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Learning to Read Midrash [Hardcover]

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Item description for Learning to Read Midrash by Simi Peters...

Presenting a systematic approach to the study of midrash, each of the readings presented in this book attempts to reconstruct the reasoning behind midrashic commentary on biblical narrative. The goal of the book is to convey a sensitivity to the language and meanings of the Bible, and to develop an appreciation for the language and teachings of the Jewish sages.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Lambda Publishers, Inc.
Pages   310
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 6.5" Height: 9.25"
Weight:   1.5 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Apr 15, 2005
Publisher   Urim Publications
ISBN  9657108578  
ISBN13  9789657108574  

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Reviews - What do customers think about Learning to Read Midrash?

Excellent introduction -- no Hebrew required  Aug 20, 2006
This is a very impressive introduction to agaddic midrash. All examples are analyzed in English translation, so you don't need to be able to read Hebrew or Aramaic to follow all the discussion. (Pertinent excerpts in the original language are included as an appendix.) The author's tone is very down-to-earth and helpful throughout. The methodology she introduces isn't so much an algorithm for interpreting the midrash, as an algorithm for finding the most important questions that should be asked when interpreting it. While this may empower one to read midrash on one's own, as one reviewer says below, I think it will take many years of experience and learning to match the author's interpretations for imagination and insight. The examples of midrashim she has chosen do more than just illustrate her methodology, they're also of great spiritual interest. An extremely worthwhile book.
An excellent introduction into reading the Midrash   Oct 31, 2004
I read this work slowly , studying each portion of the work carefully. I felt that by doing so I was adding both to my knowledge and to my skill of how to read Midrash. This work shows how varied and rich and contradictory Midrashic readings can be . It comes from an author who has studied and taught this material for years and is able to provide skilled insights that can be of great use to readers and learners at all levels.
This is an important work , and should have a place in the library of anyone who wishes to deepen in their study of Midrash.
great book by a great teacher  Apr 26, 2004
I'm writing to recommend a unique book from one of my teachers that has just been published. It is called "Learning to Read Midrash," and helps provide you with a basic methodology for accessing midrashic literature. The author, Simi Peters, is a gifted teacher and writer who draws on traditional and academic sources to really bring the material alive. Her class at my yeshiva last year, Nishmat, first thing on Sunday mornings (!!??) has been one of the highlights of my learning here in Israel.
For people who want to understand midrash  Apr 26, 2004
One who reads Learning to Read Midrash expecting to find interesting midrashim with insightful analyses will not be disappointed. This, however, is only an added bonus for readers of this book. The primary goal of the work is to provide a method for independent study of midrash. Simi Peters achieves this goal very well by detailing a systematic process for uncovering additional layers of meaning in midrashim that may seem simplistic or may be difficult to comprehend. The methodology focuses on a close reading of the midrashic text and a careful comparison to the Biblical text on which it is based. The book focuses on two particular genres in midrashic literature - the mashal (parable) and the narrative expansion. Through the application of her methodology, the author raises midrash to a sophisticated level of Biblical exegesis. As we revisit the stories of our childhood, such as the story of Avraham breaking his father's idols, we discover a complex and insightful narrative and understand its connection to the Biblical text. More importantly, after reading this book, we feel empowered to study midrash on our own and to gain a greater understanding of both the midrashim and the Biblical passages on which they are based.

Learning to Read Midrash is very clearly written, and is appropriate for readers with varied background in Jewish study. It includes, as well, interesting background material on midrashic literature, its place in the literature of the tannaim, and its place in the tradition of Biblical exegesis. It is recommended for teachers of classical Jewish texts, as well as those who wish to enhance their own learning.
-Shmuel Peerless
Lookstein Education Digest


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