Synopses & Reviews
Song of Songs is a wondrous collection of love lyrics nestled in the heart of the Hebrew Bible—songs of passion and praise between a young maiden and her beloved. It is religious lyric par excellence. But what is its true meaning? Is it an expression of human love and passion, pure and simple? A celebration of the covenant between God and Israel? Or something else?
The latest volume in the Jewish Publication Societys highly acclaimed Bible Commentary series, Song of Songs provides a line-by-line commentary of the original Hebrew Bible text, complete with vocalization and cantillation marks, alongside the JPS English translation. Unique to this volume are four layers of commentary: the traditional PaRDeS of peshat (literal meaning), derash (midrashic and religious-traditional sense), remez (allegorical level), and sod (mystical and spiritual intimations). Michael Fishbane skillfully draws from them all to reveal the extraordinary range of interpretations and ideas perceived in this beloved biblical book. A comprehensive introduction, extensive endnotes, a full bibliography (traditional and modern), and additional explanatory materials are included to enhance the readers appreciation of the work.
This original, comprehensive commentary on the Song of Songs interprets historical, critical, and traditional sources drawn from the ancient Near East, the entire spectrum of Jewish sources and commentaries, and modern critical studies.
and#8220;This is a significant and valuable work that, in examining the Haggadah from an historical perspective, offers insight into Jewish history as well.and#8221; and#8212;Chicago Jewish Starand#160;
“Michael Fishbane, one of the most penetrating Bible scholars of our time, has surpassed himself in this magnificent study of The Song of Songs, combining scholarly erudition, poetic sensibility, theological depth, and an unmatched mastery of the history of interpretation of this most difficult yet lyrical testimony of love. A masterpiece of scholarship!”—Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, emeritus chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Commonwealth.
“Fishbanes commentary on ‘the great songbook of the Jewish soul is a tour de force. There is nothing like it for opening up the inner depths of the biblical dialogue of love.”—Bernard McGinn, Naomi Shenstone Donnelley Professor emeritus, Divinity School, University of Chicago
"This series is an indispensable resource, and Fishbane's new work is among the most rewarding entries."—Howard Freedman, jweekly.com
Thanks to these generous donors for making the publication of this book possible: Mr. and Mrs. Edward S. Best.
A definitive historical-critical commentary on the Passover seder.
The Passover haggadah enjoys an unrivaled place in Jewish culture, both religious and secular. Of all the classic Jewish books, the haggadah is the one most and#8220;aliveand#8221; today. Jews continue to rewrite, revise, and add to its text, recasting it so that it remains relevant to their lives. Joseph Tabory, one of the world's leading authorities on the history of the haggadah, traces the development of the seder and the haggadah through the ages. The book features an extended introduction by Tabory, the classic Hebrew haggadah text side by side with its English translation, and Taboryand#8217;s clear and insightful critical-historical commentary.
About the Author
Michael Fishbane is the Nathan Cummings Distinguished Service Professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Chicago. He is the author and editor of numerous books, including The JPS Bible Commentary: Haftarot (2002); the National Jewish Book Award-winning Biblical Interpretation in Ancient Israel; and The Kiss of God: Spiritual and Mystical Death in Judaism. Fishbane received a lifetime achievement award for scholarship from the National Foundation of Jewish Culture and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.