Study the Torah with Academic Scholarship

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Ger (Sojourner)

The Paradox of Pesach Sheni

As a historical commemoration, Passover is tied to a specific date. Nevertheless, the Torah gives a make-up date for bringing the offering a month later. Gerim, non-Israelites living among Israelites as equals, are also allowed to bring this offering, even though it wasn’t their ancestors who were freed. How do we make sense of these anomalies?  

Prof.

Steven Fraade

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Love Your Neighbor: How It Became the Golden Rule

The precept וְאָהַבְתָּ לְרֵעֲךָ כָּמוֹךָ “you shall love your neighbor as yourself” in Leviticus, is one of many action-oriented commandments focused on Israelite social cohesion. Only in Late Antique Jewish and early Christian sources, did the rule take on a transcendent role as the principle in which all of the Torah is encompassed.

Prof.

John J. Collins

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The Exodus, the Alien, and the Neighbor

Prof.

Richard Elliott Friedman

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Bikkurim: How the Rabbis Made a Mitzvah for Male Landowners More Inclusive

Deuteronomy directs male landowners to bring the first fruits and recite a declaration. The Rabbis distinguish between the two parts of this commandment, including everyone in the bringing of the produce and excluding Levites, converts, and women only from the declarations. Eventually, even this exclusion largely falls by the wayside.

Rabbi

Yoseif Bloch

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Violating the Holiness of God's Camp: The Story of the Blasphemer

The story of the half-Israelite half-Egyptian man’s cursing God highlights the larger concerns of Parashat Emor regarding the rights of gerim(strangers) and the need to maintain the holiness of the camp.

Dr.

Adriane Leveen

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God, Israelites and Non-Israelites: Embracing Ambivalence

A postmodern look at Parashat Ekev’s view on God’s role in politics, the challenge of monotheism in biblical times, and the relative positions of Israel and her neighbors in God’s eyes.

Prof.

Adele Reinhartz

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The Import of Lex Talionis in the Story of the Blasphemer

Dr.

Shawna Dolansky

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