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The Book of Conviviality in Exile (Kitāb al-īnās bi-ʾl-jalwa)

The Judaeo-Arabic Translation and Commentary of Saadia Gaon on the Book of Esther


Michael G. Wechsler

This volume presents a critical edition of the Judaeo-Arabic translation and commentary on the book of Esther by Saadia Gaon (882–942). This edition, accompanied by an introduction and extensively annotated English translation, affords access to the first-known personalized, rationalistic Jewish commentary on this biblical book. Saadia innovatively organizes the biblical narrative—and his commentary thereon—according to seven “guidelines” that provide a practical blueprint by which Israel can live as an abased people under Gentile dominion. Saadia’s prodigious acumen and sense of communal solicitude find vivid expression throughout his commentary in his carefully-defined structural and linguistic analyses, his elucidative references to a broad range of contemporary socio-religious and vocational realia, his anti-Karaite polemics, and his attention to various issues, both psychological and practical, attending Jewish-Gentile conviviality in a 10th-century Islamicate milieu.

Mayer I. Gruber

the Torah in addition to the two expounded at length in Chapter 5. The sixth chapter also shows how in both the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5) and the Transfiguration (Matt. 17:1–8; Mark 9:2–8; and Luke 9:28–36) Jesus is portrayed as a second Moses. LaCocque balances this almost supercessionist

Jonatan Meir

discourse, in which authors recalibrated the balance between revelation and concealment, especially regarding the secrets of R. Naḥman’s soul. This dynamic has deep ramifications for how scholars should understand Bratslav Hasidism as a whole, as will be discussed below. Composed in the late 1800s, R

Ariel Evan Mayse

the Lurianic liturgy and the BeSHT’s relationship thereto presents another very interesting case study regarding his use of Hasidic precedent. In his discussion, we find Safrin attempting to balance his firm commitment to Ashkenazi custom with his embrace of Hasidic practice and kabbalistic ritual. 87

S. Daniel Breslauer

, they are inclined to challenge the tradition in which they have been brought up.s Medievals such as Maimonides were, in Kaplan's view, too naive to deal self-consciously with this problem. Only moderns can learn to balance tradition and innovation, change and conti- nuity, in their religious thinking

Gidon Rothstein

bringing the Tosa fi st tradition to Gerona. 3 Given his clear preeminence among Catalonian rabbis of the thir- teenth century, Septimus’ article raises the question of whether Nahma- nides’ peers navigated the two traditions similarly. Did they, too, balance and synthesize these in fl uences, rely largely

Steven Wasserstrom

Job of Edessa and Balinus are both indebted to the same, ancient (unidentified) Greek Problemata. See also Ryding (below, n. 46) p. 119, for the observation that "The concept of mizan, or balance, is a crucial one in both Jabirian alchemy and in the evolution of the Basra school of grammar." (and n. 8

Ehud Benor

follows the balance of current professional opinion and resists philosophic systematization. 8 The question before us, regarding the possibility of Jewish ethics, is not merely academic, nor does it arise in a cultural void. The modern quest for a Jewish ethics reflects the ascendance of universalism and

Michael Weingrad

]. I’ve heard them spoken of by my father, who was knowledgable in things Hebraic, but indifferent in terms of reli- gion. I had retained the idea that among the ‘dirty Jews,’ they were a little dirtier’’ (Fondane, p. 73, my translation). 7 Lev Shestov, In Job’s Balances: On the Sources of the Eternal

Irene Kajon

optimistic theodicy. Such a theodicy is implicit in the ancient doctrine, accord- ing to which there is in Being a balance between suffering and the expiation of one's own or others' sins. 4 These philosophers oppose a rationalistic, optimistic theodicy when this view conceives history as Heilsgeschichte, or