Books of Samuel
The Books of Samuel, 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel, form part of the narrative history of Israel in the Nevi'im or "prophets" section of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, called the Deuteronomistic history, a series of books that constitute a theological history of the Israelites and aim to explain God's law for Israel under the guidance of the prophets. According to Jewish tradition, the book was written by Samuel, with additions by the prophets Gad and Nathan. Modern scholarly thinking is that the entire Deuteronomistic history was composed in the period c. 630–540 BC by combining a number of independent texts of various ages. Samuel begins with God's call to him as a boy; the story of the Ark of the Covenant that follows tells of Israel's oppression by the Philistines, which brought about Samuel's anointing of Saul as Israel's first king. But Saul proved unworthy and God's choice turned to David, who defeated Israel's enemies, purchased the threshing floor, where his son, Solomon built the Temple and brought the Ark to Jerusalem.
God promised David and his successors an everlasting dynasty. The childless Hannah vows to Yahweh of hosts. Eli, the priest of Shiloh, blesses her, a child named Samuel is born. Samuel is dedicated to the Lord as a Nazirite – the only one besides Samson to be identified in the Bible. Eli's sons and Phinehas, sin against God's laws and the people, of the priesthood and are killed in battle during the Battle of Aphek, but the child Samuel grows up "in the presence of the Lord." The Philistines capture the Ark of the Covenant from Shiloh and take it to the temple of their god Dagon, who recognizes the supremacy of Yahweh. The Philistines are afflicted with plagues and return the ark to the Israelites, but to the territory of the tribe of Benjamin rather than to Shiloh; the Philistines attack. Samuel appeals to Yahweh, the Philistines are decisively beaten, the Israelites reclaim their lost territory. In Samuel's old age, he appoints his sons Joel and Abijah as judges, but they walked not in the ways of the Lord with perverted judgement, lucre, bribes because of the corruption the people ask for a king to rule over them instead of rejecting God and his laws, forgetting all God had done to bring them out of the Land of Egypt The Lord tells Samuel to tell the people of Israel what they have asked for.
This king says Samuel that you have asked to rule over you will take the best of all your labor your fields, crops and give them to his servants. He will take your sheep, your asses, he will take your daughters and your manservants, you will cry out but the Lord will not hear you. But the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel. After Samuel inquires of God he directs Samuel to grant them a king God There was a mighty man of Benjamin whose name was Kish, the son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Bechorath the son of Aphiah a Benjamin a might man of power and he had a son, Saul a choice young man a goodly, there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he. Samuel had never met God led Saul to Samuel to be anointed as King. God gave Saul a new heart 1Samuel 10:9 God was with Saul and he defeats the enemies of the Israelites, but disobeys God; the spirit of the Lord departs from Saul because of his disobedience. But the Lord has selected another godly man as King over his people, David son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, David was his youngest son a Shepard boy, he is described as "ruddy and withal of beautiful countenance and goodly to look at" and "fair" 1Samuel 16:12 God tells Samuel to anoint David of Bethlehem as king, David enters Saul's court as his armor-bearer and harpist.
Saul's son and heir Jonathan recognizes him as the rightful king. Saul plots David's death, but David flees into the wilderness, where he becomes a champion of the Hebrews. David joins the Philistines but continues secretly to champion his own people, until Saul and Jonathan are killed in battle at Mount Gilboa. At this point, David offers a majestic eulogy, where he praises the bravery and magnificence of both his friend Jonathan and King Saul; the elders of Judah anoint David as king, but in the north Saul's son Ish-bosheth, or Ishbaal, rules over the northern tribes. After a long war, Ishbaal is murdered by Rechab and Baanah, two of his captains who hope for a reward from David. David is anointed King of all Israel. David brings the Ark there. David wishes to build a temple, but Nathan tells him that one of his sons will be the one to build the temple. David defeats the enemies of Israel, slaughtering Philistines, Edomites and Arameans. David commits adultery with Bathsheba; when her husband, Uriah the Hittite returns from battle, David encourages him to go home and see his wife but Uriah declines in case David might need him.
David thus deliberately sends Uriah on a suicide mission. Nathan tells David. For the remainder of his reign there are problems. Amnon rapes his half-sister Tamar. Absalom kills Amnon, rebels against his father, David flees from Jerusalem. Absalom is killed following the Battle of the Wood of Ephraim, David is restored as king, he returns to his palace. Only two contenders for the succession remain, son of David and Haggith, Solomon, son of David and Bathsheba; the Second Book of Samuel concludes with four chapters (chap
Book of Ruth
The Book of Ruth is included in the third division, or the Writings, of the Hebrew Bible. It is named after its central figure, Ruth the Moabitess, the great-grandmother of David; the book tells of Ruth's accepting the God of the Israelites as her God and the Israelite people as her own. In Ruth 1:16–17, Ruth tells Naomi, her Israelite mother-in-law, "Where you go I will go, where you stay I will stay. Your people will be your God my God. Where you die I will die, there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it so if death separates you and me." The book is held in esteem by Jews who fall under the category of Jews-by-choice, as is evidenced by the considerable presence of Boaz in rabbinic literature. The Book of Ruth functions liturgically, as it is read during the Jewish holiday of Shavuot; the book is structured in four chapters:Act 1: Prologue and Problem: Death and Emptiness Scene 1: Setting the scene Scene 2: Naomi returns home Scene 3: Arrival of Naomi and Ruth in Bethlehem Act 2: Ruth Meets Boaz, Naomi's Relative, on the Harvest Field Scene 1: Ruth in the field of Boaz Scene 2: Ruth reports to Naomi Act 3: Naomi Sends Ruth to Boaz on the Threshing Floor Scene 1: Naomi Reveals Her Plan Scene 2: Ruth at the threshing-floor of Boaz Scene 3: Ruth reports to Naomi Act 4: Resolution and Epilogue: Life and Fullness Scene 1: Boaz with the men at the gate Scene 2: A son is born to Ruth Genealogical appendix During the time of the judges when there was a famine, an Israelite family from Bethlehem – Elimelech, his wife Naomi, their sons Mahlon and Chilion – emigrated to the nearby country of Moab.
Elimelech died, the sons married two Moabite women: Mahlon married Ruth and Chilion married Orpah. After about ten years, the two sons of Naomi died in Moab. Naomi decided to return to Bethlehem, she told her daughters-in-law to return to their own mothers and remarry. Orpah reluctantly left. For wherever you go, I will go. Where you die, I will die, there I will be buried, thus and more may the Lord do to me if anything but death parts me from you.". The two women returned to Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest, in order to support her mother-in-law and herself, Ruth went to the fields to glean; as it happened, the field she went to belonged to a man named Boaz, kind to her because he had heard of her loyalty to her mother-in-law. Ruth told Naomi of Boaz's kindness, she gleaned in his field through the remainder of barley and wheat harvest. Boaz was a close relative of Naomi's husband's family, he was therefore obliged by the Levirate law to marry Mahlon's widow, Ruth, in order to carry on his family's inheritance.
Naomi sent Ruth to the threshing floor at night and told her to go where he slept, "uncover his feet and lie down. He will tell you what you are to do.". Ruth did so. Boaz asked her who she was, she replied: "I am your handmaid Ruth. Spread your robe over your handmaid, for you are a redeeming kinsman". Boaz blessed her and agreed to do all, required, he noted that, "all the elders of my town know what a fine woman you are", he acknowledged that he was a close relative, but that there was one, closer, she remained in submission at his feet until she returned into the city in the morning. Early that day, Boaz went to the city gate to meet with the other male relative before the town elders; the relative is not named: Boaz addresses him as ploni almoni "so and so". The unnamed relative is unwilling to jeopardize the inheritance of his own estate by marrying Ruth, so relinquished his right of redemption, thus allowing Boaz to marry Ruth, they transferred the property and redeemed it, ratified by the nearer kinsman taking off his shoe and handing it over to Boaz.
Ruth 4:7 notes for generations that: Now this was done in Israel in cases of redemption or exchange: to validate any transaction, one man would take off his sandal and hand it to the other. Such was the practice in Israel. Boaz and Ruth were married and have a son; the women of the city celebrate Naomi's joy, for Naomi found a redeemer for her family name, Naomi takes the child and places it in her bosom. The child is named Obed, who we discover is "the father of Jesse, the father of David", that is, the grandfather of King David; the book concludes with an appendix which traces the Davidic genealogy all the way back from Perez, "whom Tamar bore to Judah", through to Obed, down to David. The book does not name its author, it is traditionally ascribed to the prophet Samuel, but Ruth's identity as a non-Israelite and the stress on the need for an inclusive attitude towards foreigners suggests an origin in the fifth century BC, when intermarriage had become controversial. A substantial number of scholars therefore date it to the Persian period.
The genealogy that concludes the book is believed to be a post-exilic Priestly addition, as it adds nothing to the plot.
Jewish Book Council
The Jewish Book Council founded in 1944, is an organization encouraging and contributing to Jewish literature. The goal of the council, as stated on its website, is "to promote the reading and publishing of quality English language books of Jewish content in North America"; the council sponsors the National Jewish Book Awards, the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature, the JBC Network, JBC Book Clubs, the Visiting Scribe series, Jewish Book Month. It publishes; as of January 1, 1994 the Jewish Book Council broke off from the JCC Association and became an independent not-for-profit 501 corporation chartered in the State of New York. Its primary support is from individuals, from organizations and foundations in the Jewish community; the Council's origins date back to 1925, when Fanny Goldstein, a librarian at the West End Branch of the Boston Public Library, set up an exhibit of Judaic books as a focus of what she called Jewish Book Week. In 1927, with the assistance of Rabbi S. Felix Mendelsohn of Chicago, Jewish communities around the country adopted the event.
Jewish Book Week proved so successful that in 1940 the National Committee for Jewish Book Week was founded, with Fanny Goldstein as its chairperson. Dr. Mordecai Soltes succeeded her one-year later. Representatives of major American Jewish organizations served on this committee, as did groups interested in promulgating Yiddish and Hebrew literature. Jewish Book Week activities proliferated and were extended to a one-month period in 1943. At the same time, the National Committee for Jewish Book Week became the Jewish Book Council, reflecting its broader scope. In March of the following year, the National Jewish Welfare Board, which would become the Jewish Community Centers Association, entered into an agreement with the Book Council to become its official sponsor and coordinating organization, providing financial support and organizational assistance; this arrangement reflected the realization that local JCCs were the primary site of community book fairs. While under the auspices of JCC association, the Jewish Book Council maintained an executive board, composed of representatives from major American Jewish organizations and leading figures in the literary world.
From 1942 through 1999, the council published. The journal reflected on "the year’s events, figures and community interests impacting Jewish literature and literacy." In 1999, the journal transformed into the Jewish Book World, a quarterly magazine, published through 2015. On January 1, 1994, the Jewish Book Council became an autonomous organization. Convinced that the Jewish Book Council remained essential to the People of the Book, the Council's executive board voted to create an independent entity; the new organization is a not-for-profit 501 corporation chartered in the State of New York. It is supported, to a large degree, by dedicated and interested individuals and foundations in the Jewish community. Jewish Book Council's annual literary magazine, Paper Brigade, is named in honor of the group of writers and intellectuals in the Vilna Ghetto who rescued thousands of Jewish books and documents from Nazi destruction; each issue provides a 200-page snapshot of the Jewish literary landscape in America and abroad, including essays, fiction and visual arts.
JBC helps book clubs find reading material and discussion questions, whether the book club is formal or informal. Jewish Book World was a quarterly magazine published by the Jewish Book Council from 1982 to 2015, it was devoted to the promotion of books of Jewish interest. Jewish Book World reached over 5,000 readers with a specific interest in Jewish books, including library professionals, book festival coordinators, book group members and lay leaders; the magazine was a tool to help them learn about new books of Jewish interest and make informed reading choices. Called "the Publishers Weekly of Jewish literature", Jewish Book World brought the world of Jewish books to interested readers. Jewish Book World began as a twelve-page pamphlet, circulated to Jewish Community Centers, featuring short blurbs on 50 new books of Jewish interest. In 1994, Jewish Book World expanded from a pamphlet to a full-length magazine, published three times a year. "Jewish Book World" appeared quarterly and included reviews of over 120 books per issue, updates on literary events and industry news, author profiles, articles on the world of Jewish books.
Since the discontinuance of Jewish Book World, Jewish Book Council has been publishing online content such as book reviews, author interviews, excerpts from up-and-coming Jewish books on their website, where readers can found hundreds of new reviews each year. The Prosenpeople is the Jewish Book Council's blog, it posts book reviews and author interviews. The Prosenpeople includes the Visiting Scribe series, a portion of the blog which features guest bloggers; these guest bloggers offer voices from the new Jewish literary scene and are most Jewish Book Network authors. The National Jewish Book Awards is the longest-running North American awards program of its kind in the field of Jewish literature and is recognized as the most prestigious; the awards, presented by category, are designed to give recognition to outstanding books, to stimulate writers to further literary creativity and to encourage the reading of worthwhile titles. The National Jewish Book Awards program began in 1950 when the Jewish Book Council presented awards to authors of Jewish
Book of Genesis
The Book of Genesis is the first book of the Hebrew Bible and the Old Testament. It is divisible into the Primeval history and the Ancestral history; the primeval history sets out the author's concepts of the nature of the deity and of humankind's relationship with its maker: God creates a world, good and fit for mankind, but when man corrupts it with sin God decides to destroy his creation, saving only the righteous Noah to reestablish the relationship between man and God. The Ancestral History tells of God's chosen people. At God's command Noah's descendant Abraham journeys from his home into the God-given land of Canaan, where he dwells as a sojourner, as does his son Isaac and his grandson Jacob. Jacob's name is changed to Israel, through the agency of his son Joseph, the children of Israel descend into Egypt, 70 people in all with their households, God promises them a future of greatness. Genesis ends with Israel in Egypt, ready for the coming of the Exodus; the narrative is punctuated by a series of covenants with God, successively narrowing in scope from all mankind to a special relationship with one people alone.
In Judaism, the theological importance of Genesis centers on the covenants linking God to his chosen people and the people to the Promised Land. Christianity has interpreted Genesis as the prefiguration of certain cardinal Christian beliefs the need for salvation and the redemptive act of Christ on the Cross as the fulfillment of covenant promises as the Son of God. Tradition credits Moses as the author of Genesis, as well as the books of Exodus, Leviticus and most of Deuteronomy, but modern scholars see them as a product of the 6th and 5th centuries BC. Genesis appears to be structured around the recurring phrase elleh toledot, meaning "these are the generations," with the first use of the phrase referring to the "generations of heaven and earth" and the remainder marking individuals—Noah, the "sons of Noah", etc. down to Jacob. It is not clear, what this meant to the original authors, most modern commentators divide it into two parts based on subject matter, a "primeval history" and a "patriarchal history".
While the first is far shorter than the second, it sets out the basic themes and provides an interpretive key for understanding the entire book. The "primeval history" has a symmetrical structure hinging on chapters 6–9, the flood story, with the events before the flood mirrored by the events after. God consecrates the seventh as a day of rest. God creates the first humans Adam and Eve and all the animals in the Garden of Eden but instructs them not to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. A talking serpent portrayed as a deceptive creature or trickster, entices Eve into eating it anyway, she entices Adam, whereupon God throws them out and curses them—Adam to getting what he needs only by sweat and work, Eve to giving birth in pain; this is interpreted by Christians as the fall of humanity. Eve bears two sons and Abel. Cain kills Abel but not Cain's. God curses Cain. Eve bears Seth, to take Abel's place. After many generations of Adam have passed from the lines of Cain and Seth, the world becomes corrupted by human sin and Nephilim, God determines to wipe out humanity.
First, he instructs the righteous Noah and his family to build an ark and put examples of all the animals on it, seven pairs of every clean animal and one pair of every unclean. God sends a great flood to wipe out the rest of the world; when the waters recede, God promises he will never destroy the world with water again, using the rainbow as a symbol of his promise. God sees mankind cooperating to build a great tower city, the Tower of Babel, divides humanity with many languages and sets them apart with confusion. God instructs Abram to travel from his home in Mesopotamia to the land of Canaan. There, God makes a covenant with Abram, promising that his descendants shall be as numerous as the stars, but that people will suffer oppression in a foreign land for four hundred years, after which they will inherit the land "from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates". Abram's name is changed to Abraham and that of his wife Sarai to Sarah, circumcision of all males is instituted as the sign of the covenant.
Due to her old age, Sarah tells Abraham to take Hagar, as a second wife. Through Hagar, Abraham fathers Ishmael. God resolves to destroy the cities of Gomorrah for the sins of their people. Abraham gets God to agree not to destroy the cities for the sake of ten righteous men. Angels save Abraham's nephew Lot and his family, but his wife looks back on the destruction against their command and turns into a pillar of salt. Lot's daughters, concerned that they are fugitives who will never find husbands, get him drunk to become pregnant by him, give birth to the ancestors of the Moabites and Ammonites. Abraham and Sarah go to the Philistine town of Gerar, pretending to be sister; the King of Gerar takes Sarah for his wife, but God warns him to return her, a
The Art of Biblical Narrative
The Art of Biblical Narrative is a 1981 book by Robert Alter. In it, Alter outlines a literary approach to the Hebrew Bible, he proposes that "the Bible in its final form constitutes an artistic document with a full texture of interconnected unity."The Art of Biblical Narrative has been influential: it "revolutionized the way that scholars read the Bible." Steven Weitzman suggests that "By the most conventional measures—number of books sold, favorable reviews, frequency of citation—it is hard to imagine a more successful academic book than Alter's The Art of Biblical Narrative."The Art of Biblical Narrative won the 1982 National Jewish Book Award for Jewish Thought. Hebrew Bible
Franz Kafka was a German-speaking Bohemian Jewish novelist and short-story writer regarded as one of the major figures of 20th-century literature. His work, which fuses elements of realism and the fantastic features isolated protagonists facing bizarre or surrealistic predicaments and incomprehensible socio-bureaucratic powers, has been interpreted as exploring themes of alienation, existential anxiety and absurdity, his best known works include "Die Verwandlung", Der Process, Das Schloss. The term Kafkaesque has entered the English language to describe situations like those found in his writing. Kafka was born into a middle-class, German-speaking Jewish family in Prague, the capital of the Kingdom of Bohemia part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, today the capital of the Czech Republic, he trained as a lawyer, after completing his legal education, was employed full-time by an insurance company, forcing him to relegate writing to his spare time. Over the course of his life, Kafka wrote hundreds of letters to family and close friends, including his father, with whom he had a strained and formal relationship.
He became engaged to several women but never married. He died in 1924 at the age of 40 from tuberculosis. Few of Kafka's works were published during his lifetime: the story collections Betrachtung and Ein Landarzt, individual stories were published in literary magazines but received little public attention. In his will, Kafka instructed his executor and friend Max Brod to destroy his unfinished works, including his novels Der Process, Das Schloss and Der Verschollene, but Brod ignored these instructions, his work has influenced a vast range of writers, critics and philosophers during the 20th and 21st centuries. Kafka was born near the Old Town Square in Prague part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, his family were German-speaking middle-class Ashkenazi Jews. His father, Hermann Kafka, was the fourth child of Jakob Kafka, a shochet or ritual slaughterer in Osek, a Czech village with a large Jewish population located near Strakonice in southern Bohemia. Hermann brought the Kafka family to Prague.
After working as a travelling sales representative, he became a fashion retailer who employed up to 15 people and used the image of a jackdaw as his business logo. Kafka's mother, was the daughter of Jakob Löwy, a prosperous retail merchant in Poděbrady, was better educated than her husband. Kafka's parents spoke a German influenced by Yiddish, sometimes pejoratively called Mauscheldeutsch, but, as the German language was considered the vehicle of social mobility, they encouraged their children to speak Standard German. Hermann and Julie had six children. Franz's two brothers and Heinrich, died in infancy before Franz was seven. All three died during the Holocaust of World War II. Valli was deported to the Łódź Ghetto in occupied Poland in 1942, but, the last documentation of her. Ottilie was Kafka's favourite sister. Hermann is described by the biographer Stanley Corngold as a "huge, overbearing businessman" and by Franz Kafka as "a true Kafka in strength, appetite, loudness of voice, self-satisfaction, worldly dominance, presence of mind, knowledge of human nature".
On business days, both parents were absent from the home, with Julie Kafka working as many as 12 hours each day helping to manage the family business. Kafka's childhood was somewhat lonely, the children were reared by a series of governesses and servants. Kafka's troubled relationship with his father is evident in his Brief an den Vater of more than 100 pages, in which he complains of being profoundly affected by his father's authoritarian and demanding character; the dominating figure of Kafka's father had a significant influence on Kafka's writing. The Kafka family had a servant girl living with them in a cramped apartment. Franz's room was cold. In November 1913 the family moved into a bigger apartment, although Ellie and Valli had married and moved out of the first apartment. In early August 1914, just after World War I began, the sisters did not know where their husbands were in the military and moved back in with the family in this larger apartment. Both Ellie and Valli had children. Franz at age 31 moved into Valli's former apartment, quiet by contrast, lived by himself for the first time.
From 1889 to 1893, Kafka attended the Deutsche Knabenschule German boys' elementary school at the Masný trh/Fleischmarkt, now known as Masná Street. His Jewish education ended with his Bar Mitzvah celebration at the age of 13. Kafka never enjoyed attending the synagogue and went with his father only on four high holidays a year. After leaving elementary school in 1893, Kafka was admitted to the rigorous classics-oriented state gymnasium, Altstädter Deutsches Gymnasium, an academic secondary school at Old Town Square, within the Kinský Palace. German was the language of instruction, but Kafka spoke and wrote in Czech, he studied the latter at the gymnasium for eight years. Although Kafka received compliments for his Czech, he never considered himself fluent in Czech, though he spoke German with a Czech accent, he completed his Matura exams in 1901. Admitted to the Deutsche Karl-Ferdinands-Universität of Pra
Harvard University Press
Harvard University Press is a publishing house established on January 13, 1913, as a division of Harvard University, focused on academic publishing. It is a member of the Association of American University Presses. After the retirement of William P. Sisler in 2017, the university appointed as Director George Andreou; the press maintains offices in Cambridge, Massachusetts near Harvard Square, in London, England. The press co-founded the distributor TriLiteral LLC with Yale University Press. TriLiteral was sold to LSC Communications in 2018. Notable authors published by HUP include Eudora Welty, Walter Benjamin, E. O. Wilson, John Rawls, Emily Dickinson, Stephen Jay Gould, Helen Vendler, Carol Gilligan, Amartya Sen, David Blight, Martha Nussbaum, Thomas Piketty; the Display Room in Harvard Square, dedicated to selling HUP publications, closed on June 17, 2009. HUP owns the Belknap Press imprint, which it inaugurated in May 1954 with the publication of the Harvard Guide to American History; the John Harvard Library book series is published under the Belknap imprint.
Harvard University Press distributes the Loeb Classical Library and is the publisher of the I Tatti Renaissance Library, the Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library, the Murty Classical Library of India. It is distinct from Harvard Business Press, part of Harvard Business Publishing, the independent Harvard Common Press, its 2011 publication Listed: Dispatches from America's Endangered Species Act by Joe Roman received the 2012 Rachel Carson Environment Book Award from the Society of Environmental Journalists. Hall, Max. Harvard University Press: A History. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-38080-6. Official website Blog of Harvard University Press