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Firstborn

Deuteronomy’s Festival Calendar

The festival calendar in Deuteronomy 16 began as a short revision of the calendar in Exodus 23. As it was expanded to clarify and adjust its details, it merged its springtime Matzot festival with the Pesach offering, which was originally connected to the consecration of firstborn animals.

Prof.

Reinhard G. Kratz

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Who Were the Levites?

The Torah describes the Levites as a landless Israelite tribe who inherited their position by responding to Moses’ call to take vengeance against sinning Israelites. This account masks a more complicated historical process.[1]

Prof.

Mark Leuchter

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Recounting the Census: A Military Force of 5,500 (not 603,550) Men

Exploring the possibility of reading the wilderness census in a way that is historically plausible. 

Prof.

Ben-Zion Katz M.D.

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Integrating the Exodus Story into the Festivals

The exodus story, which is presented as the basis for many of the Torah’s rituals, is a secondary insertion in many of these contexts.

Dr. Rabbi

David Frankel

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Relegating Redemption of the Firstborn to a One-time Event in the Wilderness

The Priestly Torah has two different conceptions of why/how the firstborn Israelites are exempt from serving as priests. Is a questionable firstborn census an effort to weigh in on this dispute?

Dr.

Eve Levavi Feinstein

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Dr. Rabbi

Zev Farber

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