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Ezra, Book

Jews Intermarried Not Only in Judea but Also in Babylonia

The Bible describes the shock that Ezra and Nehemiah experience upon learning that the Judean locals had married non-Judeans. And yet, from Babylonian marriage documents uncovered in cities near Babylon, we learn that intermarriage was occurring back in Babylonia as well.

Dr.

Laurie Pearce

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Between Holy and Mundane: The Development of the Term Havdalah

In pre-exilic texts, לְהַבְדִּיל lehavdil means “to select, appoint, designate.” In the Priestly text, the term is used to refer to physical separation, while in the Holiness Text, it takes on an abstract meaning, to distinguish between objects and people in a cultic sense. The book of Ezra uses a new form of the term, לְהִבָּדֵל lehibbadel, to urge separating from non-Jews, prompting Trito-Isaiah to argue against separating (lehavdil) any faithful person from YHWH and His Temple.

Dr.

Attila Marossy

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The Date of the Tabernacle’s Completion and Consecration

The Tabernacle is completed on the first of Nisan (Exodus 40) and is consecrated eight days later (Leviticus 9). And yet, the Book of Chronicles, Biblical Antiquities, and the Rabbis read these accounts as describing the same event. Indeed, the Torah’s final editor may have understood the texts as a continuous narrative, but chose to emphasize different themes of the Tabernacle by separating them.

Prof.

Gary A. Anderson

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How the Concept of Mosaic Authorship Developed

In the Persian period, the Torah, which is made up of various law collections, was ascribed to Moses as revealed by YHWH. A parallel development was taking place in Achaemenid Persia that sheds light on this process: The sacred texts called the Avesta, that contain the law​​ (dāta) and tradition (daēnā) of Zoroastrianism​, were being collectively ascribed to Zarathustra (Zoroaster) as revealed by Ahuramazdā.

Dr. Rabbi

Yishai Kiel

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The First Sukkah?

Project TABS Editors

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The Ancient Practice of Attributing Texts and Ideas to Moses

Ancient scribes would write as if Moses was the author, or they would claim that a tradition was originally stated by Moses, but they did not intend to convey a historical fact with this description. Instead, they meant that a given tradition was “authentically” Jewish, or God’s will and that Moses would have approved. I call this phenomenon “Mosaic Discourse.”

Prof.

Hindy Najman

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Hearing God's Voice: Two Models for Accepting The Torah

By considering two moments in the Bible at which the people gather to hear God’s word: the revelation to Moses at Sinai in Exodus, and Ezra’s assembly in a Jerusalem square in Nehemiah, we can contrast the clear revelation we yearn for with the hidden revelation that upon reflection we should accept.

Prof.

Sam Fleischacker

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