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Creation

The Genesis of Time

The simple meaning of Genesis 1–2:4 is that God created the world out of primordial elements. And yet, one important new initiative was the construction of time, embracing the day, the month, the year, and the week. The week, however, does not depend on a cosmic phenomenon but served to introduce the concept of a people holy to a creator God.

Professor

Jack M. Sasson

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Creation from Primordial Matter: Did Rashi Read Plato’s Timaeus?

Rashi interprets the opening verses of the creation story as describing God’s use of primordial substances to form the world. This idea appears in various forms in rabbinic literature but some of Rashi’s particular notions are only found in Plato’s Timaeus. Could this be one of Rashi’s sources?

Prof.

Warren Zev Harvey

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Yom Kippur’s Seder Avodah Begins with God’s Creation of the World

Arguably, the highlight of the prayer service on Yom Kippur is the Seder Avodah, a type of piyyut (liturgical hymn) that poetically reenacts in every detail the ritual service performed by the high priest on Yom Kippur in the Jerusalem Temple. But why do these poems begin with the creation story?

Prof. Rabbi

Dalia Marx

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Does a Day Begin in the Evening?

Close reading of the relevant biblical texts uncovers friction, maybe momentous historical reform.

Dr. Hacham

Isaac S. D. Sassoon

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Invoking Creation in the Story of the Ten Plagues

Demonstrating God’s Control of the World to the Israelites

Prof.

Ziony Zevit

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Torah's Dynamic Truth

Judy Klitsner

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The Gender of God

What is the gender of the God of creation? Of YHWH in general?[1]

Prof.

Marc Zvi Brettler

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Mother and Child: Postpartum Defilement and Circumcision

Dr.

Tzvi Novick

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Before the Beginning: Appreciating the Thought of an Ancient Cosmologist

Prof.

Ziony Zevit

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If the Sun Is Created on Day 4, What Is the Light on Day 1?

Commentators have struggled with this question for centuries, but ancient cosmology offers a compelling solution.

Dr. Rabbi

Zev Farber

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In Search of the Soul: Between Torah and Science

A pediatric neurologist searches for the soul through the lens of current neuroscience.

Dr.

Joel Yehudah Rutman

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Non-Gender Equality at Creation

The “Other” Benefits of Partners

Prof. Rabbi

Tamara Cohn Eskenazi

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The Making of Adam

Understanding the Midrash in Light of Plato and the Pseudepigrapha

Dr.

Malka Zeiger Simkovich

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Rosh Hashanah: Celebrating the Creation of the Individual or the Community?

A New Appreciation of “Adam the First” 

Dr. Rabbi

David Frankel

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The Exposition of the Garden of Eden Story

The Garden of Eden story includes a lengthy introductory exposition (vv. 2:4b-3:1a), whose seemingly tangential details contrast the utopia of Eden with the dystopia of the real world.

Prof.

Yairah Amit

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Gender Equality at Creation

A methodologically rigorous reading of the account of the Woman's creation reveals a fundamentally egalitarian view of the sexes that is both nuanced and psychologically sensitive.

Dr.

Raanan Eichler

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Did God Bless Shabbat?

“And the Lord Blessed the Seventh Day and Consecrated It” (Genesis 2:3). Can time be blessed?

Dr. Rabbi

David Frankel

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The Tabernacle, the Creation, and the Ideal of an Orderly World

The account of the Tabernacle’s construction echoes the creation story in Genesis 1-2:4a, providing an interpretive key to the ancient understanding of this structure. Ritual theory provides further insight into what Israelite readers may have found meaningful about the Tabernacle as a ritual place.

Dr. Rabbi

Naftali S. Cohn

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Differing Conceptions of the Divine Creator

Prof.

Marc Zvi Brettler

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In the Beginning There Is the Question

The bridge that enables the annual traversal from the ending of the Torah back to its beginning is the anticipation of new questions.

Prof.

James A. Diamond

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Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik: Questioning the Centrality of Empirical Data

Prof.

Tamar Ross

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My Encounter with the Firmament

The Torah describes God’s fashioning the firmament (רקיע) on the second day of creation. This piece of the universe, however, doesn’t actually exist—a problem obfuscated in my yeshiva education.

Oren Fass M.D.

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