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Wise Men and Their Tales: Portraits of Biblical, Talmudic, and Hasidic Masters


Wise Men and Their Tales: Portraits of Biblical, Talmudic, and Hasidic Masters Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In Wise Men and Their Tales, a master teacher gives us his fascinating insights into the lives of a wide range of biblical figures, Talmudic scholars, and Hasidic rabbis.

The matriarch Sarah, fiercely guarding her son, Isaac, against the negative influence of his half-brother Ishmael; Samson, the solitary hero and protector of his people, whose singular weakness brought about his tragic end; Isaiah, caught in the middle of the struggle between God and man, his messages of anger and sorrow counterbalanced by his timeless, eloquent vision of a world at peace; the saintly Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi, who by virtue of a lifetime of good deeds was permitted to enter heaven while still alive and who tried to ensure a similar fate for all humanity by stealing the sword of the Angel of Death.

Elie Wiesel tells the stories of these and other men and women who have been sent by God to help us find the godliness within our own lives. And what interests him most about these people is their humanity, in all its glorious complexity. They get angry—at God for demanding so much, and at people, for doing so little. They make mistakes. They get frustrated. But through it all one constant remains—their love for the people they have been charged to teach and their devotion to the Supreme Being who has sent them. In these tales of battles won and lost, of exile and redemption, of despair and renewal, we learn not only by listening to what they have come to tell us, but by watching as they live lives that are both grounded in earthly reality and that soar upward to the heavens.

From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Elie Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. The author of more than forty internationally acclaimed works of fiction and nonfiction, he is Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities and University Professor at Boston University. He lives in New York City.

From the Hardcover edition.

Table of Contents



Introduction: And What Does Rashi Say?


Ishmael and Hagar

Lot's Wife

Aaron and His Problem of Innocence

Miriam the Prophetess and Her Melancholy Fate

Nadab and Abihu: A Story of Fire and Silence

Esau and Jethro: Gentiles in the Bible

Gideon, a Judge Who Is Special

Samson: The Weakness of a Hero

Saul and His Lost Kingdom

Samuel and the Quest for Mercy

Isaiah, a Prince of Prophets

Hoshea: The Strangest of All Prophets


Rabbi Tarfon's Humility

Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi

Abbaye and Rava: The Greatness of Dialogue

Converts in the Talmud

Talmudic Sketches

Zanz and Sadigur

The World of the Shtetl


Product Details

Wiesel, Elie
Schocken Books Inc
Judaism - History
Biblical Biography - Old Testament
Judaism - Talmud
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8.08x5.22x.98 in. .84 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Religion » Christianity » Old Testament » General
Religion » Judaism » History
Religion » Judaism » Talmud
Religion » Judaism » Thought and Culture

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