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Second Temple Literature

What Is “Torah” in Second Temple Texts?

In the Second Temple Period, “Torah” was not limited to the Five Books of Moses. The book of Jubilees and the Temple Scroll saw themselves as "Torah," while Qumran's Community Rule and Damascus Document claim that their own sectarian rules likewise constituted Torah.

Prof.

Molly M. Zahn

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Demigods and the Birth of Noah

The Sons of Elohim sleeping with women and producing demigods (Gen 6:1-4) is sandwiched between the birth of Noah and the flood. This juxtaposition of passages prompted 1 Enoch and Genesis Apocryphon to question whether Lamech was Noah's father or whether Noah was a demigod.

Dr. Rabbi

Samuel Z. Glaser

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Sedition at Moab: Josephus’ Reading of the Phinehas Story

The Torah describes Phinehas as a zealot, who kills Zimri in an act of vigilante fervor, and is rewarded by God with eternal priesthood. Anticipating the rabbis’ discomfort with Phinehas’ vigilantism, Josephus transforms Phinehas into a military general and Zimri’s sin into a dangerous sedition requiring a military response.

Dr.

Yonatan Miller

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Rosh Hashanah Between Tanach and Mishna

The Missing Links

Project TABS Editors

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Shavuot: How the Festival of Harvest Grew

Dr. Rabbi

Norman Solomon

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Jewish Attitudes Towards the Land of Israel during the Time of the Second Temple

Dr.

Malka Z. Simkovich

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Antediluvian Knowledge

Whose knowledge is the most ancient? In the Hellenistic period, Egyptians and Babylonians, among others, debated the antiquity of their wisdom. Second Temple Jews claimed that their own knowledge dated from before the Flood. But how did it survive the destruction of the flood?

Dr.

Nadav Sharon

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On the Origins of Tevilah (Ritual Immersion)

When and why washing became immersion: between traditional-rabbinic and scientific-critical approaches to the origin of immersion and the mikveh.[1]

Dr.

Yonatan Adler

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Sefer Tuviah, the Book of Tobit: An Ancient Jewish Novel for Shavuot

Dr.

Malka Z. Simkovich

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Intimacy on Shabbat: Was It Always a Mitzvah?

A Surprising Look at Shabbat in the Second Temple Period

Dr.

Malka Z. Simkovich

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