How to Read the Bible Politically

Aug. 30 2019

While the Hebrew Bible can’t tell you whom to vote for, argues Joshua Berman, much of it can and should be understood as addressing political questions, as it is a work deeply—perhaps primarily—concerned with national and civic life. For instance, the book of Exodus depicts the people of Israel as descended entirely from slaves; it also reports every man, woman, and child hearing the word of God at Sinai. Berman sees these two teachings as the foundation for the Western idea of equality, in which no person can claim a superior bloodline or a monopoly on a connection with the divine. He also explains how the book of Joshua teaches that “it takes a village to make a sinner.” (Interview by Dru Johnson. Audio, 22 minutes.)

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Read more at Center for Hebraic Thought

More about: Exodus, Hebrew Bible, Joshua, Religion & Politics

The American Association of University Professors Celebrates Anti-Semitism

Last week, the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), an influential academic organization, announced that Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi of San Francisco State University would receive one of its annual awards, citing her “courage, persistence, political foresight, and concern for human rights . . . in her scholarship, teaching, [and] public advocacy” as well as her efforts to “advance the agenda for social change in Palestine, the United States, and internationally.” Those efforts, notes Jonathan Marks, include supporting the exclusion of the Jewish campus group Hillel from a university-wide event, and lambasting the school’s president for apologizing for that exclusion:

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Read more at Commentary

More about: Academia, Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus