- Paperback: 199 pages
- Publisher: Bloch Pub Co; 1 ED edition (May 1, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0819700142
- ISBN-13: 978-0819700148
- Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,185,216 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Ancient Jewish Philosophy 1 ED Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
The late Rabbi Efros demonstrates in this work that Jewish philosophy began with the five books of Moses, and was further developed in the prophetic books - all long before Socrates, let alone the medievals. The book is arranged in two parts, the first describing the dichotomy and tension between the concepts of Kadosh (holiness as separateness, limitlessness) and K'vod (glory as omnipresence, accessability, and intimacy). Kadosh and K'vod are the the warp and weft of Ancient Jewish philosophy, prophecy and ethics.
Part two shows that the the attribute Kadosh is the foundation of Jewish ethics, providing absolute authority in decision making: "You shall be Holy, for I your G!d am Holy". K'vod works in tandem with Kadosh, making holiness possible in the human realm as well as the Divine. In other words, we are to do the right thing because we are told to do so by the most authoritative Being, and in following that instruction we move closer to being holy ourselves. Decision making and action become sacramental.
In contrast, the ancient gods of Greek religion offered no admirable role models, and no good advice for human conduct, while Greek philosophy tended to deal with the abstract rather than the difficult decisions that people face in life.
I say that the scheme Efros distinguishes makes nonsense of old accusations that the ancient Hebrews 'performed works' in order to bribe or change G!d. Rather, they 'performed works' in order to change themselves. Read with Efros' scheme in mind, the Bible becomes a work that inextricably joins mysticism (by which I mean the practice of opening to the Presence) with ethics. Having read Efros' book, the Bible became new for me once more.