Study the Torah with Academic Scholarship

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Love

A Feminist Literalist Allegorical Reading of Shir Hashirim

Finding Gender equality without compromising God and meaning in a sanctified collection of love poems.

Prof.

Wendy Zierler

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A Moral Value in the Song of Songs

Reading Shir HaShirim in Its Original Sense

Prof. Rabbi

Michael V. Fox

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Remedying Biblical Trauma with a Festival of Love

A Roman foundation myth is highly reminiscent of the abduction of the dancing girls in the book of Judges: A closer look at the Talmud’s description of Tu B’Av reveals a revolutionary, therapeutic recasting of the traumatic biblical story.

Dr.

Shraga Bar-On

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Knowing My Beloved: Rebuilding My Path to Torah with Critical Scholarship

My relationship with Torah began with the romance of mysticism but then gave way to skepticism and disillusionment. To my surprise, it was academic scholarship of the Torah that brought back the spark and helped foster a deeper, more mature relationship.

David Bar-Cohn

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How Is It Possible that Jacob Mistakes Leah for Rachel?

“When morning came, there was Leah!” (Genesis 29:25). Could Jacob not tell the difference between his beloved of seven years and her sister, for a whole night? Commentators have long tried to make sense of the story by adding extra details, but perhaps we need to rethink the nature of Jacob and Rachel’s relationship during those years.

Dr. Rabbi

Zev Farber

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Song of Songs: The Emergence of Peshat Interpretation

The Song of Songs is a collection of love poetry. The Rabbis read it as an allegory of the relationship between God and the Jewish people. Only in the Middle Ages, in Spain and Northern France, did scholars begin to pay attention to the plain (Peshat) meaning of the text. Some went as far as dropping the allegory altogether and treating it as love poetry, as it was originally intended.

Dr.

Barry Dov Walfish

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Intimacy on Shabbat: Was It Always a Mitzvah?

A Surprising Look at Shabbat in the Second Temple Period

Dr.

Malka Zeiger Simkovich

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