"Becoming Elijah" by Daniel C. Matt

Becoming Elijah Prophet of Transformation Daniel C. Matt

Series:
Jewish Lives
Format:
Hardback
Publication date:
12 Apr 2022
ISBN:
9780300242706
Imprint:
Yale University Press
Dimensions:
248 pages: 210 x 146mm
Illustrations:
1 b-w illus.

Categories:

In the Bible, Elijah is a zealous prophet, attacking idolatry and injustice, championing God. He performs miracles, restoring life and calling down fire. When his earthly life ends, he vanishes in a whirlwind, carried off to heaven in a fiery chariot. Was this a spectacular death, or did Elijah escape death entirely? The latter view prevailed. Though residing in heaven, Elijah revisits earth—to help, rescue, enlighten, and eventually herald the Messiah. Because of his Messianic role, Jews open the door for Elijah during each Seder—the meal commemorating liberation from slavery and anticipating final redemption.
 
How did this zealot turn into a compassionate hero—apparently the most popular figure in Jewish folklore? Becoming Elijah explores these questions, tracing how Elijah develops from the Bible to Rabbinic Judaism, Kabbalah, and Jewish ritual (as well as Christianity and Islam). This book shows that Elijah’s transformation is pertinent and inspirational for our polarized, fanatical world.

Daniel Matt is a leading authority on Kabbalah. His nine-volume annotated translation The Zohar: Pritzker Edition, was honored with a National Jewish Book Award and has been hailed as “a monumental contribution to the history of Jewish thought.” He lives in Berkeley, CA.