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Bekhor Shor

Moses Strikes the Rock in Exodus and Numbers: One Story or Two?

In Numbers 20, when the Israelites are without water, God tells Moses to get water from a stone, which he does by striking it, and is punished. Yet in Exodus, Moses does the same thing and the story ends positively. What is the relationship between these two accounts? Remarkably, R. Joseph Bekhor Shor says that they are two accounts of the same story.

Prof.

Jonathan Jacobs

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The Double Quail Narratives and Bekhor Shor’s Innovative Reading

Exodus 16 and Numbers 11 each describe God miraculously bringing quail to the hungry Israelites in the wilderness. What is the relationship between these two accounts?

Prof.

Jonathan Jacobs

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"Are Trees of the Field Human?"

Deuteronomy 20:19 forbids the chopping down of fruit trees during war-time, and offers the cryptic explanation כי האדם עץ השדה (ki ha-adam etz hasadeh), but what does this mean?[1]

Dr.

Shai Secunda

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Why the Torah Prohibits Incest

Although incest taboos are found in the majority of cultures, medieval Jewish thinkers found this to be an insufficient explanation for the Torah’s prohibitions. 

Prof. Rabbi

Marty Lockshin

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The Challenges of Ancient Near Eastern Antecedents to the Torah

Thoughts on Torah Min HaShamayim

Dr. Rabbi

Michael Harris

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Can a False Prophet Perform Miracles?

Deuteronomy 13 discusses the case of a false prophet who does not have a message from God, but advocates worshiping other gods. Oddly enough, the false prophet can successfully perform miracles, or is able to predict the future.  How is this possible?

Prof. Rabbi

Marty Lockshin

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Eglah Arufah: A Ritual Response to an Unsolved Murder

The law of the eglah arufah (the heifer whose neck is broken) has puzzled both traditional and modern commentators. What is it meant to accomplish? How does it work?

Prof. Rabbi

Marty Lockshin

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The Torah Is Not an Allegory

In a polemical response to Christian and Jewish allegorical interpretation of the Torah’s laws, Bekhor Shor writes that just as God speaks to Moses “clearly and without riddles” (Num 12:8), so too the Torah is clear and means what it says, and should not be interpreted allegorically.[1]

Prof. Rabbi

Shaye J. D. Cohen

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The Prohibition of Meat and Milk: Its Origins in the Text

A bold interpretation of the verse “do not cook a kid in its mother’s milk,” from medieval commentator Bekhor Shor (12th cent. CE) leads to an intriguing academic explanation of inner-biblical exegesis charting the development of the mitzvah. 

Dr. Rabbi

Zev Farber

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