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First Temple, Destruction

Rachel Weeps in Ramah: Of All the Patriarchs, God Listens Only to Her

Rachel weeps over her exiled descendants and God hears her plea (Jer 31:14–16). Expanding on this passage, the rabbis in Midrash Eichah Rabbah envision Jeremiah awakening the patriarchs and Moses to plead with God to have mercy on Israel. Upon their failure to move God, the matriarch Rachel intervenes successfully.

Prof.

Hagith Sivan

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Parents Eating their Children – The Torah's Curse and Its Undertones in Medieval Interpretation

Early rabbinic interpretation connected the curse of child eating (Lev 26:29; Deut 28:53-57) with the description of the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem in Lamentations (2:20 and 4:10) and the Roman destruction of the Second Temple. In the Middle Ages, however, Jewish commentators de-emphasize this connection. The reason for this may lie in the 12th c. development of Christian Bible commentary.

Dr.

Wendy Love Anderson

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The Talmudic Inverse

Privileging Interpretation over Literalism

Dr.

Erica Brown

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Psalm 137:9 - A Verse to Criticize

A Historical-Critical Reading 

Prof.

Marc Zvi Brettler

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Jehoiachin's Exile and the Division of Judah

Eleven years before Judah was destroyed, King Jehoiachin and a select group of Judeans were sent into exile, and Zedekiah was left to rule Judah. The Babylonian and Judean populations split not only in terms of geography, but also in their views of whether Jehoiachin was the “once and future king” or whether God had utterly rejected him. 

Dr.

David Glatt-Gilad

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Tisha B'Av: On What Day Were the Jerusalem Temples Destroyed?

The First Temple was destroyed either on the 10th of Av (Jeremiah 52:12) or the 7th (2 Kings 25:8). The Second Temple, according to Josephus, was destroyed on the 10th. How did Rabbinic Jews come to commemorate the destruction of both Temples on the 9th of Av?

Dr. Rabbi

Zev Farber

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