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Non-Israelites

Israel, God’s Chosen People?

In Deuteronomy, YHWH chooses Israel to be his holy (kadosh) and treasured (segulah) people. What does this mean in its original context, and can it be reconciled with contemporary universalist notions?

Dr. Rabbi

Michael Marmur

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Israel’s Wood Choppers and Water Drawers

Moses extends the covenant to all of Israel, “from the hewer of your wood to the drawer of your water” (Deut 29). The midrash connects this group with the Gibeonites of Joshua 9, creating an anachronism which later rabbinic commentators try to resolve.

Dr.

Wendy Love Anderson

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Marrying a Beautiful Captive Woman

If an Israelite wishes to marry a woman taken captive in war, she becomes part of the Israelite polity and is protected from future re-enslavement. Uncomfortable with the Torah’s permitting this marriage, the rabbis declare it to be a compromise to man’s “evil impulse,” an idea reminiscent of Jesus’ claim that the Torah allows divorce as a compromise to humanity’s “hard heart.”

Prof. Rabbi

Shaye J. D. Cohen

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Dr. Rabbi

Zev Farber

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Erev Rav: A Mixed Multitude of Meanings

When the Israelites left Egypt, they were accompanied by an ʿerev rav (Exodus 12:38). This obscure term has been interpreted in different ways throughout two millennia of Bible interpretation, both positively and negatively, and modern scholars still debate its exact meaning. The term survives in modern Jewish discourse as a slur against other Jews.

Dr. Rabbi

David J. Zucker

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Mount Gerizim and the Polemic Against the Samaritans

Mount Gerizim appears in the Pentateuch as the mountain of blessing and plays a prominent role in Samaritan tradition, but the Jewish tradition sidelines this mountain and the Samaritans themselves in a polemic that began more than two and half thousand years ago.[1]

Dr.

Eyal Baruch

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The Treatment of Non-Israelite Slaves: From Moses to Moses

The Bible already expresses ambivalence about Hebrew slavery, the rabbis expand upon it and Maimonides takes the next step, applying the negative evaluation of slavery even to non-Israelites.

Prof.

James A. Diamond

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