Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A kugel I might like

Here's something to cheer: A kippa-wearing Orthodox Jew (James L. Kugel, Emeritus Professor of Hebrew Literature at Harvard) has written a non-cringe-inducing book on the origins of the Torah. Like you, I feel a shehecheyanu is in order.

The book has been bought, but not yet delivered or read, so for now let us suffice with a delicious quote from David Plotz's review in Sunday's Times.
At bottom, Kugel seems to conclude that, scholarship be damned,there is some seed of divine inspiration in the Bible, even if he can’t say exactly where it is. The fact that we can’t prove any particular passage isn’t important, and the fact that it’s a pastiche of myths and plagiarized law codes doesn’t extinguish the holiness that’s in it, and doesn’t diminish how it still inspires us to love and serve God. That’s a humane and humble conclusion...."
Right on brother.

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