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Messianic Times

The Enduring Value of "These Days of Purim"

The megillah emphasizes the ongoing obligation to observe Purim, and Maimonides asserts that it will endure even into the messianic age. Yet many modern Jewish thinkers have questioned this holiday’s continued relevance. What value does Purim continue to hold?

Prof.

Wendy Zierler

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Can Elijah Reconcile Fathers and Sons ?

Jewish tradition seems to have difficulty with the relationship between fathers and sons. Hence the last verses of Malachi, a coda to the Nevi’im section of Tanakh, imagines ultimate redemption through a metaphor of father-son reconciliation, with the fire and brimstone prophet Elijah its unlikely, antagonistic harbinger. Leave it to the poet Yehuda Amichai to step in and offer a counter-model to rescue the metaphor.

Prof.

Wendy Zierler

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On the Problem of Sacrifices: Maimonides’ Ladder of Enlightenment

Maimonides in his Guide of the Perplexed, portrays sacrifices as a ruse whereby God redirects sacrifices to repudiate idolatrous practices prevalent at the time. In Mishneh Torah, however, Maimonides states that the messiah will rebuild the Temple and restore sacrifices just as they once were. How are Maimonides’ two works reconcilable? 

Dr.

David Gillis

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Maimonides' Purim and Chanukah Message of Peace

Both Chanukah and Purim are celebrations of Jewish victory over their enemies. Nevertheless, in the Mishneh Torah, Maimonides, making use of aggada, turns these into holidays of peace.[1]

Prof.

Menachem Kellner

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A King Who Reads Torah: What Was Kingship Like in the ANE?

Deuteronomy envisions a king constantly reading torah and limiting his wealth and resources. Is this how kings are described in the rest of the Bible?

Dr.

Cynthia Edenburg

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