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Hebrew Studies 39 (1998) 264 Reviews concludes that both are significant strands within the complex of Hekhalot literature, which developed independently but were linked by a later redactor who understood their goals to be intimately related. Swartz's argument has important implications for the relationship of.ascent and adjuration in Merkabah mysticism, a topic addressed by Scholem (who considered ascent to be at the center of the movement) and other scholars. Scholastic Magic addresses the issues of memory, ritual, and purity by closely examining the Sar-Torah texts and by drawing on rabbinic and nonJewish material. Swartz's analysis of memory raises a number of intriguing issues, including the significance of food in the Sar-Torah texts and its relation to memory, a topic which he fleshes out with comparative examples from rabbinic and Muslim sources. His discussion of ritual and purity is also enlightening although the topic of women and their relation to impurity could have been examined in greater depth. Swartz provides an invaluable service to non-Hebrew readers by translating and critically commenting on the various Sar-Torah texts. His interpretations are lucid and well supported by Jewish and non-Jewish sources alike. Scholastic Magic is an indispensable work for those interested in the role of magic in Judaism and in early Jewish mysticism. Because of its clear writing, cross cultural references. and methodological awareness, it is also accessible to readers outside of Jewish studies with a background in history of religions. Nathaniel Deutsch Swarthmore College Swarthmore. PA 19081 ndeutsch@swarthmore.edu "YOUR VOICE LIKE A RAM'S HORN": THEMES AND TEXTS IN TRADITIONAL JEWISH PREACHING. By Marc Saperstein. Monographs of the Hebrew Union College 18. pp. xix + 522. Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College, 1992. Cloth. The study of Hebrew preaching has a long history. The first survey, by Leopold Zunz (Die goltesdienstlichen Vortriige der Jaden historisch entwickelt [Berlin, 1832]), dates back to the previous century and was followed by Israel Bettan's study (Studies in Jewish Preaching [Cincinnati. 1939]), in the beginning of the current century. Despite the significant chronological gap between them, both of these works are representative of older scholarship. More recently, major advances in the study of Jewish Hebrew Studies 39 (1998) 265 Reviews preaching have been made by such modem scholars as Joseph Dan (Sifrut Ha-Musar We-Ha-Derush [Jerusalem, 1975]), Mordechai Pachter (Sijrut Ha-Derush We-Ha-Musar shel Hakhmei Sefat Be-Me'ah Ha-Tet-Zayin UMa 'arekhet Ra'ayonoteha Ha-'/qariyyim [Ph.D. thesis, Hebrew University Jerusalem, 1976]), and Jacob Elbaum (Peti/.zut We-Histagrut: Ha-Ye$irah Ha-RuI;zanit Ha-Sifrutit Be-Polin U-Be-Ar$ot Ashkenaz Be-Shalhei HaMe 'ah Ha-Shesh 'Esreh [Jerusalem, 1990]). However, the leading modem scholar of Hebrew preaching is the author of the present volume, Marc Saperstein. Saperstein's studies of Jewish preaching, in his previous book (Jewish Preaching 1200-1800 [New Haven, 1989]) as well as in his numerous articles and the current volume, are devoted exclusively to the study of Hebrew sermons, beginning with the Middle Ages. In all of these works, Saperstein studies Jewish preaching from varied perspectives: historical, literary, and philosophical. He compares Jewish sermons with their Christian counterparts and notes features both common and unique to the two types of sermons. To a certain extent the present volume continues the previous one. However, while the previous volume is devoted to Hebrew preaching in general, the present volume limits itself to specific issues as it deals with two types of sermons: penitential sermons and sermons preached on the High Holidays, which bear a hortatory character; and eulogies. Sermons of the first category are general in nature, as they deal with transgressions of all sorts; only rarely do they discuss a particular sin or relate to a specific place or occasion. By contrast, eulogies deal with a specific person whom the preacher felt himself bound to eulogize, whether out of a sense of personal obligation, due to personal acquaintance or out of professional obligation, as when the preacher served as a rabbi and communal leader. The present volume includes both articles published previously in assorted scholarly journals and new material, which links the earlier studies into a...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2158-1681
Print ISSN
0146-4094
Pages
pp. 264-267
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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