Rabbi David H. Aaron, Ph.D.

Professor of Hebrew Bible and History of Interpretation

Contact Information

school/program: Pines School of Graduate Studies, Rabbinical School (US)
academic field: Bible and Cognate Studies
campus: Cincinnati

Rabbi ​​David H. Aaron, Ph.D., has been Professor of Hebrew Bible and History of Interpretation at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati since 1998. He also served as Co-Director of Hebrew Union College Press from 2010-20. He earned a doctorate from the department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University, and he was ordained as a rabbi in 1983 from HUC-JIR/Cincinnati. Prior to coming to HUC-JIR, Aaron taught Hebrew Bible and Rabbinic Literature at Wellesley College from 1991-98 and Biblical Studies at Boston’s Hebrew College from 1987-91. 

Professor Aaron is the author of Biblical Ambiguities: Metaphor, Semantics, and Divine Imagery (Brill, 2001); Etched in Stone: The Emergence of the Decalogue (2006); Genesis Ideology: Essays on the Uses and Meanings of Stories (2017); and Subversive Principles: Reflections on Mishnah Avot 1-2 (2022). As a fellow at the Frankel Institute of the University of Michigan, Aaron began work on a study that blends theories of complexity and pan-computationalism with a philosophy of causality in history: Approaching Daybreak: On Complexity and Historicity. This work should be completed during an upcoming sabbatical in 2023.

Aaron’s scholarly articles have appeared in a variety of journals, including Harvard Theological Review, Journal of the Academy of Religion, The Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy, Approaches to Ancient Judaism, Hebrew Union College Annual, and AJS Review. He is a contributor to the Brill Encyclopedia of Midrash (2005); the Blackwell Companion to Judaism (2004); The HarperCollins SBL Study Bible; and the Encyclopedia of the Hebrew Language and Linguistics (2010). 

In addition to more traditional scholarly writing, Aaron has written a play, Diderot & Talia, about the French Enlightenment figure, Denis Diderot; an opera libretto, Qohelet & Dragon; and a novel, Translating the Essence of Piety (now under review).