Saturday, March 10, 2018

On Weitzman, The Origin of the Jews

REVIEW AND INTERVIEW: To dig up genesis of the Jewish people, a scholar goes back to the sources. National Jewish Book Award winner Steven Weitzman's 'The Origin of the Jews' is an odyssey into a nation's most basic need: To understand where it comes from (Amanda Borschel-Dan, Times of Israel).
It was time to get to the root of the matter. Faced with conflicting narratives and dueling creation stories for the Jewish people, Prof. Steven Weitzman began an academic odyssey, going back to beyond the start of the Bible, to explore the Jews’ actual genesis.

The twists and turns found in Weitzman’s “The Origin of the Jews: The Quest for Roots in a Rootless Age” at once entertainingly educate — and shake up centuries of charged beliefs and scholarship.

With dense, informative chapters, Weitzman takes a multi-disciplinary approach in his quest, delving into genealogy, linguistics, archaeology, psychology, sociology and genetics. In eight chapters, he deftly gives a wide-ranging overview of both traditional and irreverent thinking on the origins of the Jews.

The article also includes a long interview with Professor Weitzman. And this is worth noting and worth congratulations:
The synthesis of academia and the personal has proven successful: On March 6, Weitzman, the University of Pennsylvania’s director of the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, was honored by the Jewish Book Council as its winner in the category of Jewish Education and Identity.
This is not the first award the book has received. Background here and links.

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