Author Archives: zjb

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics. http://religion.syr.edu

Light Space (Proclus)

“Thus Proclus’s idea of a preternatural ‘light above the Empyrean’ enables us to draw on the panoply of properties of a natural phenomenon such as light whole not enclosing ourselves in a straitjacket of a reductive physics. The immateriality of … Continue reading

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Jewish Ethics & the Hertz Pentateuch

You know he was going to make a big deal of the so-called Holiness Code (Leviticus 17-22) and there he was. The Hertz Pentateuch tags chapter 19 as “A Manual of Moral Instruction.” These chapters are for Hertz more than … Continue reading

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Telling the Nakba in the Israeli Media

Of interest is how an Israeli media outlet in English can present in human terms a simple story of the Palestinian Nakba without hyperventilating. Whatever one’s political persuasion, human recognition should be basic and key. You can read the story … Continue reading

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(Sexual Ethics & The Holiness of Home) More Domestic Judaism (The Hertz Pentateuch)

Leviticus has been a pretty dry run in the Hertz Pentateuch. You can tell Hertz is just not into sacrifice and ritual by the more or less cursory exposition of what he takes to be the plain meaning (peshat) and … Continue reading

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Auschwitz + Camp (The Holocaust in American Life in the New York Times Friday Weekend Arts II Section)

Nobody reads print anymore, but these things matter. About the new and important exhibition of artifacts from Auschwitz now on display at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, the editors at the New York Times Friday Weekend Arts section made bad … Continue reading

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There Is No Friend/Enemy Distinction in Israel & Palestine (May 2019)

Until proven otherwise, after the latest round of bloodletting after the latest round of bloodletting right before the elections in Israel, it is more than clear that there is no friend/enemy distinction in Israel and Palestine. The friend/enemy distinction is … Continue reading

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Robert Alter Reads Paul Mendes-Flohr Reading Martin Buber & Drops the Ball on God (A Meta-Meta-Meta Commentary)

Sorry to read Robert Alter’s review of the long awaited biography by Paul Mendes-Flohr, Martin Buber: A Life of Faith and Dissent and the lazy reading of its subject.  You can read it here and this is a key line: … Continue reading

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