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What We Talk About When We Talk About Biblical Criticism

Rabbi Daniel Reifman / September 6, 2019

Higher criticism of the Bible is one of the major theoretical issues dividing today's Jewish community.  Many progressive Jews triumph the Documentary Hypothesis as a major achievement of modern scholarship, while traditional Jews typically dismiss it as heretical.  We will go beyond the standard arguments regarding the Torah's authorship by considering the dynamics of reading that underlie both traditional and modern critical perspectives.  We will then offer a more fundamental analysis of what it means to make meaning out of a text, and suggest that traditionalists and text critics ultimately have more in common than meets the eye.


Part 1


Part 2


Rabbi Daniel Reifman

Daniel Reifman is the Rosh Kollel of the Drisha Summer Kollel and has taught Talmud and halakhah at Drisha for close to 20 years.  He holds a PhD in hermeneutics from Bar Ilan University and received his rabbinic ordination and an MA in Tanakh from Yeshiva University. During the year, he teaches at the Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies in Jerusalem and at the Institute for Advanced Torah Studies at Bar Ilan. Click here to access podcasts recorded by Daniel Reifman.


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