"The Terrifying Thing Donald Trump and the Story of Noah Have in Common"

Op-ed originally published in The Forward, November 2, 2016



“Donald Trump likes to get away with things. The Hebrew Bible has a word for “getting away with” these little assaults: hamas. Hamas means violence, but a special kind of violence. It means that a person can injure another without paying the consequences, without acknowledging that a crime has been committed." Read the whole article.

"Visual Intertextuality: Drawing Comparisons in The Wings of the Dove"

Scholarly article originally published in The Henry James Review Vol. 31 No. 1 (Winter 2010).

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This article “will suggest fundamental analogies among writing, weaving and the communication of neurons in the brain...I wanted to document and explore the parallel constructions, the syntacti­cal similarities, I was seeing between Wings, the Hebrew Bible, and Hamlet. As soon as Densher tells Kate of "his German university," I saw Hamlet at Wittenberg. I will often see a single word in common between works or within works form invisible strands linking the disparate texts. The rabbis have used this method to analyze texts for two millennia. Michael Fishbane calls it "the exegetical imagination" James himself insists on the luxury of attention in the preface to Wings.”  Read the whole article.  

"Fire / Men"

Scholarly article with collage originally published in Judaism: A Quarterly Journal of Jewish Life and Thought Vol. 51, No. 1 (Winter 2002)



"Abraham thinks God has told him to sacrifice his son, Isaac.   God has told Abraham to make an oh’lah, a word that can mean either “burnt offering” or “go up” the mountain.  Abraham interprets the word to mean that God would be pleased by the odor of Isaac’s burnt flesh.   The seminal commentator on the Hebrew Bible, Rashi, in the 11th century, wrote that God meant:  “Abraham,…I did not say to you ‘Slay him,’ but ‘Bring him up.’ You have brought him up, bring him down.’  That is, Abraham misinterpreted what God said when God said, Oh’lah.  One could ask if Abraham misinterpreted God because he (unconsciously) wanted to kill Isaac.   In that case, in each generation, we can confront our wish to sacrifice human beings, even our beloved children, and burn that desire.  Read the whole article. 

"Contrapuntal Painting: Art as Visual Conversation

Scholarly article originally published in The Radcliffe Quarterly, March 1992

Judith seligson, "harvard Yard and racliffe quad."

Judith seligson, "harvard Yard and racliffe quad."


"Many of my paintings are diminutive, intimate, three to five inches in either direction. Rather than physically overpowering (as many men are to women), they suggest a more interactive relationship with the viewer. Smallness in art may be coming under a more favorable star, but in my lifetime size has mostly been a directly proportional measure of importance and, though no one would admit it, quality." Read the whole article.