Battles of the Bible 1 (2011)
Who was Saul, first king of the Jews, and why should we spend time learning about his life?
Is it ideal or good for the Jews to have a mortal king?
What was the nature of kingship in the ancient world, and why were the Jews so keen to get a king in the time of Saul?
What were war, arms and armaments like in the time of the battles between Israel and the Philistines?
These and other questions are discussed in this, the first of a four-part series on the battles of King Saul.
Are angels a major or minor component of daily life? Do Chaza”l seek to minimize or maximize the role of angels in Tanach and in life, and why? Are angels celestial beings or just people chosen to do God’s will? In this class, we address these and many more questions, as we survey various attitudes towards Angels gound in Chaza”l.
What are angels in Jewish thought? Are angels divine creatures or ordinary people in God’s service – even unknowingly? This class serves as an introduction to these questions, with a focus on angels as they appear in the Torah.
In which we discuss whether the idea of hell in the thought of Chaz”al is a physical or spiritual place. Also some good tips for avoiding it.
First of 4 classes in which we discuss if it’s a good ideas to have a class on hell and demons, and begin some introductory sources on hell.
In our fourth class on the Patriarchs we discuss the brachah and the bechorah, and such questions as:
Why did Yitzchak and Rivkah love Eisav and Yaakov, respectively?
Does it matter that we know the precise age Yitzchak was when he got married?
Why tell us Rivkah was barren just to tell us – in the same verse – that she conceived twins?
What is the significance of the sale of the birthright? Or Yitzchak digging wells?
If Rivkah thought Yitzchak should bless Yaakov, why didn’t she just say so, why trick him?
What was Yitzchak thinking, anyway; why would he bless Eisav?
All these, and more questions are answered; just click the link below for the class.
Patriarchs 4 2011
In our third class on the Patriarchs we discuss the akeidah, and such questions as:
1) What exactly was the test, and why would God demand it?
2) Didn’t Hashem promise Avraham earlier that Yitzchack would be a great nation?
3) Did Hashem renege on the promise? If so, why?
4) If Hashem didn’t renege, and Avraham knew Yitzchak would be fine, what is the nature of the test of the akeidah?
All these, and more questions are answered; just click the links below for the class.
Patriarchs 3 part 1 2011
Patriarchs 3 part 2 2011
Patriarchs 2 2011
Class 2 in our series: Understanding the Patriarchs in Text and Context, in which we explore:
What did Ishmael do to draw Sarah’s ire?
Wasn’t Sarah’s response, demanding Ishamel’s expulsion into the wilderness, pretty extreme?
Why did Avraham give Hagar and Ishmael only bread and water, why not give them gold and camels?
How does this story to an earlier, parallel story of Hagar in the wilderness?
For answers, click the link above!
Join us as we begin a new series of classes, focusing on the Patriarchs and Matriarchs in text and context.
In our first class we ask: why was Avraham chosen by God?
What does the text have to say, what does the midrash have to say, and how does one inform the other?
Click the link below for this class:
Patriarchs 1 2011
How is parshat Emor a cohesive unit?
What do the marriage and mourning rights (and rites) of the kohanim have to do with the holidays, or the story of the blasphemer?
What is a narrative doing in the almost-purely legal book of Vayikra?
Click the link below to find out: