Biblical Scholarship and the Jewish Community

By Marc Brettler

Jewish Family & Life (JFL Media), December 2002

Brettler writes about teaching a session to well-educated lay leaders about Biblical attitudes toward non-Jews and the three approaches he considered: teaching only those texts that emphasize tolerance, "feel-good Judaism"; teaching only those texts that are exclusive and intolerant, creating a negative picture of the Bible but also showcasing texts that are often ignored; or highlighting and explaining the variety of texts and attitudes with balance and nuance, if leaving the audience with more questions than answers. He chose the third approach with the understanding that scholars have an obligation to confront and share problematic texts with the community while also presenting their work in a representative fashion. Though initially problematic, a "full-disclosure" Judaism will help to create an informed, engaged community that respects and is engaged with Judaism on a more sophisticated, mature level.

Topic: Non-Professional Leadership, Lay Leadership, Tolerance, Education, Community Relations, Judaic Studies, Jewish Text, Jewish Studies, Scholarship, Academic Research

Name of Publication: Sh'ma: A Journal of Jewish Ideas

Editor: Berrin, Susan

Volume/Issue: Vol.33/no.596

Page Number(s): 12-13

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Genre: Article

Coverage: United States

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Brettler, Marc. Biblical Scholarship and the Jewish Community. Sh'ma: A Journal of Jewish Ideas. Jewish Family & Life (JFL Media). December 2002: 12-13.


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