chapter
Postscript
Can Judaism become archaic?
WithEhud Benor
Pages 6

The postscript notes tension between two developing trends in modern Israeli Judaism that suggests a possible unfolding of a new phase in the dialectic that was traced in Chapter 6. On the one hand, nationalist religious academies are reforming the traditional mediated study of biblical texts, seeking unmediated reconnection with the moral voice of the prophets, with the archaic power of the Bible’s ancient stories, and with the subtle force of its self-critical moral reflection. On the other hand, others, in the same communities, are working to recover and to cultivate an archaic religiosity that connects renewed interest in biblical narratives with access to ancestral landscapes and with seeking redemption in rebuilding the Temple and resuming the sacrificial cult. A test case is proposed for assessing the directions in which these trends are moving by evaluating relative openness and resistance to a suggestion made here, that, in the Genesis story, Esau forgave Jacob.