James Kugel

James Kugel, a specialist in the Hebrew Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls, was Starr Professor of Hebrew Literature at Harvard University 1982-2003 and later Director of the Institute for the History of the Jewish Bible at Bar Ilan University, Israel. He is author of 13 books, including How To Read The Bible and In the Valley of the Shadow.
What Do You Mean, “Modern Orthodox”?
As the current chief rabbi, Lord Sacks, approached retirement, and a new appointment is sought, three experts considered the inherent tensions of modern orthodox Jewish practice in Britain and beyond. What place can be found for women, for religious pluralism, for critical scholarship? As the society with which it interacts changes, can Modern Orthodoxy adapt? Israel-based scholar James Kugel joined UK communal leader Simon Hochhauser for a discussion chaired by Miri Freud-Kandel of th...
The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Beginnings of Midrash
One of the things the Dead Sea Scrolls have shown is what Jews in ancient times thought about the Bible, even before its last chapters were written. The scrolls have provided some of the most ancient written examples of traditional Jewish interpretation, and a snapshot of how interpretation, known as “Midrash”, arose. James Kugel came to Jewish Book Week 2013 to explore how one interpretation was sometimes specifically created to contradict an earlier one, or to answer a question t...