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Universalism

Why Does “Our” God Send Jonah to Save the Assyrians in Nineveh?

The Book of Jonah is unique in describing an Israelite prophet sent to an Assyrian city to rebuke them for their sins and persuade them to repent. Were the Assyrians merely bit players in the divine plan for Israel, or does God really care about the sins of non-Israelites? Radak, Abravanel, and ibn Ezra have very different theological approaches to this question.

Rabbi

Steven Bob

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Punishing Egypt Measure-for-Measure

The plagues and the drowning of the Egyptians were designed to showcase YHWH’s power throughout the world (Exodus 9:16). Both the Wisdom of Solomon (1st cent. C.E.) and Mekhilta (2nd cent. C.E.) develop systematic interpretations of the plagues, showing how the details were measure-for-measure punishments, they differ on the meaning of the lesson when it comes to non-Jews.

Prof.

Ishay Rosen-Zvi

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Israel, God’s Chosen People?

In Deuteronomy, YHWH chooses Israel to be his holy (kadosh) and treasured (segulah) people. What does this mean in its original context, and can it be reconciled with contemporary universalist notions?

Dr. Rabbi

Michael Marmur

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Aleinu: God of All, or God of the Jews?

The Aleinu prayer begins, עלינו לשבח לאדון הכל, “It is for us to praise the Master of all,” which creates theological tension: If God is presented here as the Master of all, why is it only Jews who are to praise God?

Prof. Rabbi

Reuven Kimelman

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The Portrayal of Abraham in The Testament of Abraham

Dr.

Malka Z. Simkovich

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The Vision of 6th Century Chanukah in Zechariah

The Significance of the Rabbinic Choice of Haftarah for Shabbat Chanukah

Prof.

Eric M. Meyers

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Maimonides’ Purim and Chanukah Message of Peace

Both Chanukah and Purim are celebrations of Jewish victory over their enemies. Nevertheless, Maimonides turns these into holidays of peace.

Prof.

Menachem Kellner

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