Synopses & Reviews
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.
The Nobel laureate shares his unique insights into a broad spectrum of biblical figures, Talmudic scholars, and Hasidic rabbis, including Sarah, the mother of Isaac, Samson, Isaiah, and Rabbi Shimon bar Yohai, explaining how their experiences, triumphs and tragedies, teachings, and faith can transform our own lives. Reprint. 12,500 first printing.
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
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.