Middle-Earth Midrash (part four)

December 29, 2013 at 12:00 am by

Continued from here, here, and here. “Quite a little fellow in a wide world”: Smallness, Significance, and Finding Balance  The Hobbit ends, in some sense, where it began: in Bilbo’s comfortable hole in the Shire. Bilbo, Gandalf, and Balin are enjoying the simple pleasures of a tobacco jar and each other’s company. Hearing of the […]

Middle-Earth Midrash (part 3)

December 24, 2013 at 1:00 am by

(Continued from parts one and two) “The Bravest Thing He Ever Did”: Valour, Victory, and the Great Battle There is an emphasis throughout Tolkien’s work on what one might call “true heroism,” which comes not from martial victory and certainly not through needless violence, but from the choices we make to conduct ourselves with dignity. […]

Middle-Earth Midrash (part 2)

December 18, 2013 at 2:00 am by

(continued from part one here) “Over You Gold Shall Have No Dominion”: Greed, Goodness, and Learning to Grow The Dwarvish love of gold was not necessarily an inherent curse: the Dwarves were lovers of stones and gems, but “they are not evil by nature, and few ever served the Enemy of free will, whatever the […]

Middle-Earth Midrash: A Jewish View of The Hobbit (part 1)

December 11, 2013 at 9:03 am by

  Note: the printed book The Hobbit (1994 edition) is indicated by an italicized title, while Peter Jackson’s 2012 film “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” is referred to with quotation marks. “According to the Nature of the Dwarves”: An Introduction to Dwarves and Jews On my way home from seeing “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” […]