Interview Tonight on Talkline Radio Show

May 26th, 2010

Those in the New York area can hear Eyal and Gil speak about the book this evening between 9:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m (EDT) on WSNR 620 AM. Zev Brenner’s Talkline show, which is targeted to Orthodox Jewish listeners, can also be heard live on the Internet.

Congratulations, Eyal!

May 23rd, 2010

Shortly after becoming the proud parent of a new book, Eyal is today the proud father of a new boy (and fifth child)! Congratulations to Eyal, his wife Tzippy, and the entire Rav-Noy family!

Radio Days

May 19th, 2010

In the past few days, we’ve commenced our first radio interviews. Gil’s first two interviews are linked below, and we’ll try to get Eyal’s up as soon as we can. There’s been a lot of initial interest in this book on Christian radio, and that is reflected here. The first interview is on a Catholic show based in Erie, PA and the second one is an Evangelical Protestant show based in Houston.

The first one is worth hearing for the hilarious faux pas Gil made on his maiden interview. It’s right at the beginning and much laughter among both host and guest ensues. If you listen to the second interview you can hear just how seasoned Gil has become.

And as we contemplate the topic of the Torah’s authorship, we wish our Jewish readers a happy Shavuot holiday (which celebrates God’s — not J, E, P, D or R’s —  giving the Torah to the Jewish people).

What to Make of Jewish Religious Leaders Who Subscribe to the Documentary Hypothesis

May 17th, 2010

A just published article on our book quotes Eyal as saying that taking apart the documentary hypothesis can cause “a religious earthquake.” He goes on to say: “If we take the authorship of the Torah seriously, then the value system of the Torah will reassert itself.” Nowhere is this more true than in the non-Orthodox movements of Judaism, whose leadership is trained in the documentary hypothesis. Ordinary Jews who attend these synagogues and who revere the Torah would be shocked and upset to know their religious leaders do not ascribe the same authenticity and import to the Torah as they do.

So how is it that Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist rabbis embrace the documentary hypothesis? Why would they dedicate their lives to their religion if they believe in a theory that undermines Judaism’s foundational text?
These are good people, who are motivated to do good. Given this drive, it’s natural for them to have wanted to become Jewish leaders. In the largely secular world from which they come, they are very quickly introduced to the documentary hypothesis in their career training; (the documentary hypothesis is actually taught in their seminaries). Once the Torah is seen as the work of many men who invented the stories, and not the work of Moses, the respect accorded the Torah must necessarily change. 

Maybe some of the Torah’s values are out of date; maybe it espouses bad values in some instances. But these people want to do good. So they will substitute what they think is good for what comes from the Torah.

So the question becomes, where do you get your values from? The New York Times or the Torah? Readers of our book should get a copy into the hands of Reform and Conservative rabbis they know, and especially to young rabbinical students, so that they too tether their true desire to do good to a Torah that is not seen through the distortion of academic Bible criticism.

How Have Bible Critics Fallen For Bible Criticism?

May 6th, 2010

This is, sadly, a real life example of the Emperor wearing no clothes. Coming up through the academic system, clever PhD candidates learn from their mentors how to separate a J strand from an E strand. As a profession, they’ve invested hundreds of years into this system of thought with its arcane source-division rules, and no doctoral candidate’s going to get his dissertation through the committee by questioning its core assumptions. Frankly, you only get that far by internalizing the field’s core assumptions. Non-academics who see a unified document are seen as religious kooks.
But as any religious kook knows — or just anyone who grew up reading the Bible on its own terms, not as a Bible-critical jigsaw puzzle — the academics’ core assumptions are deeply flawed. For example, if the documentary hypothesis has a rock-bottom core assumption, it’s that different names for God imply different authors. But that’s just not so. “God” (“Elokim”) is a title and the name Y-H-V-H (“Hashem”) is God’s personal name. The early documentary hypothesists were ignorant of this, and everything that came after this is founded on this erroneous understanding.
Ultimately, these professors are engrossed in a thought trend that has been long lasting, but which will fade away. Homeric criticism has lost its force over time; the questioning of Shakespearean authorship has also passed its heyday. Bible criticism has had a longer run, perhaps because the Bible has been around so long or has had such an impact on society, but this field can no longer withstand the exposure of its collapsed logic.