Global Research Fellowship> Fellow

Rabbi Dr. Gidon Rothstein, Gruss Scholar in Residence

Rabbi Dr. Gidon Rothstein has served as a congregational rabbi and an educator while completing a PhD in Post-Biblical Jewish History and Literature. His main area of interest is the intersection of text and practice, both in terms of reading texts to find new insight into practice and ideals of the religion as well as studying how Jews have read and continue to derive practical guidance on building a spiritual relationship with God from their readings of earlier texts. He has published, on-line, a series of e-mail classes on the Book of Samuel, the third section of Maimonides' Guide for the Perplexed, as well as several other seminal texts in Jewish law and thought. In print, he has articles forthcoming arguing that Jews have for hundreds of years misunderstood what medieval texts meant by sunset, by reincarnation, and by the prohibition against coercing divorce. On the academic side, he combines an interest in hermeneutics with one in Jewish thought. His dissertation, "Writing Midrash Avot," showed that fifteenth century interpreters of Ethics of the Fathers-- a third century Rabbinic text-- began to treat it as they would a Biblical text, reading into it the multiplicity and fluidity of meaning heretofore reserved for the Divine Word. His current research on the Noahide laws seeks to show that this corpus teaches about the Jewish worldview as a whole, while also offering insight into how societies can and should manage the differences between citizens, foreigners, and lawful permanent residents.

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Last updated on September 9th, 2004