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Bewilderments: Reflections on the Book of Numbers

Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg
Item #: D72067
Format: Cloth
Pages/Publication Date: 359 / 2015
Publisher: Schocken
ISBN: 9780805243048
Currently Unavailable

What should have been for the Israelites a brief journey from Mount Sinai to the Holy Land becomes a 40-year torment, and the Book of Numbers is a chronicle of this failure. Or is it? Although the text contains a litany of the people's complaints and fears that are met with divine retribution, the National Jewish Book Award–winning author of The Beginning of Desire: Reflections on Genesis points out that some mystical and Hasidic sources believe that the generation of the wilderness emerges as one of extraordinary spiritual experience, and are receivers of the Torah to the fullest extent, fed on miracles and nurtured directly by God. Using literary, scholarly, and psychological analysis, Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg attempts here to reconcile these seemingly opposed versions of this pivotal time in Israel's history.

"Zornberg's grasp of the rabbinic interpretations of the text (as well as of Jewish philosophy generally) is masterful, and the meat of her work is in relating these interpretations to the spiritual and psychological questions, or bewilderments, evoked by the Book of Numbers."—Publishers Weekly


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