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A list from the time of the Second Temple describing 36 days on which fasting is not permitted because of the joyous events that occurred on those days. The main text is from the 1st century, while the commentary is post-Talmudic.
Traditionally written by Tannaitic Rabbi Yose ben Halafta. It covers topics from the Creation to the construction of the Second Temple.
This book draws up a list of 89 generations from Abraham to the exile, and then to the Talmudic period. Not written before the 8th century.
Contains 54 chapters on the life of Rabbi Eliezer, and most of the Torah. It is nor a midrash in the real sense of the word, but is more a coherent biblical story. Dates from the 8th century.
A history of the Jews from the fall of Babylonia to the destruction of the Second Temple. Written in 953 CE by an anonymous author in Southern Italy, based on many historical records, but mainly the works of the Roman Jew, Josephus.
"The Book of The Upright" presents a view of history from Adam and Eve to the Exodus from Egypt. Written sometime between the 12th and 16th centuries.
Mesilas Yesharim is a guide to character improvement written by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato (a/k/a the Ramchal, after his initials). He lived in the 18th cent, born in Italy but spending most of his life in Amsterdam. Professionally, he was a gem cutter.
The Ramchal bases the structure of Mesilas Yesharim on a progression of personality traits listed by the tanna (mishnaic era rabbi) Rabbi Pinchas ben Ya'ir (quoted in Tr. Avodah Zarah 20a). For each trait, he has one chapter defining the trait, sometimes he has a second defining subcategories of it, and finally advice for how to acquire it. The Ramchal starts with Watchfulness, and makes his way to aquiring Holiness. A complete translation can be found at: http://www.shechem.org/torah/mesyesh.
The FAQ is a collection of documents that is an attempt to answer questions that are continually asked on the soc.culture.jewish family of newsgroups. It was written by cooperating laypeople from the various Judaic movements. You should not make any assumption as to accuracy and/or authoritativeness of the answers provided herein. In all cases, it is always best to consult a competent authority--your local rabbi is a good place to start.
Hopefully, the FAQ will provide the answer to your questions. If it doesn't, please drop Email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The FAQ maintainer will endeavor to direct your query to an appropriate individual that can answer it. If you would like to be part of the group to which the maintainer directs questions, please drop a note to the FAQ maintainer at email@example.com.
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Daniel P. Faigin <firstname.lastname@example.org>