Why did generations of people grow up thinking that Jews really had
horns? Did Eve really eat an apple, and if not, why does everyone think
she did? Did Noah’s ark really exist? Did Moses really write the Torah?
This fascinating book explores these and many other assumptions about
Jews and Judaism. Rabbi Sonsino uses history, archeology, and other
scholarship to debunk familiar myths, showing how and why they
developed over time. This book is for everyone who wants to know more
about Judaism and get the real story behind the myth.
In a video interview with URJ Press Editor-in-Chief Michael Goldberg, Rabbi Rifat Sonsino discusses the "foundational myths" of Judaism that we all know about from the Bible, and how his book identifies these myths, places them in a historical context, and helps us to understand the Jewish values that we can today derive from them. (Running time: 6:37)
In And God Spoke These Words, Rabbi Sonsino draws on commentators from
Maimonides to Mel Brooks to explore how the Ten Commandments have been
interpreted—and misinterpreted—for generations. He examines the
religious and legal texts of the Israelites’ neighbors in the Ancient
Near East, surveys centuries of Rabbinic commentary, and engages with
contemporary secular and Jewish thought. Sonsino’s thorough
contextualization and discussion of the Decalogue provide the reader
with an understanding of where these iconic commands originate, how they have been understood by Jews throughout the ages, and what moral
direction they can still provide in the 21st century.
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