The Kingly Sanctuary (Paperback)
After learning the basics of Judaism, graduate student Judd Lewis wanted to learn more. He dropped out of graduate school and enrolled full-time in an Israeli yeshiva. Now four years have passed and Judd is disillusioned. He confronts his former teacher and mentor, a Syrian Jew knowledgeable in Judaism, with a barrage of questions: Why do so many things in the Talmud seem to be just clever arguments? Doesn't anyone care about what is really true? Did Moses really write the Torah? Why doesn't yeshiva study ever face up to the challenges of science, of biblical criticism, and other aspects of the modern world? Most of all, where is "the reality of ha-Shem" in all this-shouldn't that be the whole point of studying? Their dialogue, sometimes angry, sometimes humorous, ultimately touches on the most basic issues in Judaism, as Judd and his mentor each strive to convince the other of their very different views. This is a book for a wide audience: yeshiva students and yeshiva dropouts, the pious and the not-so-pious, and any reader eager to sit in on a seminar in Advanced Judaism.
James Kugel: Starr Professor of Hebrew Literature at Harvard University (1982 to 2003), Kugel was Professor of Bible at Bar Ilan University in Israel, where he also served as chairman of the Department of Bible. A specialist in the Hebrew Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls, Kugel is the author of more than seventy research articles and thirteen books, including The Idea of Biblical Poetry, On Being a Jew, The Bible As It Was, How to Read the Bible (National Jewish Book Award for best book, 2007), and In the Valley of the Shadow. He is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature and Editor in chief of Jewish Studies: an Internet Journal.