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Intermarriage

Erev Rav: A Mixed Multitude of Meanings

When the Israelites left Egypt, they were accompanied by an ʿerev rav (Exodus 12:38). This obscure term has been interpreted in different ways throughout two millennia of Bible interpretation, both positively and negatively, and modern scholars still debate its exact meaning. The term survives in modern Jewish discourse as a slur against other Jews.

Dr. Rabbi

David J. Zucker

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Who Is the Victim in the Dinah Story?

We can not imagine anyone but Dinah as the victim, but does the Torah? Do the Rabbis? Understanding the story of Dinah and its reception in historical context can help us reflect on the role of women in ancient Israel and the meaning of sexual violence in a patriarchal society.

Dr.

Alison L. Joseph

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Contrasting Pictures of Intermarriage in Ruth and Nehemiah

By comparing the aggressive approach of Nehemiah towards the non-Jewish wives of the Judahites with the positive role of Ruth as a Moabite woman who married into a Jewish family, we can attempt to uncover the core messages about Jewish identity that the two texts have in common, and what the reading of Ruth on Shavuot may represent. 

Dr.

Jacob L. Wright

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Prof. Rabbi

Tamara Cohn Eskenazi

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The Missed Opportunity for Intermarriage and Conversion in the Story of Dinah

An intertextual reading of the Dinah story in Genesis 34, together with Deuteronomy 7 and Ezra-Nehemiah, highlights how it polemicizes against marriage with non-Israelites, even those willing to take on Israelite practices. Some rabbinic counter-readings of the text, however, express a more positive notion of incorporating converts to Judaism into the community. 

Naomi Graetz

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