Study the Torah with Academic Scholarship

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Rachel’s Teraphim: A Critique of the Northern Kingdom

Rachel steals teraphim from her father Laban; Michal uses them to save her husband David from her father Saul; Micah includes them in the shrine he builds on his property. What are they and how do they function in these stories?


Erin D. Darby



The Obscure Ephod of the High Priest

The Torah mentions the ephod as something the high priest would wear, but never describes it clearly, and neither do the Talmudic sages. Medieval scholars like Rashi and Rashbam use their creativity and analytical skill to try to tease this out from the biblical text.

Prof. Rabbi

Marty Lockshin



Ancient Israelite Divination: Urim ve-Tummim, Ephod, and Prophecy

In the Prophets, Israelite leaders such as Joshua, Saul, David, and Ahab use divination to help them make decisions, just as their ancient Near Eastern counterparts did. The Torah sidesteps the divinatory character of these objects and practices, and instead, emphasizes their ritual and religious character.


Jonathan Stökl



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