Rabbinic Ideas of Jews and Gentiles Have Deep Roots in the Bible

Feb. 28 2019

In their book Goy: Israel’s Multiple Others and the Birth of the Gentile, Adi Ophir and Ishay Rosen-Zvi examine the evolution of ancient Jewish notions of the non-Jew, from the Bible, through the Second Temple Period, and in ancient rabbinic texts. Focusing on the term goy, which literally and originally meant “nation,” they argue that in the early parts of the Bible, Israel is simply one of many goyim. But in the later books of Ezra and Nehemiah, the difference between Jew and Gentile begins to grow starker, so that by the talmudic era a strict, binary distinction prevails that erases differentiation among non-Jews. While praising the book for “offering a veritable treasure of the best scholarship on the subject,” Christine Hayes also takes issue with its thesis:

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Read more at Ancient Jew Review

More about: ancient Judaism, Hebrew Bible, History & Ideas, Judaism, Talmud

Better to Undermine Iran’s Nuclear Program Than to Conclude Another Bad Deal

July 14 2020

Last Friday, yet another mysterious explosion rocked a military site in the Islamic Republic, in what seems to be a coordinated attempt to sabotage Iranian nuclear ambitions—although there remains a possibility that these incidents could be accidental, and related only by coincidence. For their part, the ayatollahs have blamed Israel, and not unreasonably. Eli Lake comments on what this all means for the future of American attempts to limit the Iranian nuclear program:

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Read more at Bloomberg

More about: Iran, Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, U.S. Foreign policy