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Shabbat

The Genesis of Time

The simple meaning of Genesis 1–2:4 is that God created the world out of primordial elements. And yet, one important new initiative was the construction of time, embracing the day, the month, the year, and the week. The week, however, does not depend on a cosmic phenomenon but served to introduce the concept of a people holy to a creator God.

Professor

Jack M. Sasson

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Does a Day Begin in the Evening?

Close reading of the relevant biblical texts uncovers friction, maybe momentous historical reform.

Dr. Hacham

Isaac S. D. Sassoon

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The Existence of Two Versions of the Decalogue

The Approaches of Chazal and the Pashtanim

Prof. Rabbi

Marty Lockshin

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Shabbat HaYom, HaYom, HaYom: Stylistic Repetition or Polemical Assertion?

Stylistic Repetition or Polemical Assertion that Shabbat Starts in the Morning?

Dr. Hacham

Isaac S. D. Sassoon

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The Textual Source for the 39 Melachot of Shabbat

The forms of of work forbidden on Shabbat and whether there is even a fixed number of them is disputed in the Tannaic period. Today, Judaism follows the opinion Rabbi Akiva and his students that the number is 39. But from where did Rabbi Akiva and students derive the number 39 as set in stone?[1] 

Dr. Rabbi

Yoel bin-Nun

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An Ancient Precedent for the Yom Kippur War?

Two Roman conquests of Jerusalem (Pompey in 63 B.C.E. and Sosius in 37 B.C.E.) purportedly happened on “the day of the fast,” during which the Jews barely defended themselves. Is this a reference to Yom Kippur and why didn’t the Jews defend themselves?

Dr.

Nadav Sharon

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The Two Shabbats of the Decalogue

A Historical Approach

Dr. Rabbi

Norman Solomon

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Who Is the Eshet Chayil?

Dr.

Jacqueline Vayntrub

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Can The Torah Contradict Halacha (Jewish Law)?

At stake is Ibn Ezra’s curse: “May your tongue stick to your palate… may your arm dry up and your right eye go blind.” 

Dr. Rabbi

Zev Farber

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The Prohibition to Carry on Shabbat: Historical and Exegetical Development

The Sabbath laws offers an instructive model for how Jews in antiquity engaged in creative reinterpretation of biblical texts in order to expand their limited application and to ensure that their customary practice comported with their sacred texts. Using the prohibition against carrying as formulated in Second Temple period texts and rabbinic literature as an example, this analysis traces the history of this law as well as the strategies by which later authors exegetically engage and transform earlier textual material.[1] 

Dr.

Alex P. Jassen

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How and When the Seventh Day Became Shabbat

Dr.

Jacob L. Wright

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Shabbat of the Full Moon

Early biblical laws also demand a cessation of labor every seven days, but originally had nothing to do with Shabbat. Before it came to designate the seventh day in a weekly cycle, Shabbat referred to the time of Full Moon, which together with New Moon was widely observed throughout the ancient Near East.

Dr.

Jacob L. Wright

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Judean Life in Babylonia

Upon the conquest of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar deported many Judeans to Babylonia. What was their life like there? Were they assimilated, or did they stand out? What language(s) did they speak and what religious practices did they maintain? What was their social and economic standing? Babylonian records allow us glimpses into the lives of some of the deportees.

Dr.

Laurie Pearce

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Did God Bless Shabbat?

“And the Lord Blessed the Seventh Day and Consecrated It” (Genesis 2:3). Can time be blessed?

Dr. Rabbi

David Frankel

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The Tabernacle, the Creation, and the Ideal of an Orderly World

The account of the Tabernacle’s construction echoes the creation story in Genesis 1-2:4a, providing an interpretive key to the ancient understanding of this structure. Ritual theory provides further insight into what Israelite readers may have found meaningful about the Tabernacle as a ritual place.

Dr. Rabbi

Naftali S. Cohn

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The Oldest Known Copy of the Decalogue?

A careful examination of the three oldest copies of the Decalogue—4QDeutn, 4QPaleoExodusm, and the Nash Papyrus—surprisingly shows that none of them reflects the Masoretic Text.

Dr.

Esther Eshel

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Intimacy on Shabbat: Was It Always a Mitzvah?

A Surprising Look at Shabbat in the Second Temple Period

Dr.

Malka Zeiger Simkovich

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