Book Review: Performer of Torah

Legendary Jerusalem scholar and teacher Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg discusses writing about the Hebrew Bible in English.

By BETH KISSILEFF
April 2, 2015 17:37
Avivah gottlieb Zornberg

Avivah gottlieb Zornberg. (photo credit: DEBBI COOPER)

 
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Language is central to understanding any text. Yet to Dr. Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg, there is something valuable in the “estranging mechanism” of writing about Hebrew texts in English.

Zornberg’s fourth book, Bewilderments: Reflections on the Book of Numbers, was published at the end of February. In an interview with The Jerusalem Post, the author, teacher, scholar and Jerusalem resident says that working in two languages “allows you to know that you don’t know.” Since “the language I use is essential to what I do,” she says, she likes “translating concepts” and “bringing in my own experience of the words. This is already interpretation.”

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