This book explores the variety of ways that the Jewish understanding of the Covenant relates to the notion of a contract or a shared grammar as developed in recent structural and post-structural theory. The book enters the debate on the relationship beween a variety of open-ended forms of text interpretation and traditional Jewish interpretive practice, expanding and deepening that debate. Until now, the discussion has focused primarily on Midrashic interpretation; these essays balance the assumption of the openness of interpretation with an exploration of the concurrent restrictions on interpretation imposed by a covenant.
Ellen Spolsky is Associate Professor at Bar-Ilan University, Israel and Director of the Lechter Institute for Literary Research.
"This book is a solid contribution to the ongoing study of the relationship between traditional Jewish textuality and modern literary analysis. The quality of the scholarship is of a uniformly high level. Appropriately enough, the Harold Fisch essay that opens the collection is a hermeneutical masterpiece. I find the application of covenantal hermeneutics to a wide range of literary works—from Shakespeare to Philip Roth—to be surprisingly convincing. I also appreciate the interdisciplinary approach, given that some of the essays deal with philosophy, the sciences, and law, as well as biblical, rabbinic, and modern, literary hermeneutics. " — Norman Finkelstein, Xavier University