The Shabbat Elevator and Other Sabbath Subterfuges: An Unorthodox Essay on Circumventing Custom and Jewish Character

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Januar 2002



This book focuses on the topic of 'circumventing custom' with special emphasis on the ingenious ways Orthodox (and other) Jews have devised to avoid breaking the extensive list of activities forbidden on the Sabbath. After examining the sources of Sabbath observance as set forth in the Old Testament, the New Testament, and rabbinical writings, some of the most salient forms of circumvention are described. Then drawing on Freud's insights as to the obsessive nature of religious ritual and his persuasive delineation of anal erotic character, an attempt is made to analyze such facets of Jewish character (in addition to circumvention) as an undue concern with purity, and a long-established tradition of indulging in nit-picking and argumentation.


Part 1 Acknowledgments Part 2 Prologue Chapter 3 1 The Concept of Custom Chapter 4 2 The Sabbath in the Old Testament Chapter 5 3 The Sabbath in the New Testament Chapter 6 4 The Sabbath in Rabbinical Tradition Chapter 7 5 The Shabbat Elevator Chapter 8 6 The Light in the Refrigerator Chapter 9 7 The Eruv as Symbolic Space Chapter 10 8 Other Sabbath Customs Chapter 11 9 The Shabbes Goy Chapter 12 10 Circumvention and Jewish Mentality Chapter 13 11 Obsession and Religion According to Freud Chapter 14 12 Anal Erotic Character Chapter 15 13 Self-Imposed Repression Chapter 16 14 The Love of Argument Chapter 17 15 Conclusions Chapter 18 Bibliography Chapter 19 Index


Alan Dundes is professor of anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, and a leading authority in the study of folklore. He is the author or editor of more than thirty books including Two Tales of Crow and Sparrow: A Freudian Folkloristic Essay on Caste and Untouchability, Holy Writ as Oral Lit: The Bible as Folklore, and International Folkloristics.


This is a creative, lively, rich, and entirely novel theoretical approach to a vexing topic. The book is truly unique in Jewish and Biblical studies-a real tour de force. It is full of wonderful parallels and interpretations, and excellent creative integration of jokes into religious matters. -- Eric Silverman, professor of anthropology, DePauw University Dundes' greatest strength as a scholar is his vast erudition. The Shabbat Elevator is a remarkable book-length essay on Sabbath subterfuges. Western Folklore In [Dundes's] latest book, The Shabbat Elevator, there is much material to recommend... Although the research is book-based, rather than ethnographic, it reveals a depth of scholarship that is accessible, yet scholarly and discursive. Journal of American Folklore To the voluminous literature on Jewish resourcefulness and Sabbath observance Professor Dundes has added a most engrossing discussion of the 'Sabbath subterfuge' -the ways traditionalist Jews legitimate their sidestepping of burdensome Sabbath restrictions in the modern world. The author's psychoanalytic and folkloristic background makes for a refreshingly humanistic perspective. -- Stanley F. Chyet, professor of history, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Los Angeles, and secretary to the Board of Trustees, Sk
EAN: 9780742516717
ISBN: 0742516717
Untertitel: New. Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: Januar 2002
Seitenanzahl: 208 Seiten
Format: kartoniert
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