Study the Torah with Academic Scholarship

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Adam & Eve

The Secret of the Garden of Eden: Knowledge or Immortality

YHWH advises Adam and Eve not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge but does not disclose that the reason they will die is because they will lose access to the Tree of Life. YHWH does not allow humans to become gods, both wise and immortal (Genesis 3:22), and thus expels them from the garden. Consequently, the woman must bear children to perpetuate the species, and the man must till the earth to produce food.  

Dr.

Joseph Ryan Kelly

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What Really Happened in the Garden of Eden

The primordial man and woman may believe they ate from the Tree of Knowledge, but they actually ate from the Life-Giving Tree. This causes a chain reaction leading to the emergence of sexuality, procreation, and continuity for the human species.

Prof.

Jack M. Sasson

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Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden: An Etiology for the Human Condition

The expulsion from the garden of Eden is not a story about human error or sin. It is the inevitable result of the human desire for knowledge.

Prof.

Robert S. Kawashima

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How the Forbidden Fruit Became an Apple

Wheat, grapes, citrons, figs, pomegranates, and olives have all been presented as the fruit that Adam and Eve ate, yet the apple, which only entered the scene in the 12th century C.E., became the most popular candidate.

Prof.

Azzan Yadin-Israel

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A Relationship with God Is Not Enough: Adam Needed Eve

Human perfection cannot be achieved only through intellectual and spiritual development, but requires companionship and physical intimacy.

Prof.

Kenneth Seeskin

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Black People in Jewish Tradition: Eliminating Racism Requires Honesty

Like many traditions with a long historical pedigree, Judaism has inherited its share of texts with racial bias. Failure to acknowledge this is one reason for prevalent conscious and subconscious racist views that can be found in the American Orthodox Jewish community—the community of which I am a part—which sometimes reveal themselves in overt statements and actions.

Prof.

Meylekh (PV) Viswanath

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Feminist Biblical Interpretation: History and Goals

Feminist biblical interpretation is more than simply paying attention to texts about women. It is also a means of achieving a more accurate understanding of life in ancient Israel and of the composition of the Bible.

Dr.

Sarah Shectman

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Does a Man Need to Leave His Parents to Cling to His Wife?

Prof.

Ziony Zevit

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Attaining and Forfeiting Adam’s Immortality at Sinai

The golden calf is a Jewish version of the “fall” of Adam and Eve in Christian tradition.

Prof.

Joel Kaminsky

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Primeval Coats

Clothing, beginning with Joseph’s coat, functions both as a marker of distinction and as the source of undoing in the Joseph story. Pirkei de-Rabbi Eliezer adds layers of history to this coat: it is the original garments made from the sloughed skin of the serpent that God gave to Adam and Eve, which was then worn by Nimrod, Esau, and Jacob. Midrash Tanchuma claims it to be the (future) High Priest’s tunic.

Prof.

Rachel Adelman

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The Immortal Myth of Adam and Eve

Prof.

Shawna Dolansky

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Non-Gender Equality at Creation

The “Other” Benefits of Partners

Prof. Rabbi

Tamara Cohn Eskenazi

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Rosh Hashanah: Celebrating the Creation of the Individual or the Community?

A New Appreciation of “Adam the First” 

Prof. Rabbi

David Frankel

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Gender Equality at Creation

A methodologically rigorous reading of the account of the Woman's creation reveals a fundamentally egalitarian view of the sexes that is both nuanced and psychologically sensitive.

Dr.

Raanan Eichler

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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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