Mysterious and Mythical Creatures of Scripture, Talmud and Midrash
Rabbi Natan Slifkin
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Dragons, unicorns, mermaids... all the famous creatures of myth and legend are to be found in the Torah, Talmud and Midrash. But what are we to make of them? Do they really exist? Did the Torah scholars of old believe in their existence? And if not, why did they describe these creatures?
Sacred Monsters is a thoroughly revised and vastly expanded edition of the bestselling book Mysterious Creatures. Rabbi Natan Slifkin, the famous "Zoo Rabbi," revisits all the creatures of that work as well as a host of new ones, including werewolves, giants, dwarfs, two-headed mutants, and the enigmatic shamir-worm. Sacred Monsters explores these cases in detail and discusses a range of different approaches for understanding them.
Aside from the fascinating insights into these cryptic creatures, Sacred Monsters also presents a framework within which to approach any conflict between classical Jewish texts and the modern scientific worldview. Complete with extraordinary photographs and fascinating ancient illustrations, Sacred Monsters is a scholarly yet stimulating work that will be a treasured addition to your bookshelf.
"Sacred Monsters delves into topics (especially "monsters") in the natural history of the Jewish sacred sources (hence, "sacred" in the title). The book combines competence in more than one field: the history of ideas and of science, the modern biological disciplines, and rabbinic literature of all periods... Slifkin's book has much to offer folklorists, while catering to a composite public: scholarly or ordinary readers, Jewish or gentile, devout or secular, steeped in Western culture or committed to ultra-Orthodox doxa... a delightful book. Slifkin has achieved the rare feat of writing a book that would appeal to a broad readership, and at the same time will also satisfy discerning scholars." - Review, Fabula 52 (2011)
What's New in Version 1.2
minor updates in layout and cover