There are notes written by the biblical commentator Rabbi Moshe David (Umberto) Cassuto, relating to the Book of Judges Chapter 3 which tells the story of Ehud, son of Gera. Cassuto’s handwritten note gives us a glimpse into his methodology as a commentator and his quest for the literal meaning of the text. His notes are written on whatever must have been at hand: a receipt. At the bottom of the page is the word “Iter,” which is used to describe Judge Ehud ben Gera. Cassuto is trying to understand the meaning of the word by looking at other places in the Bible where it appears.
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Moshe David (Umberto) Cassuto – Moshe David (Umberto) Cassuto (1883–1951) was an Italian historian, a biblical and Semitic scholar. He was born in Florence to a prominent Jewish family, became a rabbi and scholar, and taught in many universities throughout Italy. In 1938, like all of the Jewish professors in Italy, Cassuto was fired from the University of Rome because of the newly implemented racial laws. A life-long Zionist, Cassuto accepted the position of chair of the Bible Department at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where he served from 1939 until his death in 1951. Cassuto is known for studying Ugaritic texts and archaeology, comparing Ugaritic literature to the Bible, and rejecting the Documentary Hypothesis.