On Jewish Law and Lore, by Louis Ginzberg
The late Louis Ginzberg, a collateral descendant of the Gaon of Vilna, was one of the few Jewish savants of our time who combined first-rate scholarship with success in enlightening the much courted intelligent layman. The author of the learned Hebrew Commentary on the Palestinian Talmud also wrote elegant monographs like those gathered in his Students, Scholars and Saints. The first four volumes of his Legends of the Jews, which present the non-legal traditions of the Talmud and the Midrash, make pleasurable reading, which does not prevent the two volumes of “Notes” that follow them from being documents of meticulous research into the original texts and their variants, as well as into general and Jewish folklore, into comparative religion and ancient Near Eastern thought.
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