The Life and Teachings of Hillel
by Yitzhak Buxbaum


Hillel is one of the greatest rabbis of the Jewish tradition, yet even knowledgeable people usually know only the same few stories and sayings of his -- about his teaching the Golden Rule to the gentile standing on one foot; his saying "if I am not for myself, who will be for me, and if I am for myself alone, who am I?" and so on. Many facets of Hillel's teaching and activity have been neglected and virtually "lost."

As it turns out, Hillel is a much more interesting figure than people might think; he is much more radically pious and "hasidic." We usually think that Hillel represents "normative Judaism." But "normative Judaism" is a mixture of Hillel and Shammai. Hillel is more of a "love-type." And he has a particular attraction for our generation, by representing the gentler, more loving side of Judaism that so many are searching for today.

An example of a Hillel story that most people don't know: The Talmud tells a tale about Hillel buying a horse, as charity, for a rich man who became poor, and also daily hiring for him a servant to run before the horse. Hillel realized that this once-rich man needed these things so his self-esteem would not crumble. One day, however, Hillel couldn't find a servant to hire, so he himself ran before the man's horse for three miles!

This story is perhaps the most radical act of humble loving service by any rabbi ancient or modern; it reminds one of the fiery Elijah or of the Baal Shem Tov. Yet it is almost unknown! There is much else about Hillel that too few people know. Hillel was not only the mild peacemaker; he also had a more fervent side. I expect that most readers will be charmed by Hillel's fiery gentleness.

The Life and Teachings of Hillel will also help people to understand that there are two ways in Judaism -- the path of fear of God and the path of love of God -- the paths of Hillel and Shammai. When a person with Hillelite inclinations understands the difference between the two ways, he will find it easier to direct himself along his path and to understand and not become upset with followers of the other path, modern-day "Shammaites."
I know.... You're probably thinking what in the world does a book about Hillel have to do with the historical Yeshua? Well, ... just about everything! Why? Because the teachings of Hillel had a direct impact on what Yeshua decided to do with his life and in his death.

If you want to get a real handle on what Yeshua was trying to accomplish via his Repentance Movement and the way he went about attempting to advance the Kingdom of Heaven among the Am Ha-Aretz (Common Folk) and Chilonim (Secular Jews) of his day and age, then get this book by Yitzhak Buxbaum. I promise that you will not be disappointed by it!

This is truly a fascinating read!

http://yitzhakbuxbaum.blogspot.com/