Remembered for Good: A Jewish Benefaction System in Ancient Palestine
Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix, 2010 pp. xii + 285. $110.00
Social World of Biblical Antiquity, 2/5
Buy this book now from SBL
Description: This is the first monograph devoted to the system of community benefaction practised by Jews in Palestine from the second century BCE to the sixth century CE. Principal is the evidence from synagogue inscriptions erected to patrons and donors from the second century CE onwards. All these inscriptions are reviewed, together with a re-examination of how they are to be translated. Sorek is especially interested in the motivation for benefactions, and concludes that the Jewish system attested in the inscriptions is specific to the Jewish community. It was not merely a copy of the well-known Graeco-Roman system of euergetism, in which rich citizens contributed from their wealth to public expenses. But neither was the Jewish system properly an expression of charity, as has often been thought. Sorek argues that the benefaction system is best understood as an expression of hesed, the meaning of which she explores in detail.
Subjects: Methods, Social-Scientific Approaches
Review by Carrie Elaine Duncan
Citation: Carrie Elaine Duncan, review of Susan Sorek, Remembered for Good: A Jewish Benefaction System in Ancient Palestine, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2013).
Adobe Acrobat Reader
All RBL reviews are published in PDF format. To view these reviews, you must have downloaded and installed the FREE version of Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not have the Reader or you have an older version of the Reader, you can download the most recent version now.