Simchat Torah

The Origins of Torah Study

A Post-Destruction model of Jewish Identity: Reading and studying Torah as if our life depended on it.

Dr.

Jacob L. Wright

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Torah: Deuteronomy's Version of Wisdom for Israel

Deuteronomy reflects influence from ancient Wisdom traditions, such as those in the book of Proverbs and in other ancient Near Eastern literature. Yet Deuteronomy presents Torah as Israel’s own Wisdom teaching. This serves both to elevate Torah and to insist that it be in dialogue with the broader, non-Israelite world.

Ethan Schwartz

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Why Is the Torah Divided into Five Books?

The division of the Torah into five books is not mentioned anywhere in the Bible, yet this division may be ancient and inherent. Already in Second Temple times, Philo speaks of it, and by the early first millenium C.E., the Torah became known by the Greek name, Pentateuch, literally, “five scrolls.” Is this division due to practical, thematic, or symbolic considerations?

Dr.

Elaine Goodfriend

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A Bible Scholar's Simchat Torah

The Joy of Unraveling the Torah’s Mysteries

Prof.

Baruch J. Schwartz

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Knowing My Beloved: Rebuilding My Path to Torah with Critical Scholarship

My relationship with Torah began with the romance of mysticism but then gave way to skepticism and disillusionment. To my surprise, it was academic scholarship of the Torah that brought back the spark and helped foster a deeper, more mature relationship.

David Bar-Cohn

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"Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better": Joshua as Moses

Prof.

Carl S. Ehrlich

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In the Beginning There Is the Question

The bridge that enables the annual traversal from the ending of the Torah back to its beginning is the anticipation of new questions.

Prof.

James A. Diamond

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