In the first part of this course we will introduce students to the basic periods, genres, nomenclature and personalities of Rabbinic Literature. In the second part we will take up an intensive reading of Mishnah in order to appreciate the Paradigm shift thinking which the Sages used to create this first document of Rabbinic Literature. This will also be essential training in reading rabbinic literature in the original Hebrew. By the end of this course students must demonstrate a reasonable level of competence in reading Mishnaic Hebrew. Prerequisite: Foundations of Jewish Practice
(Former title: Breaking the Sefer Barrier) The course will consist mostly of reading rabbinic text in preparation and in class, translating words, expanding abbreviations, and understanding the references (as well as the content). As a final assignment each student will be assigned a text to point and translate. This course can be taken as many times as necessary in order to fulfill the Hebrew reading and comprehension requirement.
An in-depth exploration of the bewildering, heart-wrenching and profound book of Job. The text will be encountered in Hebrew and in English, focusing on the deep questions:
How are we to understand Torah today? The best way to begin is to approach Torah “on its own terms.” This course brings the learner back in time to explore as much as we can know of the original meaning of ancient practices and ideas that may puzzle us as moderns.
Areas covered: nouns, study recognition and translation of the seven binyanim and weak (irregular verbs) verbs and other topics. The course employs texts from Genesis, parashiot ha-shavuah, and siddur. The goals of these courses are a solid grounding in translation and interpretation of classical Hebrew texts.
This course will focus on the external forces (political, cultural, and philosophic) that we know as “the Enlightenment” and the various responses that emerged from the forces of modernity.