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By Jacob Neusner / Wipf & Stock / 2004
By setting forth the book of Genesis as it is represented in the rabbinic statement Genesis Rabbah, renowned scholar Jacob Neusner demonstrates how Judaism confronted creation and the Genesis story. This event was crucial in the life of Israel and the Jewish people because it helped shape the entire history of Western civilization—the rise of Christianity to the status of the official religion of the Roman Empire. The Judaic sages’ rereading of the Torah’s accounts of the beginning of the world and of Israel took place during a time of significant change in Western civilization. That fact explains the importance of this reading of Genesis to Western civilization because Genesis Rabbah illuminates the Judaic tradition in contemplating God’s creation of the world.