Leon R. Kass

Leon R. Kass is dean of the faculty at Shalem College, professor emeritus in the College and the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago and scholar emeritus at the American Enterprise Institute. A physician, scientist, educator, and public intellectual, he served from 2001-2005 as chairman of the President’s Council on Bioethics.

Where Are We Now?

Why do we suddenly care so much about Israel or Jewish survival? Is it only the Jew as eternal victim that we cherish? Hardly—it is the Jewish way of living that matters.

Nov. 13 2023 12:01AM

Halkin Puts Everything in Its Place

In his new essay collection, my friend Hillel Halkin offers an autobiographical overview, unorthodoxly given, in a lifetime’s worth of literary attempts.

Nov. 8 2021 12:01AM

Reading Exodus with Leon Kass: Completing Creation

After the golden calf, something wondrous happens. Leon Kass walks us through what that is in this final installment of our series on Exodus.

March 12 2021 12:04AM

Reading Exodus with Leon Kass: Moses and the Levites

Why does Moses order every Levite to practice fratricide?

March 5 2021 12:02AM

Reading Exodus with Leon Kass: The Place Where God Dwells

This week, we learn that God wants to be known not only as the Israelites’ deliverer from bondage but also as an immediate and permanent presence in their lives.

Feb. 26 2021 12:01AM

Reading Exodus with Leon Kass: Questions to Ask about the Tabernacle

Does the preservation of the covenant depend upon repeated revelations and direct divine encounters, or are there more permanent ways?

Feb. 19 2021 12:01AM

Reading Exodus with Leon Kass: Israel's Obligations to the Stranger

One cannot exaggerate the importance of the Bible’s novel—even revolutionary—teaching about the outsider who lives among the Israelites.

Feb. 12 2021 12:01AM

Reading Exodus with Leon Kass: What Is the Covenant?

God’s proposed covenant does not look to men of virtue or point to rule by philosophers or kings or prophets. The covenant is made with each and every person.

Feb. 5 2021 12:40AM

Reading Exodus with Leon Kass: The Meaning of Amalek

Why is the Lord so adamant about obliterating Amalek, and why does He make His intentions known?

Jan. 29 2021 1:01AM

Reading Exodus with Leon Kass: Knowledge of the Divine

This week, Kass looks at what the ten plagues of Egypt reveal about the God who metes them out.

Jan. 21 2021 12:01AM

Reading Exodus with Leon Kass: What Is Egypt?

This week, we look at the religious, political, and cultural matrix out of which Israel emerges, and the human alternative against which Israel will be defined.

Jan. 15 2021 12:01AM

Reading Exodus with Leon Kass

Read along with one of our time’s great readers of the Bible as he works his way through the book of Exodus.

Jan. 8 2021 12:00AM

Podcast: Leon Kass on the Formation of the People of Israel

The author of our April essay joins us to talk about how to read the book of Exodus, how the Israelites became a people, and plenty more.

May 15 2020 12:01AM

There's No Need to Feel Sorry for God (or for Leon Kass)

He is still full of hope, and so—in replying to those who would misunderstand me and my method of reading the Bible—am I.

April 29 2020 1:14AM

The People-Forming Passover

There’s a great deal more at stake in Exodus than getting the slaves out of Egypt. What might it be?

April 6 2020 12:01AM

A Reply to My Respondents, and My Friends

Beyond the distinctive insights offered by each respondent, the overall result is fascinating, not least because the four responses wind up unintentionally but profoundly disagreeing with one another.

June 26 2013 11:03PM

The Ten Commandments

Why the Decalogue Matters

June 1 2013 2:24PM