Is James Kugel Orthodox?

James Kugel is a famous Bible scholar who takes unorthodox approaches to understanding the origins of the Torah.

Dr. Marc B. Shapiro says in a 2007 lecture for Torah in Motion on Rabbi David Zvi Hoffman: “The idea that the Torah is a patchwork of different ideas from different time periods reflecting different personalities. For an example of this, see James Kugel’s recent book. I know him. I was his TA (teacher’s assistant) for two years. He wears a big black yarmulke. He’s shomer Torah mitzvot (observes the laws of the Torah). They all call him Orthodox but if Orthodoxy has anything to do with traditional dogmas regarding Torah, he obviously isn’t. If Orthodoxy means shomer Torah mitzvot, he is, as is [Umberto] Cassuto, Zecharias Frankel, Louis Finkelstein.”

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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