Confronting Vulnerability: The Body and the Divine in by Jonathan Wyn Schofer

By Jonathan Wyn Schofer

Whereas providing their moral classes, rabbinic texts usually hire bright photographs of dying, getting older, starvation, defecation, persecution, and drought. In Confronting Vulnerability, Jonathan Wyn Schofer rigorously examines those texts to determine why their creators suggestion that human vulnerability was once this kind of an important software for teaching scholars within the improvement of exemplary behavior.These rabbinic texts uphold virtues corresponding to knowledge and compassion, propound perfect methods of responding to others in want, and describe the main points of etiquette. Schofer demonstrates that those pedagogical targets have been completed via reminders that one’s time on the earth is proscribed and that God is the last word grasp of the area. recognition of loss of life and of divine accounting advisor scholars to reside higher lives within the current. Schofer’s research teaches us a lot approximately rabbinic pedagogy in overdue antiquity and likewise presents suggestion for college students of latest ethics. regardless of their cultural distance, those rabbinic texts problem us to increase theories and practices that appropriately handle our frailties instead of denying them.

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Extra resources for Confronting Vulnerability: The Body and the Divine in Rabbinic Ethics

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Images of the elderly as cowardly are discussed in Cokayne, Experiencing Old Age, 86–87; Aristotle, Rhetoric 2:13, 1139B29–31; Nussbaum, Fragility of Goodness, 338–339. More generally on negative views of old age, see Parkin, Old Age in the Roman World, 57–89, and Cokayne, Experiencing Old Age, 34–56, and note the methodological cautions in Parkin, Old Age in the Roman World, 58–59. Scholars have often suggested emendations for “he rises to the Aging and Death / 33 This depiction of an old man fearing robbers links physical and psychological vulnerability.

A threefold exegesis calls for remembrance of one’s arvb or cre10. Studies of this literary form include Heinemann, “The Proem in the Aggadic Midrashim”; N. Cohen, “Leviticus Rabbah, Parashah 3”; N. ” 11. Here and throughout, I follow the text and apparatus of Margulies, Midrash Wayyikra Rabbah, 389–400. 28 / Chapter One ator, one’s ryab or spring/origin, and one’s rvb or pit/grave. 12 The midrash cites Akavya ben Mahalalel’s maxim as an authoritative teaching supported by scripture. The historical relations between the sage and rabbinic culture, however, are more conflicted.

In the maxim of Akavya ben Mahalalel, this asymmetrical attitude is quite concrete: one of the three foci of attention is in the past (you come from a putrid drop) and two are in the future (you will become dust, worm, and maggot; and God will judge you). Second, these exercises attend to the future in order to change orientation in the present. ”4 We can see several differences along with these commonalities. Many late ancient Stoic and other philosophical exercises aim to transcend subjectivity through focus on the natural world, freeing oneself from fear and other emotions.

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