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Idolatry

When Did the Bible Become Monotheistic?

It is often said that monotheism is one of Judaism’s greatest contributions to Western culture; however, it is far from clear that the Hebrew Bible is monotheistic. What is monotheism and when did it first develop?

Prof.

Kenneth Seeskin

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What Are Clay Female Figurines Doing in Judah during the Biblical Period?

A look at the archaeological and biblical context for the hundreds of Judean Pillar Figurines found ubiquitously throughout Judahite homes in the Iron Age II.

Dr.

Aaron Greener

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Nehushtan, the Copper Serpent: Its Origins and Fate

The Torah describes Moses building a copper serpent to heal the Israelites. According to Kings, Hezekiah destroys it because it was being worshiped. Archaeology and history clarify the religious and political meaning of this image.

Dr.

Richard Lederman

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Torah: Deuteronomy's Version of Wisdom for Israel

Deuteronomy reflects influence from ancient Wisdom traditions, such as those in the book of Proverbs and in other ancient Near Eastern literature. Yet Deuteronomy presents Torah as Israel’s own Wisdom teaching. This serves both to elevate Torah and to insist that it be in dialogue with the broader, non-Israelite world.

Ethan Schwartz

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The Prohibition of Cross-Dressing

What does Deuteronomy 22:5 prohibit and why?

Dr.

Hilary Lipka

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Deuteronomy on the Problem of Using the Senses to Experience God

“God has not given you a mind to understand or eyes to see or ears to hear until this very day” (Deut 29:3).

Prof.

Steven Weitzman

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The Shema's Second Paragraph: Concern Over Israel's Affluence

Deuteronomy 11 repeats, reworks, and supplements the core phrases and themes of the Shema paragraph in Deuteronomy 6 in order to teach the Israelites how to deal with one of their major future challenges: the temptations that accompany wealth, comfort, and affluence. 

Prof. Rabbi

Reuven Kimelman

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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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Understanding Idolatry

How the theologians of the ancient Near East made sense of idolatry through the ritual dedication of the statues that made them into gods.

Dr.

Uri Gabbay

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