Isaaiah, Maimonides, Hebrew narrative

Jonathan D. Safren yon_saf at
Wed Aug 8 16:58:30 EDT 2001

For Modern Hebrew readers, I would also recommend Frank Polak's book The
Biblical Narrative.
Jonathan D. safren
Dept. of Biblical Studies
Beit Berl College
Beit Berl Post Office
44905 Israel
----- Original Message -----
From: "Ruthy & Baruch Alster" <alster at>
To: "Biblical Hebrew" <b-hebrew at>
Sent: Wednesday, February 06, 2002 10:43 PM
Subject: RE: Isaaiah, Maimonides, Hebrew narrative

> Shalom to all!
> It's been a while since I've written to this list, as in the past two
> I have had my share of reserve duty, computer breakdowns and moving.  Now
> that we are finally settled in our new home, there are some things I would
> like to add to a few discussions, old and new:
> First, about the "Isaiah query" thread.  I think it has already been
> mentioned that in four books, it is customary to go back and repeat the
> penultimate verse in the synagogue: Isaiah, Malachi, Ecclesiastes and
> Lamentations.  Jewish Bibles (including JPS) are printed with this in
> According to Sephardic custom, however, there is also a fifth book: the
> of Songs, which ends with the woman telling the man to "run away" (8:14).
> The Sephardim (or at least some of them)  repeat the preceding verse when
> reading Canticles every Friday evening before accepting the Sabbath, in
> order to end on a happier note, especially when taking into account the
> allegorical interpretations (both Midrashic and Kabbalistic) given the
> Second, to answer Soren's query about Maimonides' view of the sacrifices,
> see Guide III:32.
> Finally, as to Andre's request for books on Biblical narrative:
> _The_Poetics_of_Biblical_ Narrative_ is the most thorough, but also the
> hardest to read, unless you have a background in the theory of narrative.
> Two other books I would recommend are Robert Alter's
> _The_Art_of_Biblical_Narrative_, which is slightly less thorough but much
> easier to read, and Jean-Louis Ska's introductory _"Our_Fathers_Have_
> Told_Us"_, which refers to many examples of each topic covered, but does
> give an in-depth analysis of the texts.  Also try Adele Berlin's
> _Poetics_and_Interpretation_of_Biblical_Narrative_ and Shimon Bar-Efrat's
> book which appeared as a JSOT Supplement (I don't remember the English
> title).  Hope this helps!
> Kol Tuv,
> Baruch Alster
> Zayit 48
> 44865 Zufim
> Israel
> Tel. 09-765-1634
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