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Happiness in Premodern Judaism: Virtue, Knowledge, and Well-Being
Monograph No. 29
According to conventional thought, the pursuit of happiness hardly seems like one of the major tenets of the religion. This book argues to the contrary. Not only did Jewish thinkers not disregard the concept of happiness. They devoted considerable attention to it. Tirosh-Samuelson shows how Aristotle's reflections on happiness were very much a part of rabbinic thought and how Jewish philosophers in the Hellenistic period read the Jewish Scriptures in light of the Greek conception of happiness. The fusion of Greek and Judaic perspectives reached its zenith during the Middle Ages, especially in the works of Moses Maimonides. Tirosh-Samuelon shows how even the controversies that arose regarding Maimonides' ideas can be viewed as discussions of the relationship of virtue to knowledge. Much of this book, then, concerns the reception of Aristotle's Ethics in medieval Jewish philosophy.
Hava Tirosh-Samuelson is Associate Professor of History at Arizona State University.
"Loosen the Fetters of Thy Tongue, Woman" A Study of the Poetry and Poetics of Yona Wallach
Zafrira Lidovsky Cohen
Monograph No. 30
Known for its "unique combination of elements of rock and roll, Jungian psychology and street slang, break-neck pace and insistent sexuality," as one critic described it, the work of maverick Israeli poet Yona Wallach (1944-1985) epitomizes the literary climate of her time. Influenced by the poetic revolution in Israel during the 1950s, this body of poetry reflects the cultural crises that rocked the academic world in the 1960s and the intellectual battles many artists fought with the "prison-house" of semiotic systems in which the human mind, they felt, was entrapped.
Zafrira Lidovsky Cohen describes Wallach's unconventional lifestyle, traces her poetic corpus, and surveys her critical reputation. Then, drawing on her own rich and varied background in Bible, mythology, Hebrew language, and Poststructuralist and Postmodernist literary and linguistic theory, Cohen translates and interprets representative examples of Wallach's oeuvre.
Zafrira Lidovsky Cohen is Associate Professor of Hebrew at Stern College for Women of Yeshiva University in New York.