Adath Shalom Scholar-In-Residence Events 2016-2017

August 6, 2016 Shabbaton:

  • D’var Torah on Mattot
  • Lecture after lunch on “Dating Ruth”

Dating Ruth:  A “how-to” session – for scholars, not bachelors – in which we will take a new look at an old book to understand “dating” in both senses of the word.  First we will work toward dating the book by attempting to place it in its original historical context.  Then we will use our knowledge of that ancient context to try to understand what “dating Ruth” meant for Boaz; the what, why, and how of Ruth’s bizarre courtship and marriage.  Ultimately, both meanings become intertwined as we use our “dating” knowledge to speculate on what the book is about; why it was written, and why it was preserved in the canon of the Tanakh.

Attendees: review and/or print out your copy of the handout in advance.  And for maximal enjoyment of the lecture, take a moment and (re-)read the book of Ruth – it’s fun (and short!).

Oct 29, 2016 Shabbaton:

  • D’var Torah on Bereishit
  • Lecture on “The Fall of Eve”

Bereishit: An overview of the storied history of interpretation of Adam and Eve; the interplay between genre and gender, myth and midrash, and the multiplicity of meanings that have been derived from Bereishit’s portrayal of this primordial pair.  For a sneak preview, check this out.

The Fall of Eve: A talking snake, magic trees, and the name of earth’s first woman are just some of the clues that Eden has an interesting back-story, rooted in ancient Near Eastern mythology, that differs markedly from its final written version recorded in the Bible.  Comparative literature reveals a hidden tale of a goddess demoted and estranged from her once powerful symbols of fertility and life in this reconstruction of the pre-history of Adam and Eve.

Attendeesreview and/or print out your copy of the handout in advance, and be sure to check out my fall-of-eve powerpoint of images that I’ll be discussing as part of this talk – note the constant imagery of snakes, plants, birds,  lions, and crescent moons, associated with goddesses over vast distances of space and time!

Feb 4, 2017 Study Session:

  • Monotheism in the Tanakh

May 20, 2017 Shabbaton (tentative):

  • D’var Torah on Behar
  • Lecture on “Biblical Magic”

June 24, 2017 Study Session (tentative):

  • Biblical Archaeology