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:

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Read more at Ancient Jew Review

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

Israel’s New Government Is Neither a Win Nor a Loss for Either of the Major Parties

March 31 2020

On Thursday, when the news broke that Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz had agreed to form a national-unity government, pundits and politicians on both left and right seemed to agree that the incumbent prime minister had managed to outmaneuver his rival. But as details of the coalition agreement emerged, this interpretation began to seem less convincing. Haviv Rettig Gur explains:

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Benny Gantz, Israeli Election 2020, Israeli politics