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Jericho

Rosh Hashanah: The Original Meaning of Blowing a Teruah

Rosh Hashanah in the Torah is described as a day of teruah, a reference to one of the two types of blasts: a regular horn blast (tekiah) and a teruah blast. Interpreters ancient and modern understand the distinction as differing in sound, length, or pitch, but the biblical description of the shofar blowing during the siege of Jericho implies that the nature of a teruah lies in the people’s response to the blast.

Rabbi

Shawn Ruby

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Women’s Connection to Shabbat

Israelite women are conspicuously absent from the Decalogue’s Shabbat law. Three stories in the Prophets featuring female characters—Rahab the prostitute, the great woman of Shunem, and Queen Athaliah—each tie to Shabbat in some unconventional way.

Prof.

Hagith Sivan

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Israel Enters the Land in Worship or War?

The Book of Joshua describes Israel waging a military campaign against Jericho and other southern cities. The Song of the Sea (Exodus 15), on the other hand, depicts Israel crossing the Jordan, and YHWH bringing them directly to a temple.

Zvi Koenigsberg

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The Subverted City (Ir Hannidahat) in the Context of ANE Vassal Treaties

Deuteronomy’s requirement to destroy a city whose inhabitants worship another god and to leave it as an eternally desolate mound, can be understood in the context of ancient Near Eastern vassal treaties. Specifically, Hittite texts describe how kings dealt with rebellious vassal cities, by destroying them utterly and dedicating their land to the gods.

Prof.

Ada Taggar-Cohen

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The Mystical Ritual of Hoshana Rabbah: Summoning God

Hoshana Rabbah the final day of the High Holiday cycle, has a fascinating ritual service, the hoshanot, which includes the making of seven circuits around a Torah scroll and ends with the beating of willow sprigs against the ground. What is the significance of this ritual?

Dr. Rabbi

Zev Farber

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