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Nachmanides

רמב״ן - R. Moses ben Nahman (1194- 1270)

Israel’s Army: What Is the Basis for the Draft in Jewish Law?

When the State of Israel was established, the leading figures in religious Zionism had to justify Israel’s right to conscript soldiers using Jewish legal sources.

Prof.

Robert Eisen

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Tabernacle, Sacrifices, and Judaism: Maimonides vs. Nahmanides

Who needs the Tabernacle? What is the purpose of sacrifices? Maimonides and Nahmanides have radically different answers to these questions, reflecting a core debate about the nature of Judaism and the purpose of its rituals.

Prof.

Menachem Kellner

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The Ethical Problem of Hardening Pharaoh's Heart

It seems unethical for God to deny Pharaoh free will and then punish him for his actions. Rashi, Nahmanides, and Maimonides all struggle with this problem, and each assumes that even Pharaoh deserves to be treated fairly.[1]

Prof. Rabbi

Shaul Magid

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The Color of Judah's Eyes

חכלילי עינים מיין (Gen 49:12) is an obscure phrase. In contrast to the standard interpretation, Nachmanides’ offered an original interpretation, which finds support in modern linguistic analysis and an archaeological find.

Prof.

Aaron Demsky

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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 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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Torah Narratives with Angels Never Actually Happened: Heretical or Sublime?

Maimonides believes any story with angels is a prophetic vision while Ramban believes they are real occurrences and calls Maimonides’ position “forbidden to believe” – what is at stake in this debate?

Dr. Rabbi

David Frankel

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Why Isn't Sukkot in the Spring?

We sit in the sukkah to remind us that “I (God) made the Israelites live in sukkot when I brought them out of the land of Egypt” (Leviticus 23:43). Accordingly, why isn’t Sukkot celebrated in the month of Nissan, when we left Egypt?

Prof. Rabbi

Marty Lockshin

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Id and Superego: The Two Flood Stories and the Human Condition

Rabbi

David Bigman

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Eglah Arufah: A Ritual Response to an Unsolved Murder

The law of the eglah arufah (the heifer whose neck is broken) has puzzled both traditional and modern commentators. What is it meant to accomplish? How does it work?

Prof. Rabbi

Marty Lockshin

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