Pamela Barmash

​Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible and Biblical Hebrew
PhD, Harvard University
research interests:
  • History of Law
  • Religion of the Ancient Near East
  • History of Scriptural Interpretation
View All People

contact info:

mailing address:

  • WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY
  • CB 1121
  • ONE BROOKINGS DR.
  • ST. LOUIS, MO 63130-4899
image of book cover

Pamela Barmash's research interests include biblical law and the relationship between law and literature.

Barmash received her B.A. from Yale, rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary, and Ph.D. from Harvard. In her academic scholarship, she addresses issues of law and justice in her book Homicide in the Biblical World  (2005, Cambridge University Press) and shows how Jews have transformed the story of the Exodus and the celebration of Passover to meet changing needs and concerns in Exodus in the Jewish Experience: Echoes and Reverberations (2015, Lexington Books). She is currently finishing a monograph on the Laws of Hammurabi.

Exodus in the Jewish Experience: Echoes and Reverberations

Exodus in the Jewish Experience: Echoes and Reverberations

Exodus in the Jewish Experience: Echoes and Reverberations investigates how the Exodus has been, and continues to be, a crucial source of identity for both Jews and Judaism. It explores how the Exodus has functioned as the primary model from which Jews have created theological meaning and historical self-understanding. It probes how and why the Exodus has continued to be vital to Jews throughout the unfolding of the Jewish experience. As an interdisciplinary work, it incorporates contributions from a range of Jewish Studies scholars in order to explore the Exodus from a variety of vantage points. It addresses such topics as: the Jewish reception of the biblical text of Exodus; the progressive unfolding of the Exodus in the Jewish interpretive tradition; the religious expression of the Exodus as ritual in Judaism; and the Exodus as an ongoing lens of self-understanding for both the State of Israel and contemporary Judaism. The essays are guided by a common goal: to render comprehensible how the re-envisioning of Exodus throughout the unfolding of the Jewish experience has enabled it to function for thousands of years as the central motif for the Jewish people.