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Hapax Legomenon

The Account of Balaam’s Donkey: A Late Polemical Burlesque

Already in 1877, Marcus Kalisch, one of the first Jewish scholars to engage in the critical study of the Bible, noted that the story of Balaam’s donkey is a late insertion which contradicts the rest of the story, both narratively and ideologically. Indeed, in the main story, Balaam is a prophetic character to be respected, while the supplement lampoons him.

Prof.

Alexander Rofé

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What Is Isaac Doing in the Field When He Encounters Rebecca?

The term לשוח is a hapax legomenon (a term that appears only once in the Bible). What does it mean?

Prof.

Aaron Demsky

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The Shema's Second Paragraph: An Inner-Biblical Interpretation

The second paragraph of Shema (Deut 11:13-21) has significant overlaps with the first (Deut 6:4-9), including some identical phrases and core concepts. It was likely written as a later elaboration of the first, a process that may reflect the earliest stages of the Shema becoming a central text.

Prof.

Marc Zvi Brettler

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A Copper Laver Made from Women’s Mirrors

Who were these women and what were these mirrors used for? Reconstructing the narrative: the historical-critical method vs. midrash. 

Dr.

Rachel Adelman

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Israel's Development as a Nation: Form, Storm, Norm, Perform

The Torah often uses the repetition of certain terms and wordplay to underline important themes. Numbers uses the terms נשא (nas’a: “to carry”) and נסע (nas‘a; “to travel”) to highlight the development of Israel from independent clans to a nation in a way that fits well with the model of group formation first suggested by psychologist Bruce Tuckman.

Dr.

Shani Tzoref

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