Food for Thought

March 18, 2020

Haim A. Gottschalk, Olney, MD ● AJL News and Reviews

From Forbidden Fruit to Milk and Honey: A Commentary on Food in the Torah is a collection of short essays on each individual Bible parashah (passage of scripture). Biblical scholar Diana Lipton assembled a diverse group of Jewish scholars, divided evenly between men and women. Each scholar wrote a short essay, one scholar per parashah (with one exception) about food, and Lipton follows up with a verse by verse commentary on issues that the essays did not cover. Lipton also explains in the introduction that the book does not address what the ancient Israelites ate, sacrifices being discussed, nor kashrut.

The work is not a cookbook. What the work does and does well is give a derash (interpretation) through the prism of food for each parashah (excluding double parashiyot and holidays). The scholars certainly give you plenty of food for thought.

This book is a welcome addition to any library, especially a synagogue library and recommended to those who are looking for something different to grace their Shabbat table.


Review of Nehama Leibowitz: Teacher and Bible Scholar in The Journal of Hebrew Scriptures

March 23, 2012

Nehama Leibowitz: Teacher and Bible Scholarby Igal German

This book is a new extensive and updated biography of Prof. Nehama Leibowitz (1905–1997), well-respected and much loved teacher and Bible scholar. This enormous project was undertaken by Yael Unterman, an Israeli scholar currently lecturing and writing in the area of contemporary Jewish Studies. A brief biography of Leibowitz’s academic career is as follows: In 1925–1930, Leibowitz pursued higher education in the Universities of Berlin, Heidelberg and Marburg, studying English, Germanics and biblical studies. At the same time, she continued her Jewish studies at the Hochschule für die Wissenschaft des Judentums , or Higher Institute for Jewish Studies, a rabbinical seminary established in Berlin in 1872 and destroyed by the Nazi government in 1942. In 1931, she completed her doctoral thesis, “Techniques of Judeo-German Bible Translations in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Century, as Exemplified by Translations of the Book of Psalms” at the University of Marburg. The thesis explored the Yiddish translations of the Hebrew Bible, based on manuscripts in the Parma and Berlin libraries. Her scholarly interests ran the gamut from Jewish classical commentaries, Hebrew philology, and pedagogy to Germanics and literature. Well-versed in Jewish sources, Leibowitz became a distinguished Bible teacher, enthusiastically educating generations of students and teachers.

Unterman notes in her opening that “The book is based on Read the rest of this entry »