Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Sacred Monsters 2nd ed. Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-9652295811
ISBN-10: 9652295817
Why is ISBN important?
ISBN
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Trade in your item
Get a $4.67
Gift Card.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy new
$29.95
Only 11 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
17 New from $22.12
Sacred Monsters has been added to your Cart
More Buying Choices
17 New from $22.12 9 Used from $33.31
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Prime Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student

$29.95 FREE Shipping. Only 11 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Sacred Monsters
  • +
  • The Torah Encyclopedia of the Animal Kingdom
Total price: $79.90
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

Review

Rabbi Natan Slifkin's new book, Sacred Monsters, is a very impressive work, combining exceptionally broad scholarship in such varied fields as science, classical literature, and the Jewish tradition. It provides fascinating insights into the literature of legendary creatures and their possible origins. In this particular book, the author has managed to avoid the many pitfalls awaiting anyone treating the intersection between science and Torah. --Professor Yehudah Leo Levi, Rector Emeritus, Jerusalem College of Technology, Author, Torah and Science

Rabbi Natan Slifkin's newest book is a delightful mix of Talmudic teachings, zoological science, and historical investigations. Anyone who ever doubted the comprehensiveness of our Torah will now be convinced that kulah bah -- there is a place in it even for 'sacred monsters.' Rabbi Slifkin is to be commended for once again offering us a work which answers questions, informs, and, in this case, even entertains. --Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, Executive Vice President, The Orthodox Union

References in the Talmud and Midrash to curious zoological phenomena are often more mystifying than the creatures themselves. Rabbi Slifkin's thorough scholarship, so well proven in his previous works, comes through once again. Even more important than providing answers to thorny questions surrounding the subjects of the book's title, this work helps the student plot a steady course through the sometimes churning waters of the Sages' science. How much did they rely on the science of their day? When did they--and when did they not--mean to be taken literally? Rabbi Slifkin provides answers consistent with the spirit of our mesorah. By doing so, the profundity of the Torah of our Sages shines with even greater brilliance. --Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, Author, Maharal: Be'er HaGolah

References in the Talmud and Midrash to curious zoological phenomena are often more mystifying than the creatures themselves. Rabbi Slifkin's thorough scholarship, so well proven in his previous works, comes through once again. Even more important than providing answers to thorny questions surrounding the subjects of the book's title, this work helps the student plot a steady course through the sometimes churning waters of the Sages' science. How much did they rely on the science of their day? When did they--and when did they not--mean to be taken literally? Rabbi Slifkin provides answers consistent with the spirit of our mesorah. By doing so, the profundity of the Torah of our Sages shines with even greater brilliance. --Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, Author, Maharal: Be'er HaGolah

Rabbi Natan Slifkin's new book, Sacred Monsters, is a very impressive work, combining exceptionally broad scholarship in such varied fields as science, classical literature, and the Jewish tradition. It provides fascinating insights into the literature of legendary creatures and their possible origins. In this particular book, the author has managed to avoid the many pitfalls awaiting anyone treating the intersection between science and Torah. --Professor Yehudah Leo Levi, Rector Emeritus, Jerusalem College of Technology, Author, Torah and Science

About the Author

Born in Manchester, England, Rabbi Natan Slifkin studied there at Yeshivas Shaarei Torah. He then moved to Israel, where he spent many years in study, at Yeshivas Midrash Shmuel and the Mir Yeshivah. He then taught Talmud and Jewish philosophy at Ohr Somayach Institutions, where he received ordination, and now teaches an extensive Zoo Torah course at Yeshivat Lev HaTorah and Midreshet Moriah Seminary for Women. Rabbi Slifkin has written extensively for the Daf Yomi Advancement Forum and many newspapers, websites and journals. He has been invited as guest lecturer to Bar Ilan University and to numerous synagogues worldwide. Several years ago, Rabbi Slifkin began teaching about the relationship between Judaism and the animal kingdom at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo. He then developed the Zoo Torah program, which he has since successfully operated in New York, Detroit, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Baltimore, St. Louis, Atlanta, Phoenix, Los Angeles, and San Diego. This program has led Rabbi Slifkin to be featured in television and radio shows as well as in countless newspapers and journals. Rabbi Slifkin has a lifelong fascination with wildlife and has kept a wide variety of exotic pets, including iguanas and tarantulas! His studies of wildlife have led him hiking extensively in Israel, scuba diving to coral reefs in Eilat, on safari in Kenya, whale-watching in California, and behind the scenes at numerous zoological facilities worldwide.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Zoo Torah and Gefen Books; 2nd ed. edition (December 30, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9652295817
  • ISBN-13: 978-9652295811
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,114,989 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

5 star
100%
4 star
0%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 5 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Verified Purchase
Tiny creatures with teeth that can grind up stones? Unicorns? Sea serpents? This book is a cogent and thoroughly researched exploration of the biological origins of an array of mythical beasts that may be less mythical than we'd prefer to imagine. This pioneeering author is a master at reconciling ancient sources with contemporary natural history.

"Monsters" is generously illustrated and chock full of quotes from primary sources, such as this one by George Caspard Kirchmayer (zoologist, 1661): "Is there any Prince, Duke or King in the world, who has not either seen, or possessed and regarded as amongst the most precious of his possessions, a unicorn's horn?"

To which Slifkin responds: "Although neither Prince, Duke, nor King, I myself have handled such a horn in the education deparment of the New York Aquarium, and I own a replica of it. It is not from a unicorn, but rather from a creature that Israel Aharoni (1882-1946), a zoologist who designated animals with their Modern Hebrew names, argued to be the [biblical] "tachash": the narwhal... a small whale ...with a spiraling front tooth that can be up to ten feet long."

Known and much beloved as "the zoo rabbi", Slifkin gives lectures and presentations that are enormous hits -- especially with children. His venture into the phantasmagorical is fascinating especially because it is eminently down-to-earth. We own all of his books.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Verified Purchase
Good to finally find a theological book about the monsters of scripture, this is a theological and rational book at its core. If you try and find Christian books about biblical monsters, you will undoubtedly find many odd books, written by fringe researchers who are evangelical Christians, and claim the absolute reality of biblical monsters, and their importance in proving correct a literal interpretation of the bible, and disproving an old earth and any evolutionary theory. This view, in my opinion is wrong-headed and confused, any ancient text, from any continent, contains mythical creatures, and should be viewed in a folkloric aspect, not a scientific one.

The good Rabbi that wrote this book is an advocate of reconciling creation stories with evolutionary science, partly because of his strong knowledge of animals, both in the Talmud and in the modern living world. He has written a very good other book addressing how Jewish people should approach evolutionary theory, and how such ideas do not wholly contradict Judaism. As a skeptic and agnostic I appreciate a more open approach from a theologist on these subjects.

This book takes a level headed look at various mythical creatures of Jewish holy books. He takes pains to try to locate the actual string of truth in some myths, like which animals inspired the leviathan and the behemoth, while also being skeptical and scientific enough to understand that some creatures of myth are almost purely fictional (such as Og, the pre-deluge giant who must have been taller than some city buildings). His approach is footed in scriptural research as well as some science.

This book is a must for any mythological, folkloric, or even cryptozoological book collection, and is a shining example of how myths should be approached with a mix of skepticism and an open mind.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
For those interested in the intersection of fantasy and halacha, Talmud and pseudo-science, this is a fascinating book. Slifkin takes a very respectful and reverential approach in looking at mythical creatures and what they could or could not represent in the real world. There is lots of room in the examination for cynicism and poking fun at ignorance, but Slifkin refuses to take that path.

My favorite chapters deal with spontaneous generation. His thorough approach to this difficult subject was very satisfying.

I look forward to reading more of his works.
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Verified Purchase
I found this book very interesting. It is very well researched and written. I was hoping that it would prove the existence of certain mythical creatures but instead it kind of shows how they most likely do not exist.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Verified Purchase
above and beyond expectaions.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Sacred Monsters
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Sacred Monsters