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Biblical Law, Development

Do Biblical Laws Reflect a Tribal Society?

Was Israel ever a tribal society? Although some scholars accept the Bible’s depiction of Israel’s pre-monarchic society as a confederation of tribes, others have dismissed this as ahistorical. Can a study of biblical law help us resolve this question?

Prof.

Rami Arav

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The Evolution and Innovation of Pesach Sheni

Dr. Rabbi

Stephen Garfinkel

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The Prohibition to Carry on Shabbat: Historical and Exegetical Development

The Sabbath laws offers an instructive model for how Jews in antiquity engaged in creative reinterpretation of biblical texts in order to expand their limited application and to ensure that their customary practice comported with their sacred texts. Using the prohibition against carrying as formulated in Second Temple period texts and rabbinic literature as an example, this analysis traces the history of this law as well as the strategies by which later authors exegetically engage and transform earlier textual material.[1] 

Dr.

Alex P. Jassen

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Judaism Without Sinai?

The Sinai theophany is virtually absent from the Bible outside of the Torah and the very late book of Nehemiah. This absence reflects an alternative tradition that sees Israel’s laws as deriving from multiple small revelations from prophets throughout history. 

Dr. Rabbi

David Frankel

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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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