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Shamai Gelander

This book deals with the world of the psalms, in order to reveal the elements of faith as expressed in the various prayers. It includes an encompassing study of the variety of experiences: How can an individual in distress experience a situation which contrasts his actual reality altogether? What causes an individual to believe that God wants him to live and does not want him to die? What are the individual’s sources of confidence in justice as ruling over the universe, and his confidence that the harmony of the universe leaves no room for evil? Virtually all books of the Old Testament express the world view and opinions of their authors, with a didactic purpose on mind. Not so the Book of Psalms: Here we can find an expression of the pious individual’s world and his beliefs. The psalms are what the authors sought to place in the mouth of the worshippers, thinking that they would aptly express what was on their mind. Anybody who seeks to understand how faith and thoughtfulness join together with the individual’s emotions through a wonderful creative shaping, is invited to read this book.
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Under the Sun

Life and Reality in the Book of Kohelet

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Shamai Gelander

This book presents the Book of Ecclesiastes as a single coherent work, whose ideas are consistent and collectively form a comprehensive worldview. Moreover, in contrast to the prevailing view in the research literature – it presents the Book of Ecclesiastes as a work with an essentially positive outlook: Kohelet’s fault-finding is aimed not at the world itself, or how it functions, but at the people who persist in missing out on the present, on what it has to offer, and of the ability to enjoy all that exists and is available. Contrasting with these are Koheleth’s positive perscriptions to make the most of the present. To my mind, his remonstrations are meant to «clear the way» for his positive recommendations – to clear the path, as it were, of the obstacles to accepting reality. These two aspects, the negative and the positive, come together in this investigation into Koheleth’s belief, which is founded on an acceptance of all that God has created.