Selected Works of Lawrence E. Frizzell

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date

January 1989

Journal Title

Of Scholars, Savants and Their Texts: Essays in Honor of Arthur Hyman


Ruth Link-Salinger and Robert Herrera


Peter Lang


New York


In Jewish tradition the five books of Moses hold the place of honor in Israel's sacred writings as the Torah or "instruction" of God. Some people, even in ancient times, seemed to emphasize the legislative teachings or commandments, so the Greek translators chose the word "Nomos" or "Law" to render Torah. Indeed, laws provide the practical norms whereby people guide their lives and teach their offspring. However, in most cultures legislation has its complement in inspiring narratives. Heroes and heroines of times long past are presented as worthy of imitation. They exemplify the ideal that offers a synthesis about the meaning of life. Jews recognize that commandments offer a basis for halakhah, the way to go in life, which is completed by haggadah, a set of narratives presenting insights regarding imitation of God in the ambiguities of human life.My study of edifying narratives will be divided into two parts: 1) developments of the Joseph narrative from the Book of Genesis; and 2) the accounts of martyrdom in the Second and Fourth Books of Maccabees.The copyright is held by Peter Lang. Learn more about Of Scholars, Savants and Their Texts: Essays in Honor of Arthur Hymanat at .