I love learning history and theology so this was an interesting and very informative book I wanted to glean all the information from it so I was taking notes but had to return it to the library so I finished it without all the notes I still wanted to jot down I d probably read it again I entered to win this book in a Goodreads giveaway and honestly was disappointed I didn t win This would be a great book to add to any library Recommended reading for those who are interested in the subject aptly described in the title. First let me say I am not Jewish and I know no Jewish people This is an excellent book of Jewish history starting with the demise of the second theme and even a little before that showing the influence of the Roman empire on Jewih culture and religion I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book as it was history that I was never taught or ever thought I would be interested in I recommend this book to anyone who likes history and who is interested in how historical events, places, cultures and beliefs were intertwined to make that history I received this book from Goodreads for free. Amazing Books, Aphrodite And The Rabbis Author Burton L Visotzky This Is Very Good And Becomes The Main Topic To Read, The Readers Are Very Takjup And Always Take Inspiration From The Contents Of The Book Aphrodite And The Rabbis , Essay By Burton L Visotzky Is Now On Our Website And You Can Download It By Register What Are You Waiting For Please Read And Make A Refission For You I knew about some of the things that Rabbi Burton L Visotzky discusses in Aphrodite and the Rabbis from previous reading I even reviewed Sefer HaRazim , which Visotzky mentioned a number of times in his book Sefer HaRazim contains references to Greco Roman deities, Pagan types of magic and theology that could only come from Pagan sources I also knew about Pagan images in ancient synagogues I liked Visotzky s conclusion that the syncretism in Roman era synagogues such as the numerous zodiac mosaics, validates Reform Judaism which interprets Judaism through the lens of the surrounding culture This was apparently the same choice that Roman Jews made So Jewish history has repeated itself Perhaps the central theme of Visotzky s book is that there are continuities between ancient and modern Judaism than his readers might have thought.For my complete review see shomeretmasked.blogspot.com 2016 11 a News flash Jewish thought and practice adapts to the culture at large.This book digs deep into how Jews lived during Greco roman times, and how they adapted, and how those adaptations are mainstream practices today Greek words appear in contemporary writings and persist now, like synagogue Roman symposia set the structure for the Passover seder Greek philosophy set the structure for Pirkei Avot Also fascinating were greco roman practices that don t persist today Jewish tombs Mosiacs of Helios and the zodiac Future dissertation what does this book say about American or European jewish culture today But my favorite the rabbis Greek puns, written in Hebrew, that are lost on translations that don t take the double entendre into account.What I hated about this book no citations Some of the discoveries seem to contradict hundreds of years of commentary, but do nothing to explain I ll give one away Talmud says, Poverty is good for the Jewish people like a red ribbon on a white horse The author claims that there were colored racing teams, and the red team was the Cubs of their day, losing for decades I am left to assume that he made this fact up, since there are is no evidence to back it up. Although Jewish tradition has positioned the Romans as the historic enemy of the Jewish people, Burton L Visotzky argues that Judaism s transformation into a world religion was in fact made possible by the Roman Empire. Everything I wanted to know I got from the introduction chapter, in which each chapter was summarized After that it was heavy academic detail delivered in a jokey and casual tone, which was not a good combination However from the intro I learned lots of fun facts like modern Judaism dates from 70ce and its practice was so dissimilar to earlier israelite practices that it may as well be considered a separate religion The term rabbi dates from only the 2nd century or so and has been applied retroactively to Jesus and others Jews were proud to be Roman citizens, took Roman names, and adopted Roman rhetoric in religious commentaries. This is a good book for a popular audience The author summarizes the results of scholarly research that has led to a shift in the way in which scholars view Roman period Judaism In short, Visotzky describes the ways in which Roman period Jews were influenced by Greco Roman culture He oversimplifies in some areas, but this is not unusual in a book written for a lay audience He includes a list of recommended reading, but no notes Sometimes his tone seems too informal and flippant, but this may appeal to some readers. I was really thrilled to receive this informative book on how elements of Greco Roman culture have influenced the development of post Second Temple Judaism Titus destroyed the Temple in 70AD The rabbi professor author wrote simply enough for an educated layperson I am always looking for works on how one religion or culture influences another this one fit the bill nicely The author discusses how the religion had to change no longer was there a central spot for animal sacrifice The rabbi teacher or master system developed each rabbi was like a philosopher surrounding himself with a group of students or disciples I never realized the term rabbi for Jesus was a New Testament anachronism Judaism borrowed loan words from Greek or Latin, written in Hebrew letters, that were incorporated into their law rhetoric or philosophy Each synagogue itself a loan word from the Greek began using the vernacular for prayers rather than Hebrew The order of the Passover Seder follows that of a Greek symposium but lacking the raucous entertainment following the meal, conversation, and prayers Of most interest to me was the incorporation of Roman architecture, e.g., the basilica, and interior decorations floor mosaics and murals This was new to me Rabbi Gamaliel, an important figure, and St Paul s teacher, declared the only forbidden images would be those specifically designed to be worshipped So I understand now the Jews purely aesthetic use of the human figure and animals in their art Usually the figures are dressed in Greek or Roman style the author mentions a Moses at the Burning Bush in chiton and himation and a wall painting at Dura Europas of Ahasuerus in Persian dress and Esther in Greco Roman dress with tiara The world map at an ancient synagogue now in use as a church at Madaba in Jordan is worth mentioning In many places, most notably Sepporis, there are floor mosaics of a zodiac with figures representing the seasons and a Helios and quadriga 4 horse chariot in the center.I really learned a lot and this book will always be a great reference As the book is an ARC, there s no index yet, which lack I hope will be rectified when the book is released I hope the pictures will be made sharper in my copy details were indistinct Very highly recommended I thank LibraryThing for sending me a copy for my honest review. We typically think of the Jews of the Roman Empire as rebellious holdouts, who refused to bow down to the ruling culture, but Visotzsky explains how this view is completely backwards There were certainly some rebellious radicals, but the majority of the Jews were part of the Greco Roman world in which they lived and which was instrumental in shaping their worldview And it was not just the assimilated general populace who were part of this world it was the rabbis too Visotzsky shows how many of the stories, symbols, rituals and practices of rabbinic Judaism had their origins in Greco Roman culture Very interesting The only thing that I did not care for about this book was that in an attempt to make his writing accessible to a broad audience, Visotzsky writes in a highly colloquial style that sometimes borders on being chirpy It made for an easy read, but sometimes felt a bit inappropriate for the subject matter.
RABBI BURTON L VISOTZKY serves as Appleman Professor of Midrash and Interreligious Studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he joined the faculty upon his ordination as rabbi in 1977 Visotzky was a dean of the Graduate School and founding Rabbi of the egalitarian worship service of the Seminary Synagogue He now serves as the Louis Stein Director of the Finkelstein Institute for Religio
- 256 pages
- Aphrodite and the Rabbis
- Burton L. Visotzky
- 13 August 2019 Burton L. Visotzky