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Circumcision

Why Didn’t the Israelites Circumcise in the Wilderness?

Joshua circumcises the Israelites only upon their entry to the land.

Dr. Rabbi

David Frankel

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Mother and Child: Postpartum Defilement and Circumcision

Dr.

Tzvi Novick

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Circumcision as Purification

Second Temple period interpreters understood circumcision as an act of purification, but they debated whether it was physical or spiritual.

Dr.

David Bernat

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Circumcision: Is the Foreskin a Defect?

Prima facie, circumcision maims a body. Genesis Rabbah, however, argues that it actually perfects the body, and the book of Jubilees says it makes Jewish men like angels.

Dr.

David Bernat

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Joshua Circumcises Israel in Response to Egypt's Scorn

Before circumcision was a mitzvah, it was a cultural marker: Thus Joshua introduces circumcision to Israel at Gilgal (Joshua 5:2-9), Jacob’s sons insist that the Shechemites circumcise before Shechem marries their sister (Genesis 34), and the Israelites scorn the Philistines for being uncircumcised (Judges 14:3).

Dr. Rabbi

David Frankel

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A Murderous Bridegroom

Dr.

Serge Frolov

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Abraham as the Great (Un)Circumciser

A Surprising Midrashic Portrait of Abraham

Dr.

Malka Z. Simkovich

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Baby Naming: Biblical Rites and Mother’s Rights

Who gets to name the child? Priestly and non-Priestly texts give two different answers.

Dr. Hacham

Isaac S. D. Sassoon

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Contesting the Identification of Elijah the Immortal as Pinchas the Zealot

Conflicting traditions come to a head in an exchange between two cantors and a congregant in a 13th century Egyptian synagogue.[1]

Dr.

Moshe Lavee

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