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Biblical Polemic

The Depiction of Jeroboam and Hadad as Moses-like Saviors

Set against the Pharaonic Solomon, Jeroboam frees Israel from servitude and founds the Northern Kingdom. Hadad plays a similar role on behalf of the Edomites. Why are these two “rebels” depicted as heroes?

Dr.

Tzvi Novick

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The Tabernacle: A Post-Exilic Polemic Against Rebuilding the Temple

The Priestly Torah discusses the Tabernacle at extraordinary length, emphasizing its portability. Nothing in P ever says this structure was meant to be temporary. P’s Tabernacle was not foreshadowing the Temple, but was a polemic against Haggai and Zechariah’s agitation to build the Second Temple.

Dr. Hacham

Isaac S. D. Sassoon

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Reading the Golden Calves of Sinai and Northern Israel in Context

The story of the Golden Calf overtly describes a religious sin in the wilderness generation, but aspects of the story also evoke the (later) behavior of King Jeroboam I of Israel. Ancient readers would have understood these resonances as having political ramifications.

Prof.

Frederick E. Greenspahn

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The Missed Opportunity for Intermarriage and Conversion in the Story of Dinah

An intertextual reading of the Dinah story in Genesis 34, together with Deuteronomy 7 and Ezra-Nehemiah, highlights how it polemicizes against marriage with non-Israelites, even those willing to take on Israelite practices. Some rabbinic counter-readings of the text, however, express a more positive notion of incorporating converts to Judaism into the community. 

Naomi Graetz

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Understanding Idolatry

How the theologians of the ancient Near East made sense of idolatry through the ritual dedication of the statues that made them into gods.

Dr.

Uri Gabbay

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