The Cave

The above piece by Steve Reich takes its inspiration from the shared sacred site marking the burial place of Abraham. It is one of the sites in the Holy Land that made the biggest impression on me. On the one hand, Hebron today is a place of serious tensions. Visiting, one sees Palestinian homes from which [Read More…]

Visiting Edom/Mars

It will take some time to process and share many of the thoughts I had during my recent visit to many places I had been before in Israel and the West Bank, and to places I had never been before especially in Jordan. Among the latter was Wadi Rum, which I only learned after I [Read More…]

Which Biblical Patriarch Are You?

Don’t worry, this isn’t one of those Buzzfeed quizzes – although perhaps I should make it one! But in reading assignments from a course that I teach, I was struck by the contrast between Abraham and Job. Abraham and Job are both tested. Abraham obeys unquestioningly. Job questions daringly. How is it that people can point [Read More…]

Satin Tempted Job

I didn’t have a lot of howlers in student assignments this past semester. But there was one that made up for it: it said that “satin tempted Job.” I thought that was worth sharing. The image comes from the Bible Exploration website. Yes, I know it is a depiction of Joseph and his coat of many colors. [Read More…]

Lecture on Exodus and Conquest

I had hoped to make a recording of my class today, but we ended up discussing points raised by a student’s presentation, and so I recorded the above lecture in my office later in the day, so that I can post it and not take more class time covering the key points. I’d be interested [Read More…]