Study the Torah with Academic Scholarship

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Commandments, Reasons

The Rites of the Red Heifer

Prof. Rabbi

Michael Chernick

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What Do Tzitzit Represent?

What is it about tzitzit that “recalls all the commandments of God and makes you observe them” (Num 15:39)? While the rabbis emphasize the importance of tzitzit, academic scholarship sheds light on what such a feature would have meant in an Ancient Near Eastern context.

Prof. Rabbi

Marty Lockshin

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The Jubilee Law: Ideal Legislation

An attempt to control the disparity between the rich and the poor and create a righteous society

Prof.

Yairah Amit

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Does the Torah Prohibit Castrating Animals?

Jewish law prohibits the gelding of animals based on its interpretation of Leviticus 22:24. Is this what the Torah means? Why might the Torah have prohibited this and how could the prohibition function in an agrarian society dependent on draft animals?[1]

Dr.

Elaine Goodfriend

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The Prohibition of Cross-Dressing

What does Deuteronomy 22:5 prohibit and why?

Dr.

Hilary Lipka

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Is it Possible to Make Sense of a Biblical Ritual (Chok)?

Prof.

Edward L. Greenstein

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What Does Deuteronomy Say about Homosexuality?

“Let there be no kadesh among the sons of Israel. You shall not bring the fee of a harlot or the pay of a kelev (dog?) into the house of YHWH” (Deut 23:18-19).

Dr. Hacham

Isaac S. D. Sassoon

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The Mitzvah of Covering the Blood of Wild Animals

Leviticus requires covering the blood of undomesticated animals; Deuteronomy requires pouring out the blood of slaughtered domesticated animals onto the ground. How do these laws jibe with each other? The Essenes have one answer, the rabbis another, the academics a third.

Dr. Rabbi

Zev Farber

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