7 posts

Telling the Truth: Stories by Izzy

Our daughter is an exceptionally talented writer; she takes after her mother in that regard. She also loves art and history. On this particular assignment followed the reading of The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. Both stories used historical events or pictures to craft a “myth” (as in “true” but not historical) to provide deeper meaning to the simple objects (Things) or pictures (Miss […]

MA Thesis – “Joseph, Dreams, And Interpretation”

It is interesting to me that the most viewed publication of mine on 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 the Ten Songs” for my Graduate Diploma [now MSt] to the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies at the […]

How many angels can dance on the head of a pin? A lesson in argument

From Dorothy L. Sayers. Again, I am struck by how contemporary and relevant her decades old criticism is. (Does that make me a romantic or her a prescient thinker?) A glib speaker in the Brains Trust once entertained his audience (and reduced the late Charles Williams to helpless rage) by asserting that in the Middle Ages it was a matter of faith to know how many archangels could dance on the point of a needle. […]

Wikipedia again avoids facts by “policy”

Philip Roth, author of The Human Stain, wanted to correct the Wikipedia entry about his novel. I have written about this before and still find Wikipedia’s approach less than helpful in this regard. When you have actual primary sources, why not use them? Sure, they might lie and authors have been known to do just that, but why not include the statement, “Many believe the novel is based upon X, but the author insists it is […]

More on motivation and characters in the Book of Ruth

I am just reading through an article by my friend Tod Linafelt (“Narrative and Poetic Art in the Book of Ruth,” Interpretation 64:2, 117-129 [2010]). It is a broad and useful reading of Ruth. You may recall from my earlier post I quoted Campbell who said, It is inherent in biblical thought generally that a person’s actions and words offer a true picture of the person’s character. Hebrew stories do not have characters with hidden […]

What is “content creation”? The iPad is for content consumption AND creation.

REPOST from January. Tomorrow, November 7, 2011, I will be giving a presentation on using the iPad for content creation. Seems fitting to share this again. For my colleagues in biblical and rabbinic literature please bear with me in this post or simply skip towards the end. I found that this discussion led me to consider what is “content creation” in terms of biblical commentary, interpretation, homiletics and the like. Last month my brother (The […]