Eye for an Eye for an Eye: The Poetics of Jewish Law

February 7, 2024 Phoenix $0.00 - $18.00

A hybrid event (in-person and virtual) by Rabbi David Kasher


We often divide the Torah into two categories: narrative and law. But the laws of the Torah themselves are often written in poetic language, inviting us to use the tools of literary criticism to analyze them. That poetic quality is prominently on display in one of the Torah’s most (in)famous legal formulations: An Eye for an Eye. A careful literary reading of this law in the Torah can reveal hidden layers of meaning.


Rabbi David Kasher serves as the Director of Hadar West Coast. He grew up bouncing back and forth between Berkeley and Brooklyn, hippies and Hassidim – and has been trying to synthesize these two worlds ever since. After graduating from Wesleyan University in 1998, he studied for several years in yeshivot in Israel before heading off to rabbinical school at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah. He was ordained there in 2007, and returned to Northern California, where he became the Senior Jewish Educator at Berkeley Hillel. He was part of the founding team at Kevah, a non-profit specializing in Adult Jewish Education, where he worked from 2012 to 2018, and developed the Kevah Teaching Fellowship. He has served on the faculty of Berkeley Law, the Wexner Heritage Program, Reboot, and the BINA Secular Yeshiva, and also taught courses at Pardes, SVARA, The Hartman Institute, AJR and HUC. Rabbi Kasher is a teacher of nearly all forms of classical Jewish literature, but his greatest passion is Torah commentary, and he spent five years producing the weekly ParshaNut blog and podcast exploring the riches of the genre.

In 2018, he began work as an Associate Rabbi at IKAR, a non-denominational spiritual community in Los Angeles, where he teaches a weekly parashah class and has a new parashah podcast called Best Book Ever. He published an essay, ‘Eating Our Way from Justice to Holiness,’ in Kashrut and Jewish Food Ethics (Academic Studies Press, 2019), completed a translation of Avot d’Rabbi Natan for Sefaria, and is the author of ParshaNut: 54 Journeys into the World of Torah Commentary.

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Fact Sheet
Wednesday, February 7, 2024, 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Temple Chai
4645 E Marilyn Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85032
Organized By
$ VBM Member
$ Temple Chai Member

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