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Searching for Meaning in Midrash: Lessons for Everyday Living [Paperback]

By Michael Katz (Author) & Gershon Schwartz (Author)
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Item description for Searching for Meaning in Midrash: Lessons for Everyday Living by Michael Katz & Gershon Schwartz...

"Searching for Meaning in Midrash" explores the fascinating body of Jewish literature called Midrash--creative interpretations of the Bible that are designed to reveal hidden or deeper meaning in Scripture. Each of the over 50 midrashim sit next to its corresponding biblical text so that readers can compare them, along with commentary on the times and insights of the Rabbis who wrote each midrash. Readers are given guidance for answering "What does this text mean to me?"

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Jewish Publication Society of America
Pages   243
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.96" Width: 6.96" Height: 0.7"
Weight:   1.01 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 1, 2002
Publisher   Jewish Publication Society of America
Edition  New  
ISBN  082760730X  
ISBN13  9780827607309  

Availability  78 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 24, 2016 01:29.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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More About Michael Katz & Gershon Schwartz

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Katz received a B.A. from Temple University and a B.H.L. from Gratz College.

Michael Katz has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Sources of American Indian Oral Literature

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > History > Jewish > General
2Books > Subjects > History > Jewish
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Judaism > General
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Judaism > Sacred Writings > General
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Judaism > Sacred Writings

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Reviews - What do customers think about Searching for Meaning in Midrash: Lessons for Everyday Living?

Critical Perspective  Mar 26, 2007
I was a bit disappointed in this book which seems to take somewhat of a critical perspective of the Midrash. Their companion book on the Talmud suffers somewhat from the same general malady. In other words, the Midrash is inspirational, and inspired, stories but that is about it. That was my impression. However, in fairness to the authors this is one of the few books that even attempts to make the Midrash accessible to the average non-Yeshiva reader. Be aware though, that this book very much oversimplifies the concept and sometimes shows a shallowness of scholarly understanding. A book which I prefer is linked from here: Learning to Read Midrash is a better book for my money but certainly more challenging. Learning to Read Midrash
This is an excellent book for getting more meaning out of the Torah/ Pentateuch.   Mar 12, 2006

The Oral Torah was handed down for generations from Moses. It is the complement to the Written Torah. Keep in mind that the original Torah was written without vowels or punctuation; the implication being that there had to be an oral Torah to understand the written one. Midrash refers to stories and details from the Oral Torah that clarify and add to stories in the Torah. The Oral Torah wasn't codified in the Talmud until about a millennium ago when anti-Semitism was so intense it appeared that the Oral Torah would be lost to posterity.

This book is presented in an easy concise format. The authors explain all of the Hebrew words that are used. The actual Biblical texts are juxtaposed with the Midrashic texts for easy comparison. Then each is followed by a D'rash, a short commentary. The root word of d'rash means to investigate. A lot of Christians tend to shy away from Jewish commentaries and such books are rarely sold in Christian books stores, even though Christians believe in the Hebrew Bible, the so called Old Testament. This is unfortunate because they are really missing out on a lot. Very few Christian ministers were able to answer my questions pertaining to the Hebrew Bible. A couple of ministers I consulted had never even heard of the story of Tamar and Judah in Genesis 38. The Jewish people are named for Judah/Yehuda.

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