Vanquished Nation, Broken Spirit: The Virtues of the Heart in Formative Judaism

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9780521328326: Vanquished Nation, Broken Spirit: The Virtues of the Heart in Formative Judaism
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From the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 A.D. to the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, the Jews were a conquered nation. Yet Jewish sages and holy works preached a doctrine of both interior and exterior virtue that allowed the Jewish people to feel and believe in the dignity and nobility of their earthly condition. Neusner's book explores the attitudes in Jewish canonical writings and asks how these virtues relate to the politics of the Jews as a vanquished people. Jacob Neusner, the author of over 166 books on Judaism and Jewish history, is a frequent lecturer both in America and throughout the world. He has been a Fulbright Fellow at the Hebrew University, and twice has been a Guggenheim Fellow.

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Attitudes in Jewish canonical writings are explored in depth to analyze how their doctrines of virtue strengthened the Jews as a people spiritually despite repeated conquest and exile.

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Neusner, author of many works on Rabbinic Judaism of the 1st to 6th centuries, C.E., here analyzes the place of emotions in Jewish society and culture. Explaining that emotions are learned and represent judgments, Neusner then postulates that from the 2nd century onwards emotions, politics, and social culture conformed to one another in Jewish society, permitting the nation to survive. Turning to the Rabbinic texts, he finds important change in form but not in what the proper emotions should be: restraint and genial acceptance and concern for the feeling of others. The analysis is clear, as is the translation of Hebrew texts, making this a challenging and scholarly work for specialized and large research libraries. Maurice Tuchman, Hebrew Coll. Lib., Brookline, Mass.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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