Make Yourself a Teacher
Rabbinic Tales of Mentors and Disciples
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: University of Washington Press
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The title of this book is taken from a famous ancient rabbinic saying, “Make yourself a teacher, acquire a friend, and judge everyone favorably” (Pirkei Avot 1:6). It originated in a series of three talks I delivered at . . .
A Note on Translation and Transliteration of Hebrew
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I have consulted several sources when translating Hebrew texts into English, including the Soncino editions of the Talmud and Midrash, and the Jewish Publication Society translation of the Bible. When using these sources, . . .
Notes on Notes
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I have tried to curb the academic disposition to ply each page with footnotes detailing internal scholarly debates and references, and left much of that for the bibliography. There remain, though, the many notes needed for . . .
Introduction: “I Only Want the Piece Which Is in Your Mouth”
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The author of those eloquent words, Franz Rosenzweig (1886–1929), abandoned his brilliant career in the German university to found an informal institute for adult Jewish education in 1920 in Frankfurt called . . .
Chapter 1: “Torah of the Belly”: Rabbi Eliezer Starves for a Teacher
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Let’s set the stage with a gripping Talmudic tale of R. Eliezer’s own great teacher, R. Yohanan ben Zakkai, and his daring escape from a besieged, blockaded, famine-stricken Jerusalem during the Jews’ “Great . . .
Chapter 2: “The Gates of Wounded Feelings”: Rabbi Eliezer Is Banned
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The Talmudic tractate Pirkei Avot, “The Ethics of the Fathers,” ascribes the following saying to . . .
Chapter 3: “Father! Father! Israel’s Chariot and Its Horsemen!”: The Passing of Rabbi Eliezer
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Rabbi Eliezer ben Hyrcanus and Elijah were historically separated by almost a thousand years. One was a Sage; the other a prophet. But they share a similar spiritual profile: full of fiery intensity, they were both far . . .
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Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik relates this midrash about the “drop of ink” left over after Moses finished writing the Torah, to the story of . . .
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Publication Year: 2012
Series Title: Samuel and Althea Stroum Lectures in Jewish Studies