 [that is, the Oral Tradition] in writing. What this apologist does not say, although it is the heart of the problem, is that the first to translate the Torah were not the nations of the world but the Jews themselves.

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