Page 171 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 40

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COHEN / ELIAS J . BICKERMAN
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of rabbinic tradition outlined by Sayings of the Fathers was mod­
eled on the chains of tradition advanced by the Greek philosoph­
ical schools. Bickerman sought to prove that ancient Judaism was
part of the ancient world and must be interpreted in the light of
the host culture.
Bickerman was one of the very few scholars whose works are
always worth reading, always stimulating, and always important.
The world which produced him and shaped him no longer exists.
Born in Kishinev to a secular Jewish family, reared in St.
Petersburg, educated in Berlin by the last generation of great
German classicists, and fully at home in the literature of Russia,
Germany, France, Italy, and England, he was one of the last
remaining links to a humanistic ideal which now eludes us. With
Bickerman’s death an era has closed.