Tag Archives: Bible

(An Evil Report) A Land That Eats Its Own People (El Paso)

What kind of country is this? Something like from Numbers, chapter 13: 13:26 And they went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh; … Continue reading

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The Priestly Blessing is Weird and Most Impressive (Hertz Pentateuch)

As I continue to scroll through the Hertz Pentateuch in search of wayward things and other points of interest that tell us something about the HP and its time and place, I found this odd and unexpected thing. It’s his … Continue reading

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(Hertz Pentateuch) Bourgeois Social Order (Sotah)

Having committed to keep track of the Hertz Pentateuch commentary (1936), I would have been remiss not to include a note on the commentary to the Sotah passage in Numbers, chapter 5. As it turns out and on closer inspection, … Continue reading

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(Violent Surge of Excellent Writing) Habakkuk (Shavuot)

Locked up tight in the liturgical reading of Scripture in the synagogue as the haftarah on the second day of Shavuot, the holiday of revelation, the manifestation of  God in the third chapter of Habbakuk signals total world disaster. In … Continue reading

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(Kiddush/Chillul Ha-Sehem) Jewish Respectability Ethics (Hertz Pentateuch)

A standout moment in the classic Hertz Pentateuch commentary from 1936, a fixture in the liberal synagogue for the better part of the 20th century, is the appeal to respectability, phrased in terms of kiddush Ha’Shem, the hallowing/sanctification of  God’s … 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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(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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