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The Origins Of Judaism: An Archaeological-Historical Reappraisal [Hardback-2023]
Yonatan Adler
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Category:HistoryAsianMiddle Eastern History-Meh
Publisher: Yale University Press | ISBN: 9780300254907 | Pages: 384

Groundbreaking research that utilizes archaeological discoveries and ancient texts to revolutionize our understanding of the beginnings of Judaism “A bravura study.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review) Throughout much of history, the Jewish way of life has been characterized by strict adherence to the practices and prohibitions legislated by the Torah: dietary laws, ritual purity, circumcision, Sabbath regulations, holidays, and more. But precisely when did this unique way of life first emerge, and why specifically at that time? In this revolutionary new study, Yonatan Adler methodically engages ancient texts and archaeological discoveries to reveal the earliest evidence of Torah observance among ordinary Judeans. He examines the species of animal bones in ancient rubbish heaps, the prevalence of purification pools and chalk vessels in Judean settlements, the dating of figural representations in decorative and functional arts, evidence of such practices as tefillin and mezuzot, and much more to reconstruct when ancient Judean society first adopted the Torah as authoritative law. Focusing on the lived experience of the earliest Torah observers, this investigative study transforms much of what we thought we knew about the genesis and early development of Judaism.

About the Author

Yonatan Adler is associate professor in the department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology at Ariel University in Israel. He has served as a member of the State of Israel’s Council for Archaeology since his 2018 appointment by the Minister of Culture.

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