In this monumental work, Raphael Patai opens up an entirely new field of cultural history by tracing Jewish alchemy from antiquity to the nineteenth century. Until now there has been little attention given to the significant role that Jews played in the field of alchemy. Here, drawing on an enormous range of previously unexplored sources, Patai reveals that Jews were major players in what was for centuries one of humanity’s most compelling intellectual obsessions.
Originally published in 1994.
Following a detailed introduction to the world of messianic ideology and its significance in Jewish history, The Messiah Texts traces the progress of the messianic legend from its biblical beginnings to contemporary expressions. Renowned scholar Raphael Patai has skillfully selected passages from a voluminous literature spanning three millennia. Using his own translations from Hebrew, Aramaic, Arabic, Latin, and other original texts, Patai excerpts delightful folk tales, apocalyptic fantasies, and parables of prophetic power. All are central to the understanding of a magnificent heritage. patai also investigates the false messiahs who have appeared throughout Jewish history, the modern Messiah-influenced movements such as reform Judaism and Zionism, and the numerous reasons put forth by the various branches of Judaism as to why the Messiah has not yet appeared.
A Landmark Exploration of Jewish History and Culture
First published in 1977, The Jewish Mind provides a penetrating insight into the complex collective reality of the Jewish people. Raphael Patai examines how six great historical encounters, spanning three millennia, between the Jews and other cultures led to both change and continuity in Jewish communities throughout the global diaspora.
A Timeless Analysis by a Prominent Scholar
Patai, a noted cultural anthropologist and historian, drew on a lifetime of research and personal experience to explore the contemporary Jewish mind in its many manifestations, including an exploration of the notion of Jews as a race, an investigation into Jewish intelligence and talents, a discussion of Jewish self-hate, and a profile of Jewish personality and character.
An Insightful New Foreword by Ari L. Goldman
Bestselling author and journalist Ari L. Goldman places the book in the context of recent turbulent events, especially in the Middle East, and confirms Patai’s conclusion that Judaism remains of enormous value to humankind. Goldman calls the book “a brilliant and absorbing survey of everything poured into the Jewish mind over the millennia.” The Jewish Mind is a towering work of scholarship that remains relevant to anyone trying to understand Jewish culture and society around the world today.
The Jewish Mind is a book I actually have read. (I have also read Patai’s book, The Arab Mind. For other books by this author click here)