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TORTUROUS AMBIVALENCE: Judaic Struggles with Torture



A surprising lack of consensus exists among contemporary Jewish scholars about Judaism's position vis-à-vis torture. Some claim that Judaism condones torture while others insist that Judaism condemns it. These diverging opinions on such a troubling practice suggest an ambivalence deep within the Judaic textual tradition about torturing bodies. This brief essay critiques both perspectives for twisting the textual tradition and offers some preliminary suggestions for a more robust Judaic approach to torture.