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Sarah

Reconciling Hagar and Sarah: Feminist Midrash and National Conflict

In Jewish and Muslim interpretation, Hagar and Sarah represent the matriarchs of Abraham’s blessed heirs, the Arabs and the Jews. In classical sources, the break between the two women is never mended, but feminist readers of the Bible, Jewish and Muslim, have used midrash-style poetry to rewrite the ending of their story. Part of this endeavor is the hope of rewriting the contemporary conflict and reconciling between their putative descendants.

Noam Zion

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“Take Your Only Son Isaac” – What Happened to Ishmael?

In the introductory verses of the Akedah (Binding of Isaac), God refers to Isaac as Abraham’s only son, ignoring the existence of Ishmael. Ishmael’s absence has bothered even the earliest readers of the text, but a documentary approach obviates the problem. The key is understanding the relationship between Abraham and Hagar.

Dr.

Philip Yoo

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Grace Leake

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Abraham Passes the Test of the Akedah But Fails as a Father

The story of the Akedah appears to present Abraham’s actions in a uniformly positive light. However, Isaac’s absence at the end of the story, and Sarah’s death immediately afterwards, suggested to some traditional and modern commentators a criticism of Abraham.

Prof.

Aaron Koller

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The Sacrifice of Isaac in Context

Recovering a Lost Ending of the Akedah

Dr.

Tzemah Yoreh

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The Paradigm of the Barren Woman: How God ‘Remembers’ on Rosh Hashanah

Dr.

Rachel Adelman

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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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Giving Miriam and the Matriarchs their Proper Funerals

The Bible pays little attention to the death of its female characters, writing only cursory death notices, or sometimes none at all. Second Temple period authors, retell the Torah’s stories to give more pride of place to the death scenes of its heroines. 

Dr.

Atar Livneh

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The Expulsion of Ishmael: Who Is Being Tried?

The literary similarities between the expulsion of Ishmael account and that of the Akedah implies that a trial is taking place.

Dr.

Rachel Adelman

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Isaac's Divine Conception?

“The Lord visited Sarah” (Gen 21:1) – When God (and his angels) appears to Abraham to announce the birth of Isaac, the text implies a hidden visit to Sarah. Does this mean, as both Philo and Paul claim, that Isaac was born from a divine conception?

Dr. Rabbi

Samuel Z. Glaser

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