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The Jewish expression by Judah Goldin
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The Jewish expression

by Judah Goldin

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A trail-blazIng scholar--Goldin took rabbinic scholarship into secular academia -- collected the works of fifteen leading 20th century scholars in the field of Jewish history and literature. Of course, this is the history and literature of all human beings. These papers examine and interpret 3,000 years of "expressions" -- words, institutions and acts.

Includes studies of medieval poetry (Shalom Spiegel), Jewish teaching and learning (Harry Austryn Wolfson and Louis Ginzberg), ; Spinoza (Leo Strauss); the Kaddish (S. Y. Agnon), and many more.

There was a time when I could appreciate the special attention which Shalom Spiegel brought to the trial of Amos vs. Amaziah [shd be vc vc]. Amos is a rustic herdsman, deemed worthy of repeated, direct and dire messaging from Lord God. Amaziah was tasked with rebuking him for disturbing the peace of King Jeroboam. Spiegel fleshes in the "trial" proceedings with parallel panels and "experts" drawn from contemporary life. Amos does make proof of the freedom of expression--he was only banished, not killed, and he lived to write his book. We now read it as part of "the most widely read book" in the world. It is a legacy retained by Jews who have now perhaps repudiated the banishment of Amos.

Spiegel mentions the earthquake prediction that made Amos famous, but fails to mention Jeroboam presided for decades of peace over the most prosperous and populous period Israel had yet enjoyed. He finds an impact on Judaism, however, which is not explained, especially in light of all the other Prophets who railed against the hypocrisy and oppression of the rich upon the laborers. See Jeremiah, Micah, Isaiah, etc.. In a brilliant touch, Spiegel finds a parallel influence which was laid upon American jurisprudence in the case of Marbury v. Madison, written by the backwoodsman, John Marshall.
  keylawk | Aug 21, 2013 |
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