Sacred Monsters: Mysterious and Mythical Creatures of Scripture, Talmud and Midrash

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Zoo Torah, 2007 - Religion - 378 pages
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
 

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Contents

Preface
11
Confronting Monsters
17
Unicorns of Different Colors
41
Mermaids Krakens Wild Men
81
Gigantic Giants
111
Diminutive Dwarfs
145
Sea Monsters Leviathan
161
Behold the Behemoth
179
Royal Griffins
239
The Remarkable Roc
253
Dragons Fiery Flying Serpents
269
The Secret of the Salamander
283
VegetableMen TreeGeese
305
The Marvelous MudMouse
325
The Spontaneous SweatLouse
341
Bibliography
369

The Fabulous Shamir
193
TwoHeaded Men Other Mutants
207
The Phoenix from the Flames
223

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