Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Jacob Milgrom
Bible Scholar, Conservative theologian of sorts (don't think he had any official position). Avakesh does a good summary of his ir/relevance for Observant, believing Jews. R. Zelig Aster of YU makes reference to his introduction to Leviticus as a possible grounds for reconciling Biblical Criticism with an imperative for observance. An interesting and revealing quote for why Orthodox Jews and critical academics could be at such ends in resolving the divinity of Torah;

The relocation of Jewish Bible study to the university and simultaneous diminution of the role of the seminaries in the formative Bible training of Jewish scholars has increased the chances that future Jewish bible scholarship will be no different than any other".

I think part of the 'blame' on the part of leaving the conversation about Tanakh to academics should also go to Torah education before and since The Shoah narrowing on Talmud analysis, relegating Tanakh to downright insignificance compared to the millenia of precedent set before by The Meforshim - and when it left the "beis midrash", the conversation that could have included academic voices went with it (recent scholars aside), and the community of the faithful was largely left out of conversation. The doors have long since closed, the scholars are likely as unwilling and unable to hear from contemporary Orthodox insight as the RW Orthodox are to hear anyone else out on a text that has transformed the world.


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