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Israel, Land

Viewing the Promised Land, Moses Looks Even at the Transjordan

Several biblical passages assume that the promised land is limited to Canaan, i.e., the Cisjordan. But this view was not universally shared. Scribes who saw the Transjordan as part and parcel of it adjusted multiple passages in Deuteronomy, including the third and final take of Moses’s death, to make this episode fit their idea about the extent of the land.

Dr.

Angela Roskop Erisman

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Die Schrift: A Non-Territorial Translation of “The Land”

Martin Buber and Franz Rosenzweig's translation of the Bible strictly adheres to the text's wording and structure. The eminent thinkers sought to let German readers experience the resonance of the Bible's Hebrew and to capture its primordial meaning. Their rendition of Haazinu presents a provocative interpretation of the bond between God, Israel and its land as both universal and singular.

Dr.

Orr Scharf

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The Settlement of Reuben and Gad: A Rhetorical Case for Transjordan as Part of the Promised Land

Moses misunderstands the request of the Gadites and Reubenites to settle in the Transjordan as a result of unwillingness to participate in the conquest of Canaan with the rest of the Israelites. Once he realizes that they do mean to fight, he accepts their request. The author of Numbers 32 creates a rhetorically rich argument that the Transjordan is part of the Promised Land—but not everyone was buying what this author was selling.

Dr.

Angela Roskop Erisman

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Survival and Revival: Megillat Esther and Ezra-Nehemiah

Jews in the Persian Period dealt with the reality of the destruction of Judah in two different ways. Megillat Esther emphasized the diaspora while Ezra-Nehemiah emphasized the rebuilding. For most of Jewish history the Ezra-Nehemiah model was all but non-existent, but this changed with the emergence of Zionism and the establishment of the State of Israel.

Prof.

Sara Japhet

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Apportioning the Land: By Lot and By Population?!

Making sense from a redactional and historical perspective of the Torah’s two contradictory methods for how to divide the land among the tribes.

Dr.

Itamar Kislev

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Jewish Attitudes Towards the Land of Israel during the Time of the Second Temple

Dr.

Malka Zeiger Simkovich

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The Good Land of Israel

What are the favorable qualities of the land of Israel and what is God’s relationship to it?

Dr. Rabbi

David Frankel

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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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The Import of Lex Talionis in the Story of the Blasphemer

Dr.

Shawna Dolansky

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The Inner Workings of a Genizah Midrash on the Symbolic Value of Orlah

A set of homilies from the Genizah connects two biblical readings (sidrot) in Leviticus by emphasizing the importance of the mitzvah of orlah as a key to inheriting and remaining on the land.

Dr.

Shana Strauch-Schick

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Tova Sacher

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