Sunday, October 26, 2008

Invitation to a lecture

Eunice emailed word of what sounds like a very interesting talk:

The Joys of Jewish Folklore


Dr Eleanor Wachs

Folklore is the ethnographic concept of the tales, legends, or superstitions that exist in a particular ethnic population, a part of the oral history of a particular culture.

Dybbuks, golems, bubbemiesers and mystics are part of our Jewish traditional culture. Dr Eleanor Wachs weaves a tapestry of these myths in her illustrated presentation The Joys Of Jewish Folklore.

Sunday, November 16

1:30 -- 3:30 p.m.

Temple Emanu-El

151 S McIntosh Rd

Sarasota, Fl 34232

Open to Community--No Charge

To reserve Contact Eunice Cohen,

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Map illustrating David's flight from Saul

The scene of the cave in 1 Samuel 24

As we noted when reading Genesis and Exodus, elaborate descriptions of landscape and topography are conspicuously absent from much Old Testament narrative. So in 1 Samuel 24, the scene of Saul and David in and then outside of the cave, it might pay to consider why this scene occurs in a cave. What is suggested by the curious tale of the king being exposed, as Alter notes, in a double sense, to David, the future king?

Twice in this book, David has the opportunity to kill a very vulnerable Saul from a position of nearly total invulnerability, a quasi invisibility. Does this parallel with the Greek tale of Gyges seem relevant?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Herodotus and History

A podcast about Herodotus and a new translation of it.
Two and a half thousand years ago, a man named Herodotus wandered the ancient world, trying to make sense of the great war between the Greeks and Persians that had shaped his times.

He gathered wild tales of fabulous creatures and arrogant kings and queens. He also heard of the very real clash of the armies of Xerxes and the Greeks, of the Spartans of “300″ fame, of two great cultures colliding in battle.

In the process, he did something that had never quite been done before. He wrote history.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Freudian Slip of the Commandment?

This 1631 "Wicked Bible"- known as such for the famous error displayed below is one of several historic editions of the Good Book which are on offer here - others include a rare manuscript of Wyclif's translation, the Tyndale Bible, and the first Bible printed in America.

1631 "Wicked" Bible

This King James Version Bible is an unspeakably rare collector’s item. The printers were fined 300 pounds sterling for their terrible typographical error in printing the Ten Commandments, omitting the all-important word “not” and rendering the verse as, “Thou shalt commit adultery”! The lot of 1,000 copies were ordered destroyed, but only a handful escaped destruction, making them the rarest of rare. This is the only one for sale in the world.

Offered at $89,500

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Mirabile dictu

Latin is back, according to the NYT:

The resurgence of a language once rejected as outdated and irrelevant is reflected across the country as Latin is embraced by a new generation of students like Xavier who seek to increase SAT scores or stand out from their friends, or simply harbor a fascination for the ancient language after reading Harry Potter’s Latin-based chanting spells.

The number of students in the United States taking the National Latin Exam has risen steadily to more than 134,000 students in each of the past two years, from 124,000 in 2003 and 101,000 in 1998, with large increases in remote parts of the country like New Mexico, Alaska and Vermont.