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The Sacred Books and Early Literature of the East, Vol. IV: Medieval Hebrew
by Charles F. Horne

This is an an etext of an early 20th Century anthology of translations of Medieval Hebrew religious texts. This is of interest because of the (abridged) translations of some Midrash texts, of which there are few public domain translations. This also contains a fascinating Middle East travelogue by a Jewish traveller in the 12th Century C.E., which also has an informal census of the Jewish population in various areas. This etext omits the section of the original book on the Kabbalah, which simply repeats an abridged copy of the material in The Kabbalah Unveiled, a complete etext of which can be found.

Among the thousand odds and ends of wisdom and fantasy stored up for us within the Midrash is the statement that all of the Jewish law would have been written out for the people, as was the Torah, or Five Bible Books of Moses, only “God saw that the Torah would eventually be translated into Greek, and published as though it were the law entrusted to Greeks,” meaning Gentiles. Hence the Talmud and Midrash, “the oral law, the key to and interpreter of the written law, being entrusted to Israelites only, the Jews alone have the whole of God’s word with the interpretation in full.”

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