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Parshanut and Scholarship

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Is There Such a Thing as Written Torah?
Is There Such a Thing as Written Torah?
A lecture and discussion with Benjamin Sommer about his book Revelation and Authority: Sinai in Jewish Scripture and Tradition (Finalist, National Jewish Book Award; Finalist, Jordan Schnitzer Award from AJS;, and a recommended book in religion at Publishers Weekly).
Brother Rival / Sister Enemy: Literary and Kabbalistic Readings of Intimate Antagonism in the Bible (part 1 of a 6 session course)
Brother Rival / Sister Enemy: Literary and Kabbalistic Readings of Intimate Antagonism in the Bible (part 1 of a 6 session course)
Click here to listen to the other class sessions. The Bible is filled with tales of enmity between intimates, rivals who are literal or figurative twins. We will look at the literary dimensions of the biblical narratives and will also look at the stories in relation to their interpretation and adaptation by the kabbalistic tradition, particularly by the Zohar, the central work of kabbalah. Though the assumptions that underlie modern literary analysis and kabbalistic mythology are quite different, we will find an uncanny convergence between their imaginative receptions of the biblical stories. Co-taught by Nathaniel Berman and David Silber.
Commentary and Controversy: The Boundaries of Biblical Interpretation
Commentary and Controversy: The Boundaries of Biblical Interpretation
In this shiur we'll discuss recent Israeli controversies about the limits of legitimate biblical interpretation, and study selected biblical texts and commentaries as case studies.
Dancing with God and Man: The Life and Leadership of Moshe Rabbeinu
Dancing with God and Man: The Life and Leadership of Moshe Rabbeinu
Moshe, as presented in the Torah, is an enigmatic figure. He sometimes seems so sensitive to the needs of the people while at other times he is so far removed from them that it is hard to imagine how he can lead. We will follow his path to gain a better picture of him, and what paradigm of leadership he represents.
The Contribution of Non-Jewish Biblical Scholarship to Jewish Biblical Scholarship
The Contribution of Non-Jewish Biblical Scholarship to Jewish Biblical Scholarship
An exploration of the ways in which Jewish practices have affected, and have been affected by, Judaism's surrounding cultures.
The Bible’s Earliest Interpreters Philo and Qumran (part 1 of a 2-session class)
The Bible’s Earliest Interpreters Philo and Qumran (part 1 of a 2-session class)
Click here to listen to part 2. How was the Torah understood by Jews of the Second Temple Period? What do the surviving texts of the period reveal about ancient modes of biblical interpretation? We will study the works of Philo and the relevant parts of the Dead Sea Scrolls related to Deuteronomy 17 (about kingship, priesthood and judicial administration) as a case study.  
Parshanut Personalities: Parashat HaShavuaThrough the Eyes of Midrash
Parshanut Personalities: Parashat HaShavuaThrough the Eyes of Midrash
Join us for an innovative approach to text study that provides the unique opportunity to look at Parashat HaShavua through the eyes of Midrashists, informed by who they were as individuals.
Parshanut Personalities: Parashat HaShavua through the Eyes of Commentaries- Ramban
Parshanut Personalities: Parashat HaShavua through the Eyes of Commentaries- Ramban
Come explore the world of parshanut as it is applied to the weekly Torah portion. Each class will focus on the parasha from the perspective of one commentator, his methodology, and historical context. Gain a better understanding of a number of different commentators and a deeper appreciation of learning Tanakh with commentary.
Parshanut Personalities: Parashat HaShavua through the Eyes of Commentaries- Arbabanel
Parshanut Personalities: Parashat HaShavua through the Eyes of Commentaries- Arbabanel
Come explore the world of parshanut as it is applied to the weekly Torah portion. Each class will focus on the parasha from the perspective of one commentator, his methodology, and historical context. Gain a better understanding of a number of different commentators and a deeper appreciation of learning Tanakh with commentary.
Parshanut Personalities: Parashat HaShavua through the Eyes of Commentaries- Rashbam
Parshanut Personalities: Parashat HaShavua through the Eyes of Commentaries- Rashbam
Come explore the world of parshanut as it is applied to the weekly Torah portion. Each class will focus on the parasha from the perspective of one commentator, his methodology, and historical context. Gain a better understanding of a number of different commentators and a deeper appreciation of learning Tanakh with commentary.
Top Ten or First Ten: What’s So Special About the 10 Commandments?
Top Ten or First Ten: What’s So Special About the 10 Commandments?
Everyone is familiar with the 10 Commandments, but why are these 10 laws chosen to be inscribed on the Tablets of the Covenant?
The Methodology for Studying a Book: A Do-it-Yourself Guide
The Methodology for Studying a Book: A Do-it-Yourself Guide
Even though thematic study of the Bible has become increasingly popular, most students only hear the conclusions of great Bible scholars yet rarely undertake that study on their own. We will introduce a methodology for how a student can uncover the themes of the various books of the Bible.
Comparative Parshanut in the Work of Nechama Leibowitz
Comparative Parshanut in the Work of Nechama Leibowitz
Nechama Leibowitz dedicated her pedagogical career to the pursuit of the true meaning of Jewish texts. In this podcast we will explore some examples of her interpretive approach.
Nechama Leibowitz’s Use of Non-Traditional Sources in Her Work: Ideology and Practice
Nechama Leibowitz’s Use of Non-Traditional Sources in Her Work: Ideology and Practice
Jacob and Esau in Jewish Exegesis
Jacob and Esau in Jewish Exegesis
An exploration of the brotherly tension between Jacob and Esau as it rearises throughout Jewish history and rabbinic literature.
The Oldest Commentary on Genesis: Book of Jubilees
The Oldest Commentary on Genesis: Book of Jubilees
If God rests on the seventh day, who's in charge? Where was Avraham when commanded lekh lekha (go forth)? Who wrote the Book of Jubilees? We will study these and other issues in our overview of the Book of Jubilees.
A Literary Approach to Bible Study
A Literary Approach to Bible Study
We will examine biblical text with an eye toward understanding the implications of the literary approach.