Rabbinical views regarding marriage

Not trolling, genuinely rediscovered this during my research (see Tg. Ruth 4:6). Said Rab to R. Assi, “Don’t dwell in a town where horses don’t neigh and dogs don’t bark, don’t dwell in a town where the head of the community is a physician, and don’t marry two women, but if you do marry two, then […]

Targum Ruth Aramaic Word Cloud

Slicing and dicing! Solomon copying with competing claims of motherhood. (And let's face it, this is one creepy picture. What is with the boy sleeping [dead?!] on the steps, the woman clutching her breasts [lactating?], and the Solomon's pudgy King Joffrey look?)

Wisdom Critiquing (Qohelet’s) Wisdom?

Morning Prayer today has as its OT reading Wisdom 2. I have not read the Wisdom of Solomon for many years. Given what I have recently been writing on, specifically Ecclesiastes, this chapter stuck out to me. It reads, in part, 2:1    For they reasoned unsoundly, saying to themselves,“Short and sorrowful is our life, […]

A Biblical Theology of Suffering – Part 1 4

This past weekend I had the great privilege and honor to return to my alma mater and speak at the Graduate Christian Fellowship and Chesterton House. My title was “My God, my God, Why Have You Forsaken Me? A Biblical Response to Loss and Catastrophe.” I have a recording of the lecture that I may make available […]



What is it to light a candle?

My wife has recently written about the fact that when we travel and there are churches or cathedrals to visit, we light a candle for Mack. We have done this since last summer, the summer after he passed. There are usually hundreds of candles burning there. People light them for many reasons: as a memorial, […]

Jewish Studies at Penn State

Check out our new video about the program!


MA Thesis – “Joseph, Dreams, And Interpretation”

It is interesting to me that the most viewed publication of mine on Academia.edu is my master’s thesis, “Joseph, Dreams, And Interpretation: A Study of the Stylistic and Rhetorical Features of the Dreams in the Joseph Narrative.” This was submitted for approval 20 years ago this May. (I submitted my dissertation on “The Midrash of […]


Lapidus Summer Fellowship Program


The Center for Jewish History and the American Jewish Historical Society offer six-week Fellowships to recent Ph.D.s and doctoral candidates conducting original research using the collections of the Center’s five partners: American Jewish Historical Society, American Sephardi Federation, Leo Baeck Institute, Yeshiva University Museum and YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. Continue reading


BenSira.org is Live 3

I received an email recently from my undergraduate advisor and outstanding biblical scholar Gary Rendsburg announcing a new project:  BenSira.org. This has been developed with one of his Rutger’s undergraduate honors students (of course!), Jacob Binstein. It looks to be an incredible resource. Please spread the word! Welcome to www.bensira.org, the website devoted to the […]

How do we make sense of it all? 3

A month or so ago I was talking to an old and close friend and we began discussing reviews of our work. This led to discussing how one reviewer misunderstood my conclusions in The Rabbinic Targum of Lamentations: Vindicating God. Curious to look at it all again, I pulled up the text to my introduction […]

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“The Conversion of Ruth in Targum Ruth” is in print 5

My article “The Conversion of Ruth in Targum Ruth” has just been published in Review of Rabbinic Judaism, Volume 16, Issue 2, 2013. Due to Brill’s generous policies, you may find the article on this site under the “Targum Ruth” tab above.