Jewish Pubn Society

Present at Sinai: The Giving of the Law : Commentaries Selected by S.Y. Agnon

Sale price Price $32.17 Regular price

ISBN: 9780827605039
Publisher: Jewish Pubn Society
Publication Date: 1993-12
Number of pages: 358
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Nobel Laureate Shmuel Yosef Agnon brings together what has always been at the heart of Jewish religious consciousness: the Sinai event, the Revelation, as memory and as continuously renewed experience. The sweep of his erudition and his skill as an anthologist make this one of his finest books. The verses of the Torah are elucidated by ancient and medieval commentaries and expanded upon by Agnon's own commentary. The translator, Michael Swirsky, further clarifies the text. Agnon uses the events at Sinai as a prism through which to view Jewish theological tradition. The sampler he offers us encompasses biblical and talmudic texts and commentaries, the whole sweep of the Midrash, Kabbalah, and Hasidism, as well as homiletic and pietistic writings of various periods down to our own time. As Judah Goldin, in his lyrical introduction, suggests, "Agnon prefers to make the words of the pre-modern visible once more...; he reproduces what these ancient teachers said - without rehearsal, he lets them speak for themselves. Agnon loves the flavor of these words...The comments bring us into contact with imagery, concepts, parables, exhortations, and supplications that exemplify Israel's universe of discourse, passions, and never-abandoned hopes. These make up the sounds and silent meditations of the Torah." Present at Sinai enhances the celebration of Shavuot, when the Ten Commandments are read. Agnon's elucidation of the receiving of the Ten Commandments makes Present at Sinai essential reading, during the holiday and throughout the year.

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