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The Legends of the Jews, Volumes I & II (Forgotten Books) Paperback – February 1, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-1605067438 ISBN-10: 1605067431

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The Legends of the Jews, Volumes I & II (Forgotten Books) + The Legends of the Jews, Volumes III & IV (Forgotten Books) + The Book of Giants: The Fallen Angels and their Giant Sons (Forgotten Books)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 540 pages
  • Publisher: Forgotten Books (February 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1605067431
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605067438
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,152,904 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

About the Author:

"Rabbi Louis Ginzberg was one of the outstanding Talmudists of the twentieth century. He was born on November 28, 1873, in Kovno, Lithuania; he died on November 11, 1953, in New York City. Ginzberg was born into a religious family whose piety and erudition was well known. The family traced its lineage back to the legendary Gaon of Vilna. In his own mind, Ginzberg emulated the Vilna Gaon's intermingling of 'academic knowledge' in Torah studies under the label 'historical Judaism'. In his book "Students, Scholars and Saints", Ginzberg quotes the Vilna Gaon instructing, "Do not regard the views of the Shulchan Aruch as binding if you think that they are not in agreement with those of the Talmud."

He writes in his memo's that he felt saddened that he had grieved his father. Ginzberg recognized that his pious father was disappointed that his son chose to become a scholar in lieu of a gaon. Ginzberg first arrived in America in 1899, unsure where he belonged or what he should pursue. Almost immediately, he accepted a position at Hebrew Union College and subsequently wrote articles for the Jewish Encyclopedia. Still, he had not found his niche." (Quote from wikipedia.org)

Customer Reviews

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sanjay C. Patel on January 6, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Louis Ginzberg [1873-1953] was the most prominent Aggadist of his time. His book is a monument of Jewish scholarship and erudition. It is focused on legends recorded in Rabbinic commentaries of the Bible and not on folklore.

He has used mostly Midrashic material from the Talmud of era 2nd century-14th century. The book is filled with interesting tidbits concerning beliefs about Creation, Adam, the 10 generations, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, the sons of Jacob, Job, and Moses in Egypt.

My particular subject of research concerns connections between legends of ancient Judaism and ancient Veda / Yoga. This book has been a goldmine. In the first section, Ginzberg discusses the Rabbinical belief in seven heavens and seven earths. Ancient yogis in India had an identical belief along with many other similarities. The number of connections are too numerous to be a coincidence.

One niggling problem – of no fault of the author – is that this volume contains no endnotes. For that you have to purchase another book. The added difficulty is in pairing those notes with the correct chapter in the current book. However, those notes are themselves invaluable and in my view indispensable. To get them, you will need to purchase the Legends of the Jews, Volume 5, Notes from Volumes 1 and 2.

Full disclosure: I’m a peer-reviewed researcher on connections between ancient yoga and modern science, as well as between ancient yoga and the Bible. ~ Sanjay C Patel, SanjayCPatel.com
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Read on December 20, 2012
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Unfortunately, this reprint does not contain any of the incredibly helpful notes that Ginzberg provided in the original edition. I could understand needing to purchase the separate volume of notes, but there wouldn't be any way of telling what endnote belongs to what passage. This volume is nice if you are just curious to read it as an interesting story but lacks the tools the earlier version has that allow you to trace which midrashim he pulled for where.
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3 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Ronald F. Beck on August 12, 2010
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My wife is the owner of this book and will use it as a reference but it comes highly recommended by a Catholic biblical scholar here in the Denver, Colorado region. Dr. Tim Gray has used the book as a reference and recommended it to my wife, Linda on our recent trip to the Holy Land, which was guided by Dr. Gray.
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