Did Moses Really Have Horns? And Other Myths About Jews and Judaism
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.
Introduction: Myths and Legends
Chapter 1: Did Moses Write the Torah?
Chapter 2: What is God's Real Name?
Chapter 3: Was the Universe Created in Six Days?
Chapter 4: Did Eve Eat an Apple?
Chapter 5: Noah and the Ark: History or Myth?
Chapter 6: Did Moses Have Horns?
Chapter 7: Did the Israelites Escape Through the Sea?
Chapter 8: What Happened at Mount Sinai?
Chapter 9: Do the Ten Commandments Stand for "God and Religion"?
Chapter 10: Did the Israelites Really Conquer Canaan?
Chapter 11: Was King David for Real?
Chapter 12: Did a Whale Swallow Jonah?
Chapter 13: Was There a Queen Esther?
Chapter 14: Was Chanukah Really a Miracle?
Chapter 15: Did the Israelites Live in Booths?
Chapter 16: Do Jews Believe in Heaven and Hell?
Epilogue: Is the Bible True?
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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