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The Binding of Isaac and Messiah
Law, Martyrdom, and Deliverance in Early Rabbinic Religiosity
The Binding of Isaac and Messiah
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Aharon (Ronald E.) Agus - Author
SUNY series in Judaica: Hermeneutics, Mysticism, and Religion
Price: $57.50 
Hardcover - 368 pages
Release Date: November 1988
ISBN10: 0-88706-735-2
ISBN13: 978-0-88706-735-8

Price: $28.95 
Paperback - 368 pages
Release Date: November 1988
ISBN10: 0-88706-736-0
ISBN13: 978-0-88706-736-5

Subject to availability
Billed when shipped
Price: $28.95 
Electronic - 368 pages
Release Date: February 2012
ISBN10: 0-7914-9436-5
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-9436-3

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"There is a true struggling with the texts and perennial human issues. The author's treatment forces the reader to think about martyrdom and the larger complex of law, history, biography, and redemption differently from the conventional ways we have been 'taught' to conceive of these issues in general and within Judaism." -- Steven D. Fraade, Yale University

The author provides an interpretation of the words of Jews living during the intertestamental period and through the third century, including several hassidim. A hermeneutics grounded in the perception of early Rabbinic texts as sharing in events rather than as linguistically autonomous is used.

The phenomenology of Jewish martyrdom is read as an acting-out of the Binding of Isaac. The search leads into the question of the bindingness of the Law. The religious soul's passion for the revelation of Law is followed out in its path of temptation to martyrdom. A grand drama of sacrifice and messianic yearnings is thereby unearthed.

"This is a very rich theme for the study of Judaism, and it is handled here with insight and sensitivity. The author's text analyses are perceptive and his command of the relevant Judaic sources encyclopedic. The text returns us to the religious point of early rabbinic literature and reminds us that the early rabbis were religious leaders trying to discover the religious meaning of their lives. Perhaps even more significant is that the book has the potential of reorienting the field. It is thought-provoking and enlightening, and the polarity on which the book is built keeps leading to new connections and unexpected associations." -- Robert Goldenberg, SUNY, Stony Brook

Aharon (Ronald E.) Agus is lecturer on rabbinic thinking at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat-Gan, Israel.

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Table of Contents

Partial List of Abbreviations

1. The Mother of the Sons

2. Martyrdom and the Law

3. The Binding of Isaac

4. Honi ha-Me'aggel

5. R. Hanina ben Dosa

6. Nahum ish Gamzo and R. Hananiah ben Teradyon

7. If I Am Here, All Are Here

8. If Not Now, When? Repentance

9. Pangs of Messiah

10. The Binding of Messiah: Messiah ben Joseph

11. When the Messiah

Bibliography of Primary Sources
General Index
Index of Sages
Index of Biblical Sources
Index of Rabbinic Sources

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