A Startling Midrash on Genesis

November 17, 2014 With Leon Kass

Midrash is the Hebrew word for commentary, particularly commentary on the Hebrew Bible. Many secular intellectuals have been drawn toward that very challenge, among them Leon Kass, physician, philosopher and teacher of the humanities, now  a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
At the time in 2003 when this conversation occurred he was a professor at the University of Chicago, on leave in Washington where he chaired the President’s Commission on Bioethics.

The insights and meanings he finds in Genesis, as presented here, are focused not only on Creation but also on the possible realities behind the account of Abraham and his descendants and then upon the formation of the Jewish religion and its persisting “people.” This conversation of eleven years ago still resonates in the mind of  Kass’s interlocutor.