Robert Alter

Robert Alter is professor of the Graduate School and emeritus professor of Hebrew and comparative literature at the University of California, Berkeley. His many books include The Pleasures of Reading in an Ideological Age, Imagined Cities: Urban Experience and the Language of the Novel, and Pen of Iron: American Prose and the King James Bible (Princeton). He lives in Berkeley, California.

Behold, There Were Twins in her Womb (Gen 25:23)— One Birth, Two Sons, Three Approaches
Jewish Book Week proudly opened the 2007 festival by bringing together admired authorities on the Bible. The majestic translations of the distinguished Hebrew scholar Robert Alter are enhanced by his literary commentaries which illuminate the Bible in its many dimensions. Avivah Zornberg combines literary insights with theological wisdom derived from a lifelong immersion in rabbinic tradition. Under Yair Zakovitch’s expert guidance, they explored Genesis 19:24, the birth of Jacob and...
Translation Masterclass

“In order to translate the Bible, you have to do philological spade work. That is sort of like detective work.”

“After I was well into my work, I realized that I was simultaneously carrying out two great love affairs: my love affair with the Hebrew language and my love affair with the English language.”

-Robert Alter

Robert Alter took us through his multifaceted work.

The Hebrew Bible
A masterpiece of deep learning and fine sensibility, Robert Alter’s translation of the Hebrew Bible reanimates one of the formative works of our culture. Capturing its brilliantly compact poetry and finely-wrought prose, Alter renews the Old Testament as a source of literary power and spiritual inspiration. From the family frictions of Genesis and King David’s flawed humanity, to the serene wisdom of Psalms and Job’s incendiary questioning of God’s ways, this work reso...