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Herod

How Jewish Was Herod?

Despite the negative evaluation of Herod in traditional Jewish sources, archaeological evidence seems to suggest that, with some notable exceptions, Herod saw himself as tied to the Jewish religion and tried, to a certain extent, to uphold its laws, even in his own lifestyle.

Evie Gassner

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The Depiction of Jeroboam and Hadad as Moses-like Saviors

Set against the Pharaonic Solomon, Jeroboam frees Israel from servitude and founds the Northern Kingdom. Hadad plays a similar role on behalf of the Edomites. Why are these two “rebels” depicted as heroes?

Dr.

Tzvi Novick

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Queen Helena of Adiabene and Her Sons in Midrash and History

Josephus in his Antiquities of the Jews, tells the story of Queen Helena of Adiabene and her sons Kings Izates II and Monobazus II, and how they converted to Judaism in the mid-first century C.E. Rabbinic literature preserves several anecdotes about this family. However, the rabbis knew little about them, and grappled with their insider/outsider status.

Dr.

Malka Zeiger Simkovich

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Esau the Ancestor of Rome

In the Bible, Esau is the ancestor of the Edomites who live on Mount Seir, southwest of Judah. So how did the rabbis come to associate Esau and Edom with Rome? Two main factors are at work here: Christianity and Herod.

Dr.

Malka Zeiger Simkovich

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The Ancient City of Hebron

Hebron plays a central role in many biblical stories. It was the prominent city in the Judean highlands, with large fortifications in the Early Bronze, Middle Bronze, and Iron Ages. During the Second Temple period, Hebron was occupied by the Idumeans. Recent archaeological excavations have uncovered large mikvaot (ritual baths), indicating that the inhabitants embraced Judaism.

Prof.

David Ben-Shlomo

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An Ancient Precedent for the Yom Kippur War?

Two Roman conquests of Jerusalem (Pompey in 63 B.C.E. and Sosius in 37 B.C.E.) purportedly happened on “the day of the fast,” during which the Jews barely defended themselves. Is this a reference to Yom Kippur and why didn’t the Jews defend themselves?

Dr.

Nadav Sharon

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