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Parables in Midrash

Parables in Midrash

Narrative and Exegesis in Rabbinic Literature

David Stern

ISBN 9780674654488

Publication date: 01/01/1994

David Stern shows how the parable or mashal—the most distinctive type of narrative in midrash—was composed, how its symbolism works, and how it serves to convey the ideological convictions of the rabbis. He describes its relation to similar tales in other literatures, including the parables of Jesus in the New Testament and kabbalistic parables. Through its innovative approach to midrash, this study reaches beyond its particular subject, and will appeal to all readers interested in narrative and religion.


  • Parables in Midrash is one of the most sophisticated and mature works on rabbinic literature in this century… All readers will find the book an extremely valuable synthesis of cutting-edge methodologies, thorough knowledge of textual traditions, and the best exegesis of traditional literature the academy has to offer.

    —Burton L. Visotzky, Catholic Biblical Quarterly


  • David Stern is Harry Starr Professor of Classical and Modern Jewish and Hebrew Literature at Harvard University.

Book Details

  • 364 pages
  • 6 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press