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Samson

Samson the Demigod?

Samson’s conception story may be read subversively as the result of a union between a divine being and a mortal woman, making Samson a demi-god with superhuman characteristics. At the same time, the text keeps open the more mundane possibility that his father is Manoah and his powers are simply a gift from God.

Dr.

Naphtali Meshel

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Naso: Alleviating Intense Emotions

A New Look at the Meaning of the Sotah and Nazir Rituals

Prof. Rabbi

Stephen A. Geller

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Honoring the Death of Soldiers

The concept of heroic death is conspicuously absent in Bible. This sharply contrasts with ancient Near Eastern and Greek tropes, as well as with the book of Maccabees and modern day commemorations such as Israel’s Yom Hazikaron and America’s Memorial Day. How should we understand this difference?[1]

Dr.

Jacob L. Wright

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The Proto-Story of Shechem and Jacob's Daughter

Turning the brothers’ unprovoked attack on Shechem into Simeon and Levi’s rescue of Dinah

Dr. Rabbi

David Frankel

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Retribution: Divine and Human

“When Your Enemy Falls Do Not Exult” (Prov 24:17)

Rabbi

Yuval Cherlow

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Yael and the Subversion of Male Leaders in Judges

The Canaanite general Sisera is killed by Yael in her tent but in an older version of the story, he died in battle at the hands of the Israelite general, Barak. The story was revised as part of a broader theme in Judges, to weaken the image of male military heroes through women and give the power to God.

Dr.

Jacob L. Wright

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Who Was Samson's Real Father?

Samson’s birth story deprecates Samson’s father, Manoah; this serves to highlight the identity of his real father: The angel of the LORD did more than announce Samson’s birth to Manoah’s wife.

Prof.

Marc Zvi Brettler

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