The Gifts of the Jews

The Gifts of the Jews

How A Tribe of Desert Nomads Changed the Way Everyone Thinks and Feels

Book - 1998
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Publisher: New York : Nan A. Talese, 1998.
ISBN: 9780385482486
0385482485
Call Number: 909.0492 CAHILL
Characteristics: p. ; cm.
Subjects: Bible. Old Testament -- History of Biblical events.
Judaism -- History -- To 70 A.D.
Jews -- History -- To 70 A.D.
Civilization -- Jewish influences.

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DorisWaggoner
Oct 17, 2015

Cahill's a stunning writer, and this book, like "How the Irish Saved Civilization," is a page turner--even when you know how the story turns out. His depth of research and understanding are fantastic, and he almost lives up to his subtitle. He takes his subject seriously, yet with great warmth and humor. Cahill's very clear about the importance of the Hebrew Bible to Western civilization, to believer and nonbeliever alike. This isn't "The Bible as literature," but more like "the characters of the Bible as they learn about relationships." The image of the cyclical "wheel" of the Sumerians as it is developed over millenia by the Israelites into the forward movement of historical time makes crucial the first chapter looking at Sumer, the original home of Avraham.

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wyenotgo
Aug 03, 2015

Cahill is the most interesting historian I know of. Beyond the depth of research one expects of a historian, Cahill enlivens his accounts by exploring the peculiarities, obsessions, social practices, lifestyles, dietary traditions, family structures, sexual habits, religious beliefs, etc. that reveal what an ancient culture was really like. In this case, Cahill leaves one with an entirely fresh perspective of the history of the Jews.

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fred98115
Jul 04, 2011

This book is chockfull of original thinking and presents ina clear, concise way the contributions of the early Jewish people to covolization. Cahill shows how the Jews moved us from a cyclical to a processive worldview. They gave us the concept that time has a start and an end, and replaced the world seen as a wheel by a world as a journey. Life came to have value and people developed a conscience. All of this and the Ten Commandments too. This book is a must read and buy.

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