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A Reply to My Respondents, and My Friends

Beyond the distinctive insights offered by each respondent, the overall result is fascinating, not least because the four responses wind up unintentionally but profoundly disagreeing with one another.

Response
June 26 2013
About the author

Leon R. Kass is currently Addie Clark Harding Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago. He is the Hertog Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. A physician, scientist, educator, and public intellectual, he served in 2001-2005 as chairman of the President’s Council on Bioethics.


I thank Michael Fishbane, Peter Berkowitz, Gilbert Meilaender, and Meir Soloveichik for their generous treatment of my essay, for their serious engagement with its themes, and for their most interesting comments from which I have learned much—even where, as I will point out, I may still disagree with them. I am flattered by their kind remarks and, even more, gratified by the fact that they have for the most part not quarreled with my interpretation of the Decalogue. As it happens, I have known all four men for a long time (three of them for over twenty years), and I have worked with all of them in various contexts. It is thus more to friendship than to my essay’s merits that I attribute their gentle and solicitous ways of dealing with me and with it. For these double gifts of friendship I am most sincerely grateful.

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More about: Abraham, Bible, Biblical criticism, Leon Kass, Moses, Tanakh, Ten Commandments, Torah, Torah MiSinai