On the Origins of Judaism: An Exchange

In our Winter 2024 issue, Malka Simkovich took a deep dive into Yonatan Adler’s thought-provoking new book, The Origins of Judaism: An Archeological-Historical Reappraisal. Her review explored Adler’s argument that Judaism as we know it did not emerge until the Hasmonean era, and before then our ancestors were not, to use a modern phrase, Torah Observant. Simkovich highlight’s what she found to be the book’s successes, and criticizes what she sees to be Adler’s more radical readings about Judaism’s beginnings.

Our goal as a magazine is to create and invite dialogue from those who agree and disagree with one another, to build a respectful and productive space for conflicting ideas. That is why we’re very glad to publish an exchange between Yonatan Adler and Malka Simkovich about the book and the review. Both writers are passionate about their fields, confident in their ideas, and respectful of each other’s scholarship. We enjoyed reading their back-and-forth, and you will too. 


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