Study the Torah with Academic Scholarship

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Halacha

“Torah Is from Heaven!” What Do We Really Mean?

Statements that express our feelings are often confused with factual assertions.

Dr. Rabbi

Zev Farber

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Is the "As If" Approach Sufficient to Maintain Firm Religious Commitment?

Prof.

Tamar Ross

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The Status of the Decalogue

Rabbi

David Bigman

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A Galus Tehilah: Time to Cancel a Minhag

Rabbi

Daniel Landes

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Theology, Not Biblical Studies

Dr.

Tova Ganzel

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Torah from Heaven: A Question of Evidence or Loyalty?

What role does evidence play in believing that Torah is the revelation of God?

Dr. Rabbi

Eliezer Finkelman

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Revelation and Authority: Author’s Response

Prof.

Benjamin D. Sommer

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Niddah (Menstruation): From Torah to Rabbinic Law

In Leviticus 15, the laws of niddah are about purity; Lev 18 and 20, however, prohibit sex during menstruation. The rabbis, who inherited both of these texts, create a new, hybrid concept: the prohibition of sex while a woman has the status of menstrual impurity.

Prof.

Charlotte Elisheva Fonrobert

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The Prohibition to Carry on Shabbat: Historical and Exegetical Development

The Sabbath laws offers an instructive model for how Jews in antiquity engaged in creative reinterpretation of biblical texts in order to expand their limited application and to ensure that their customary practice comported with their sacred texts. Using the prohibition against carrying as formulated in Second Temple period texts and rabbinic literature as an example, this analysis traces the history of this law as well as the strategies by which later authors exegetically engage and transform earlier textual material.[1] 

Dr.

Alex P. Jassen

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On the Problem of Sacrifices: Maimonides’ Ladder of Enlightenment

Maimonides in his Guide of the Perplexed, portrays sacrifices as a ruse whereby God redirects sacrifices to repudiate idolatrous practices prevalent at the time. In Mishneh Torah, however, Maimonides states that the messiah will rebuild the Temple and restore sacrifices just as they once were. How are Maimonides’ two works reconcilable? 

Dr.

David Gillis

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Does the Torah Prohibit Castrating Animals?

Jewish law prohibits the gelding of animals based on its interpretation of Leviticus 22:24. Is this what the Torah means? Why might the Torah have prohibited this and how could the prohibition function in an agrarian society dependent on draft animals?[1]

Dr.

Elaine Goodfriend

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Biblical Authority: A Jewish Pluralistic View

Prof.

Marc Zvi Brettler

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In the Footsteps of Leibowitz: Kasher, Levinger, Goldman and Schwartz

Prof.

Tamar Ross

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Authority Needs Language

By erasing the boundaries between Written and Oral Torah, and removing any clear content from God’s revelation of law, Sommer undermines the concept of authoritative halakha that he wishes to refine.

Prof.

Sam Fleischacker

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