The essays in this Festschrift honor James L. Kugel for his contribution to the field of biblical studies, in particular early biblical interpretation. The essays are organized in three roughly chronological categories. The first group treats some part of the Tanakh, ranging from the creation and Abraham stories of Genesis to the evolving conception of sacred writing in the prophetic literature. The second set of essays focuses chiefly on the literature of Second Temple Judaism, including Qumran and extra-biblical literature. The last group concerns the scriptural imagination at work in rabbinic literature, in Milton's Paradise Lost, in the anti-semitic work of Gerhard Kittel, up to the present in a treatment of Levinas and the Talmud.
This article explores the significance of the posture of full prostration by the Maskil that appears uniquely in association with him in the Hodayot. Using theoretical frameworks from ritual studies and embodied cognition, as well as traditional philological work, I argue that the Maskil’s prostration summons the cultural memory of Moses as chief intercessor. This embodied technique serves not only to form the self of the leader in relation to the Yaḥad, but shapes the community that worships with him in the gathered assembly.