In the Margins of Catastrophe: The Prequel and Postscript to the Book of Eicha
Rabbi Joe Wolfson / June 27, 2019
In this class, our character of choice is the city of Jerusalem. Rather than studying Megillat Eicha, the classic text of destruction, we instead look at the before and after. We begin with the historical background and context to the fall of Jerusalem in 586 B.C.E., examining the 'Jerusalem myth', the notion that had taken hold over the previous centuries that the city could never fall, and then move to the post-script, studying the midrashic commentary to Eicha, which subverts, undermines, and rewrites the Megilla to replace themes of destruction and despair with ones of comfort and continuity.
Rabbi Joe Wolfson
Rabbi Joe Wolfson grew up in London and spent ten years studying, working, and loving life in Israel. He studied at Yeshivat Har Etzion and Bet Morasha, through which he received hissemikha from the Israeli Chief Rabbinate. He thought he was going into politics and did degrees at Cambridge, where he was president of the Jewish Society and UCL. He decided to go into Jewish education and has taught texts on four continents primarily as a faculty member of London School of Jewish Studies. Beyond music, good books, cycling and HBO, Rabbi Joe is passionate about the way in which texts link up to larger issues of Jewish identity. He has worked in areas as diverse as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, religious-secular relations in Israel, and European Jewish communities.