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Temple

Yom Kippur’s Seder Avodah Begins with God’s Creation of the World

Arguably, the highlight of the prayer service on Yom Kippur is the Seder Avodah, a type of piyyut (liturgical hymn) that poetically reenacts in every detail the ritual service performed by the high priest on Yom Kippur in the Jerusalem Temple. But why do these poems begin with the creation story?

Prof. Rabbi

Dalia Marx

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Rachel Weeps in Ramah: Of All the Patriarchs, God Listens Only to Her

Rachel weeps over her exiled descendants and God hears her plea (Jer 31:14–16). Expanding on this passage, the rabbis in Midrash Eichah Rabbah envision Jeremiah awakening the patriarchs and Moses to plead with God to have mercy on Israel. Upon their failure to move God, the matriarch Rachel intervenes successfully.

Prof.

Hagith Sivan

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The Place(s) that YHWH will Choose: Ebal, Shiloh, and Jerusalem

Jews have long understood “the place that YHWH will chose” to mean Mount Zion in Jerusalem, while Samaritans have interpreted it as Mount Gerizim near Shechem. Archaeology and redaction criticism converge on a compromise solution: it refers to a series of places, one place at a time.

Zvi Koenigsberg

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Reconstructing the Features of Solomon’s Temple

A small shrine model, found in an archaeological excavation of the 10th century B.C.E. city at Khirbet Qeiyafa, together with a 9th century B.C.E. Temple excavated at Motza, help us better understand the Temple of Solomon, known only from the biblical text.

Dr.

Madeleine Mumcuoglu

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Prof.

Yosef Garfinkel

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Does God’s Property Belong to the Priesthood? Hittite Versus Biblical Law

Leviticus allows priests and their families to enjoy the donations and sacrifices to YHWH. This differs from Hittite practice of forbidding priests access to holy objects outside of limited ritual contexts. What is the reason for the difference between theses two priestly systems?

Professor

Ada Taggar-Cohen

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The Tabernacle: A Post-Exilic Polemic Against Rebuilding the Temple

The Priestly Torah discusses the Tabernacle at extraordinary length, emphasizing its portability. Nothing in P ever says this structure was meant to be temporary. P’s Tabernacle was not foreshadowing the Temple, but was a polemic against Haggai and Zechariah’s agitation to build the Second Temple.

Dr. Hacham

Isaac S. D. Sassoon

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Recasting the Temple Purification Ritual as the Yom Kippur Service

Leviticus 16 – ויקרא טז

Dr. Rabbi

David Frankel

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Reciting Psalm 30 on Chanukah: A Biblical Custom?

Prof.

Marc Zvi Brettler

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In the Presence of God

The Difference between God’s “Name (שם)” and “Presence (כבוד)”

Dr.

Michael Carasik

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A Theological Revolution in Devarim

Dr.

Tamar Kamionkowski

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When the God of Justice Goes Rogue

The haftarah for Parashat Yitro (Isaiah 6:1-7:6; 9:5-6), which portrays God’s opening revelation to Isaiah in the Temple, perfectly complements the parasha, which focuses on God’s revelation to Israel on Mount Sinai. But whereas the Sinai revelation portrays YHWH as the God of justice, the revelation to Isaiah paints a very different portrait, bringing up the uestion: What should we do when God goes rogue?

Prof.

Marvin A. Sweeney

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The Song at the Sea: What Does it Celebrate?

Prof.

Baruch J. Schwartz

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