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Each Person A Tree: A Short History of a Tall Metaphor

Dr. Shai Secunda / February 18, 2020

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כי האדם עץ השדה - Over the past few years, we have become increasingly aware of the deep and complicated relationship between humans and the environment. The questions recently raised are nothing new, though they burn ever urgently. Following the twists and turns of the interpretation of one Biblical phrase - “are trees of the field human” (Deuteronomy 20:19), we will explore the multivalent wisdom of Torah and its interpretation, as Parshanim struggled to make sense of a difficult verse and a thorny set of real world problems. The Renee and Alexander Bohm Memorial Lecture is sponsored by their grandchildren, Elissa Shay Ordan and Daniel J. Ordan.




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Dr. Shai Secunda

Shai Secunda occupies the Jacob Neusner chair in Judaism at Bard College and is a core faculty member at the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education. He is the author of The Iranian Talmud: Reading the Bavli in Sasanian Iran (Philadelphia, 2014), and writes regularly for the Jewish Review of Books on Jewish scholarship and culture.


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