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Purity: From Vayikra to Today



Dr. Tammy Jacobowitz, Rabbi Jon Kelsen, Dr. Aaron Koller / May 19, 2017

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Why does the Torah, and especially the book of Vayikra, devote so much space to tumah v’taharah (impurity and purity)? What meanings do these core concepts hold, both within the context of Vayikra as well as to religious Jewish life today? Join us as our panelists lead an exploration of these fundamental questions. “Yavo tehorim v’yaasku b’taharah”– let the pure come and engage with purity (Lev Rabbah 7:2)

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Dr. Tammy Jacobowitz

Dr. Tammy Jacobowitz is the chair of the Bible department at the SAR High School, and is the founding director of Makom B'Siach at SAR, an immersive adult education program for parents. She has taught Bible for the Wexner Heritage program, and she is also an adjunct faculty member of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, where she teaches the Pedagogy of Tanakh. She is a graduate of the Drisha Institute's Scholars Circle, and completed her PhD in Midrash at the University of Pennsylvania in 2010 as a Wexner Graduate fellow. Dr. Jacobowitz is currently at work on a parsha book, geared towards parents reading to young children. She lives in Teaneck, NJ with her husband, Prof. Ronnie Perelis, and their four children. Click here to access podcasts recorded by Tammy Jacobowitz.


 

Rabbi Jon Kelsen

Jon Kelsen is the Interim Dean at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah. He was Rosh Kollel of the Drisha Kollel and adjunct faculty at the Pardes Institute. He received ordination from Rabbis Daniel Landes and Zalman Nehemiah Goldberg, holds an MA in Jewish Civilization from Hebrew University, and is currently pursuing doctoral studies in Education and Jewish Studies at New York University as a Wexner Graduate Fellow. Click here to access podcasts recorded by Jon Kelsen.


 

Dr. Aaron Koller

Aaron Koller is associate professor of Near Eastern and Jewish Studies at Yeshiva University, where he is chair of the Robert M. Beren Department of Jewish Studies, and also Core Faculty and Coordinator of Adult Educational Programming at Drisha. His most recent book was Esther in Ancient Jewish Thought (Cambridge University Press, 2014), and his next book, Unbinding Isaac, on the ‘aḳedah in religious philosophy, is forthcoming, but he usually works on Semitic languages and linguistics. Aaron has served as a visiting professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and held research fellowships at the Albright Institute for Archaeological Research and the Hartman Institute. He lives in Queens with his wife, Shira Hecht-Koller, and their children.


 

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