Miraclesjewish Perspective

Ronald H. Isaacs, Author
Ronald H. Isaacs, Author Jason Aronson $33.95 (191p) ISBN 978-0-7657-9950-0
Reviewed on: 12/30/1996
Release date: 01/01/1997
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In this marvelous book, Isaacs, rabbi of Temple Shalom in Bridgewater, N.J., gathers and summarizes miracle stories from numerous Jewish sources, including the Torah, the Talmud and the Zohar. Isaacs opens the book by contending that, in Judaism, such extraordinary events as the parting of the Red Sea have been understood as signs and wonders of an omnipotent God working in history. He then notes that Judaism distinguishes between ""hidden miracles, or occurrences so mundane that their wondrous nature is overlooked,"" and ""revealing miracles, powerful, extraordinary sudden events that contradict the normal scheme of nature."" Isaacs devotes one section to ""Miracles in the Bible"" and summarizes miracles demonstrating the wrath of God (the Flood), miracles demonstrating the love of God (crossing the Red Sea) and miracles demonstrating the ""signs"" of God (the miracle stories of the prophets Elijah and Elisha). He also discusses the view of miracles in Jewish philosophy, including ways in which 20th-century Jewish philosophers like Franz Rosenzweig and Abraham Joshua Heschel view miracles. Isaacs's accessible collection serves as a splendid treatment of how miracles have been and continue to be viewed in Judaism. (Jan.)
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