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Fertility

A Women’s Voice in the Psalter: A New Understanding of Psalm 113

The liturgical compilation Hallel (“praise”) opens with Psalm 113. Originally, this psalm was recited by women who gave birth after being barren, reminiscent of the song of Channah in 1 Samuel 2. A close look, however, suggests that its opening verses are a later supplement meant to introduce the larger Hallel collection.

Prof.

Marc Zvi Brettler

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Sheger, Ashtoret and Ashtor – The Patron Gods of Transjordanian Shepherds

Deuteronomy uses unusual parallel terms “the shegar of your herd and the ashtorot of your flock” to describe the offspring of livestock. These are names of the ancient West Semitic fertility goddess known as Ashtoret or by her less familiar bi-name Sheger. Her consort is (sometimes) the god Ashtor. What do we know about these deities and what do they have to do with livestock?

Prof.

Aaron Demsky

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The Paradigm of the Barren Woman: How God ‘Remembers’ on Rosh Hashanah

Prof.

Rachel Adelman

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Turning to God When a Fertility Ritual Fails

Channah and Elkanah’s yearly feast resembles a Mesopotamian fertility ritual; when year after year God doesn’t respond, Channah turns to God directly and enters the Tabernacle.

Dr.

Kristine Henriksen Garroway

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"God Opened Her Womb": The Biblical Conception of Fertility

Is infertility a divine punishment? 

Prof.

Joel Baden

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