Claussen publishes article on ‘vulnerable strangers’

Religious Studies Professor Geoffrey Claussen's new article appears in the journal Studies in Judaism, Humanities, and the Social Sciences.

Geoffrey Claussen, Lori and Eric Sklut Scholar in Jewish Studies and associate professor and chair of the Department of Religious Studies
Geoffrey Claussen, Lori and Eric Sklut Scholar in Jewish Studies and associate professor and chair of the Department of Religious Studies, has published an article titled “Two Orthodox Approaches to Vulnerability and the Exodus Narrative: The Stranger in the Writings of Irving Greenberg and Meir Kahane.” The article appears in the latest issue of the journal Studies in Judaism, Humanities, and the Social Sciences.

The paper considers two starkly different interpretations within Orthodox Judaism of the biblical commandments that because of “having been strangers in the land of Egypt,” Jews should love and not oppress vulnerable strangers. Claussen analyzes the interpretation of a liberal Orthodox rabbi, Irving Greenberg, as well as the interpretation of Rabbi Meir Kahane, a childhood friend of Greenberg’s who developed a supremacist and militant form of Orthodoxy.

The paper concludes by discussing ways in which the ideas of both figures appear in contemporary debates regarding the rights of refugees, immigrants, and minority populations in Israel and the United States.

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