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The Legends of the Jews - Volume 3

Rabbi Louis Ginzberg

Book Overview: 

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 taught at the Jewish Theological seminary from 1903 to 1953. For 50 years, he trained two generations of Conservative Rabbis.

The Legends of the Jews is an epic 7-volume compilation of traditional Jewish stories loosely related to the Bible. Volumes 1-4 contain the stories, while volumes 5-7 contain Ginzberg's notes and commentary. Over the millenia, these stories, which expand on the Bible, flesh out the lives of biblical figures. In the process, they help bring to life the Bible's valuable lessons.

The Legends of the Jews has been called a monumental work of scholarship. It is studied by serious students of both Judaism and Christianity. And yet the stories continue to be accessible and understood by all. They were designed to impart lessons of the Torah, and any child or adult will find much to enjoy about this work.


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Book Excerpt: 
. . .s, make you a thousand times so many as ye are, and bless you, as he hath promised you!"

The Israelites were not content with this blessing of Moses, and said to him: "O our teacher Moses, we do not desire thee to bless us, we have had much greater blessings given to us. God spoke to our father Abraham: 'I will bless thee and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore,' and thou dost limit our blessings." Moses cried: "I am only a creature of flesh and blood, limited in my powers, hence is my blessing limited. I give you my blessing, but the blessing of God remains preserved for ye, and He will bless you unlimitedly, and multiply you as the fish of the sea and the sands on the seashore, as the star in the sky and the plants on the earth." [163]

After he had bestowed his blessing upon them, he asked them to propose capable pious men, that he might appoint them . . . Read More

Community Reviews

I am not sure where these legends are coming from. Somehow I was expecting more than just the Torah by the time we got to Volume 3.