Francis Landy [+]
University of Alberta
The Hebrew Bible is full of birds, which, like all symbols, hover between the real and the imaginary. I explore the full range avian imagery in the Hebrew Bible, from eagles as a metaphor for YHWH, to angelic creatures, to the story of creation, and to birds as metaphors for death and for love. Two wild birds figure in the purification ritual of the leper, one going free, one slaughtered. The ostrich in Job is stupid, absurd, and triumphant, its laughter exemplifying its freedom. The essay is dedicated to Willi, a wise owl.