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“Aubrey Glazer has written a personal and moving while brilliantly erudite commentary on Qohelet as a book that, though ancient, addresses the skepticism and unmooredness of the present. This is a philosophically impressive and psychologically important book on how to live. Understanding Qohelet as resisting the traditional platitudes about sin, prayer, and forgiveness, Glazer explores the book as if in conversation with a magisterial collection of thinkers ancient and modern — from Heraclitus to Gersonides to Hume and Leonard Cohen. Through Glazer's creative and playful reading, Qohelet emerges as a "theological empiricist" who aims to discover "genuinely truthful sayings” about life's "dialectical dance between melancholia and joy." — Marcia Pally, New York University, author of From This Broken Hill I Sing to You: Sex, God and Politics in the work of Leonard Cohen.
A provocative and contemporary translation with two new commentaries on Qohelet (Ecclesiastes). These eclectic commentaries on one of the strangest books of the Hebrew Bible opens up an ancient wisdom text that dares to address theological skepticism of the present. Understanding Qohelet as resisting biblical theological platitudes about sin, prayer, and forgiveness, these commentaries are a magisterial conversation between thinkers ancient and modern — from Heraclitus to Leonard Cohen — that dares to think differently. Martin Cohen's new translation and introductory commentary (Kol Ha-Tor) is in conversation with Glazer's philosophical interpretations (Ruah Ha-Orev) — ranging from Hebraic stoicism and skepticism to an exploration of the diverse interpretations in philosophical (Samuel Ben Judah Ibn Tibbon, Gersonides, David Hume, Theodor W. Adorno, Emmanuel Lévinas) kabbalistic (Zohar, Bahir) and hasidic (Ba'al Shem Tov, R. Nachman of Bratzlav, R. Meshulem Faish ben Mordekhai Levi, R. Aharon Yosef Luria) commentaries — enable Qohelet to re-emerge anew as a theological empiricist. Rediscover Qohelet as the remarkable Hebrew ironist who points seekers of truth to life's dialectical dance between melancholia and joy.