'If the text had not been written, it could not be said'

Moshe Halbertal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This chapter explores the inner workings and implications of an unusual rabbinic locution. What at first appears like a simple hedge, when read more deeply, offers profound theological insights in which God is understood counter-intuitively as a slave, a wife, and a victim. While the chapter uncovers the yearning that Israel felt for God and the temple, it reveals the rich and complex emotions that link God to Israel.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationScriptural Exegesis
Subtitle of host publicationThe Shapes of Culture and the Religious Imagination Essays in Honour of Michael Fishbane
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191709678
ISBN (Print)9780199206575
StatePublished - 1 May 2009

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© John Wilson Foster 2009. All rights reserved.


  • Alienation
  • Anthropomorphisms
  • Confusion
  • God
  • Intimacy
  • Israel
  • Rabbinic locution
  • Temple


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