Friday, September 26, 2008

Latest Review of Biblical Literature

When I see this name, after reading even one sermon by him, I sit up and take note:

Joseph B. Soloveitchik; David Shatz, Joel B. Wolowelsky, and Reuven Ziegler, eds.
Abraham's Journey: Reflections on the Life of the Founding Patriarch

Reviewed by Dan W. Clanton Jr.

“Wherever they see contradictions, I see harmony. And wherever they see conflict between two views, I see uniformity”
the Rav
implicitly places himself among the masorah community of Jewish interpretation and education, a community in which “personalities communicate throughout the ages; minds that are thousands of years apart address themselves to each other; heartbeats merge into the historic sound”
Not that I clearly would not agree with some of his assertions:
He writes that the error of Christianity in this regard is that “Christianity thought in terms of an instantaneous, metaphysical, transcendental, supernatural redemption of man—not through destruction but somehow through sacrifice. Judaism does not believe in the spontaneous redemption of man”
Instantaneous? Hardly. But proleptic, anticipated both by the binding of Isaac and in the rite of circumcision of the firstborn male. Not to mention the importance of Abraham to the Gentiles (Romans, Hebrews).

Concerning Lot:
his main question is why the angels would have been so concerned with these women in 19:15. His answer is that these women were ancestors of the coming Messiah through their offspring, who would one day lead to Tamar, then Ruth, and then David. Based on this exegetical connection, the Rav does not condemn the actions of Lot’s daughters: “The plan per se was reprehensible, but their motivation was imaginative, noble, and heroic.”
Some conclusion! (David the Messiah?)

The book may be worthwhile reading. The review is mixed but worth the read.

No comments: