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Bidding Information
Lot #    18835
Auction End Date    8/21/2007 12:33:30 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Die Nachahmung Gottes (Imitatio Dei) in der Agada
Author    Prof. Dr. A. Marmorstein
City    Berlin
Publisher    Druck von Itzkowski & Co.
Publication Date    1928
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   16 pp., 239:160 mm., light age staining, wide margins. A very good copy bound in the original paper wrappers.
Paragraph 1    This article deals with the philosophical concept called Imitatio Dei in the Aggadah. The concept of imitatio dei - generally taken to be a Mitzvah - in Judaism is derived, in part, from the concept of Imago Dei - being made in the image of God. Not only do people in the Torah aspire to take on godly virtues, they are aided by the depiction of God as a man - anthropomorphism. The concept is arguably best expressed in the following quote, taken from the Torah (Leviticus 19:2): "Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: 'Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.'" In later time, this concept was part of the basis of rabbinic Judaism. Jews are exhorted to perform acts of kindness similar to the ones ascribed to God. Examples are burying the dead (as God buried Moses), visiting the sick (as God visited Abraham) and some very similar mitzvot. The Talmud (tractate Shabbat 133b) states: "So as He is merciful, so should you be merciful".
   Prof. Dr. Arthur Marmorstein (1882-1946) was a rabbi, scholar, and teacher. Born in Miskolc, Hungary, Marmorstein was descended from a long line of Hungarian rabbis known not only for their talmudic learning but also for their familiarity with secular literature. He studied at the yeshivah of Pressburg and the rabbinic seminaries of Budapest and Berlin. After visiting libraries for some time in England, Italy, and France, transcribing manuscripts, Marmorstein served for six years as rabbi at Jamnitz (Jemnice), Czechoslovakia. From 1912 until his death he taught at Jews' College, London. Marmorstein's scholarship embraced many subjects. His initial training at the universities was in Semitics, with special emphasis on Assyriology. He was particularly fascinated by the aggadic sections of the Talmud and by liturgy. Though Marmorstein contributed to many areas of Jewish scholarship, he is noteworthy for his studies in rabbinic theology, the subject of his two important volumes Doctrine of Merits in Old Rabbinic Literature (1920) and Old Rabbinic Doctrine of God (2 pts., 1927); both were reprinted in one volume with an introduction by R. J. Zwi Werblowsky (1968). Other important essays on rabbinic theology by Marmorstein were collected and published under the title Studies in Jewish Theology (1950). Marmorstein's work is characterized by painstaking detail in the collection of sources, which are important for the study of rabbinic religion. An offprint from Judische Studien (Berlin, 1928).
   EJ; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imitatio_Dei
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Listing Classification
20th Century:    Checked
Germany:    Checked
Other:    Religion
Language:    German, some Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica