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Torah! Torah! Torah!
Torah! Torah! Torah!

By Shlomo G. Shoham

If not for Rabban Ben-Zakkai, Judaism as we know it would have become extinct.
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ISBN 13:
978-1-897160-61-9
Pub date: June 2011
Pages: 178



Torah! Torah! Torah! by Prof. Shlomo Giora Shoham is an amazing work, exceptional in every way. Written in the form of intimate diary entries ascribed to the famous Palestinian sage Yohanan Ben-Zakkai, the book is based on the Talmudic tradition that Ben-Zakkai saved the world of Jewish learning during the great revolt against Rome by acquiring the Emperor's permission to study and teach Torah in Yavne, a small settlement outside Jerusalem. Shoham's broad knowledge of history, religious sources and western philosophy enable him to introduce fascinating interpretations of the great ideas and movements that were current in the early Christian era. Shoham offers a realistic interpretation of the life and death of Jesus Christ, the meaning of Torah learning as a substitute for Temple rituals and sacrifices, and many other elements in the religious life of the day based on his existential and dialogical point of view. With great artistry he combines historical fact with brilliant insight as expressed through the character of Yohanan. Ben-Zakkai's resistance to religious fanatics and extremists is based on the traditional legends that dominate the book. There are unmistakable implications here for contemporary religious believers. I am certain that this highly imaginative and thoughtful work will have a significant impact.

–Prof. Ron Margolin, Department of Hebrew Culture Studies and the Program in Religious studies, Tel Aviv University

 

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