HBRJD-GA 1002 | 3 Credits
JEWISH PHILOSOPHY AND ITS CRITICS
M 11 AM — 1:45 PM, Elisha Russ-Fishbane
The early Christian theologian, Tertullian, rhetorically asked, “What has Athens to do with Jerusalem? What agreement is there between the [Platonic] Academy and the Church?” By the medieval period, many Jewish thinkers were grappling with similar questions, often presuming a harmonious relationship between Athens and Jerusalem, but just as often objecting to the integration of the two. This 3-point seminar explores the development of a robust and diverse tradition of medieval Jewish philosophy from the ninth through the fifteenth centuries. Along the way, we will study some of the notable critiques of Jewish philosophy during this period and the heated controversies that they frequently generated. This course aims to familiarize students with the major periods, trends, and motivations of medieval Jewish philosophy, its relationship to philosophical traditions in medieval Islam and Christendom, the dynamic between philosophy and mysticism, the emergence of philosophical dogmatism, the problem of elitism and esotericism, and the robust debate over the place of philosophy in the Jewish tradition. We will devote a majority of class time reading and analyzing the primary sources. Texts written in Judeo-Arabic will be read in English translation, while Hebrew sources will be studied in the original. It is therefore critical that students have the requisite ability to read Hebrew texts (with a dictionary). Knowledge of Hebrew in any period (e.g. biblical, rabbinic, medieval, or modern) is a necessary starting point. Prior background in medieval Hebrew per se is not a prerequisite.
HBRJD-GA 1004 | 3 Credits
RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN HEBREW AND JUDAIC STUDIES
W 4:55 PM — 7:40 PM, Elisha Russ-Fishbane
This course examines the formation and transformation of Jewish Studies as a modern discipline and its recent developments in our own time. The course begins with a retrospective look at traditional methods of preserving and passing on the Jewish past, from antiquity to the late Middle Ages, by concentrating on mechanisms of memorialization. We then analyze the various attempts to construct the study of Jews and Judaism in the modern period by investigating the many motivations prompting this study, including efforts at religious reform and shifting political and personal ideologies from Europe to Israel to the United States.The course offers students an opportunity to conduct individualized research on recent developments in Jewish Studies and to share this work with one another. In addition, students will be exposed to four members of the Skirball Department, each representing different subfields of Jewish Studies, who will visit and present on recent developments in their own areas of study. The combination of intellectual engagement and personal exposure will equip students with the resources to maximize their academic and professional profile in the master's program
HBRJD-GA 1104 | 3 credits
M 8:00 AM – 10:45 AM, Daniel Fleming
Reading of Akkadian literature.
HBRJD-GA 1118 | 3 credits | Suitable for Master's students
ARAMAIC II: QUMRAN ARAMAIC
T 2:00 PM — 4:45 PM, Lawrence H Schiffman
This course will study the grammar and literary character of the Aramaic texts found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. A variety of texts will be read and analyzed in order to familiarize students with the various texts that came to light from the ancient library of Qumran. The significance of these texts for the history of Judaism will also be discussed.
HBRJD-GA 1180 | 2 Credits
MODERN HEBREW FOR BIBLICISTS
R 4:55 PM 7:40 PM, Rosalie Kamelhar
This course is intended to train students with a strong foundation in Biblical Hebrew to access academic articles in Modern Hebrew. The course will focus on reading material in the students' areas of scholarly interest.The linguistic structure of Biblical and Modern Hebrew will be addressed.
HBRJD-GA 1318 | 3 Credits
T 4:55 PM - 7:25 PM, Rosalie Kamelhar
Intensive study of the language of Hebrew academic discourse. Students study primary source material in their area of specialization and secondary critical material.
HBRJD-GA 1948 | 4 Credits | recommended for Masters Program
TOPICS IN ISRAELI STUDIES: MODERN JEWISH LITERATURE AND THEOLOGY
T 11:00 AM — 1:45 PM, Tafat Hacohen-Bick
Modern Hebrew literature was often understood as part of a broader secularization process within modern Judaism. Later scholarship has demonstrated how religious concepts and beliefs continued to play a central role in the Zionist movement and in Israeli culture. In this course, we will move beyond a binary opposition of religion and secularism, and try to see how theology functions in different periods and in the writings of different authors. We will ask which God is imagined within specific texts? Does the classification of certain works as "religious" help to unfold the meaning of the text? How did "theological remnants" shape the poetical language? And how do these aesthetic and theological sensitivities correspond to historical changes? We will focus on authors from the revival period, such as Berdichevsky and Bialik, later prominent authors like S.Y. Agnon, Pinchas Sadeh, and Yona Wallach, as well as contemporary authors such as Haviva Pedaya and Sivan Har-Shefi.
HBRJD-GA 2135 | 3 Credits | Suitable for Master's students
INTRODUCTION TO RABBINIC LITERATURE
R 11:00 AM - 1:45 PM, Jeffrey Rubenstein
This course is intended to provide a general introduction to classical rabbinic literature, the documents compiled by the rabbis between 200-600 CE, including the Mishna, Tosefta, Halakhic (Tannaitic) Midrashim, Amoraic Midrashim, the two Talmuds, and other rabbinic texts. It covers both the primary sources themselves and the main scholarly questions and debates concerning these compilations. Class time will be divided between the reading and analysis of the primary texts and the discussion of the secondary readings and status questions. The class is intended for both M.A. and Ph.D. students, especially Ph.D. students not specializing in Rabbinic Literature. All primary texts will be provided in both the original Hebrew/Aramaic and in translation. Ph.D. students specializing in rabbinic literature will be expected to prepare the originals and will meet for an extra hour; M.A. students and Ph.D. students not specializing in rabbinic literature should prepare the texts in translation.
HBRJD-GA 2457 | 4 Credits | Suitable for Master's students
CRITICAL THEORY AND ANCIENT JUDAISM
W 11:00 AM - 1:45 PM, Alex Jassen
This course introduces students to the ways that scholars of ancient Judaism employ critical theory. Students engage with the work of notable theorists and thereby gain knowledge in postmodern approaches and their application in Biblical and Jewish Studies. Particular attention is paid to literary studies, gender studies, and postcolonialism. The course examines how these theoretical approaches compare in their methods and results with historical-philological approaches to ancient texts and material culture.
HBRJD-GA 3311 | 3 Credits
TOPICS IN THE BIBLE: THE MEGILOT
W 8:00 AM - 10:45 AM, Daniel Fleming
Study of a selected biblical book, with careful attention to literary and historical problems.
HBRJD-GA 3324 | 3 Credits | Suitable for Master's students
INTEGRATIVE SEMINAR: THE BIBLE IN JEWISH CULTURE
W 2:00 PM - 4:45 PM, Michah Gottlieb
In this course we will explore the place of the Bible in Jewish culture by focusing on Bible translation. We will take translation in a broad sense as involving not only linguistic translation, but also cultural, social, and intellectual translation. Investigating ways in which Bible translation have helped shaped Jewish thought and culture over time and space, the course will have a broad temporal and geographic sweep ranging from the ancient Mediterranean to contemporary America.
HBRJD-GA 3507 | Variable 1-4 Credits
DIRECTED STUDY ANCIENT NEAR EASTERN & EGYPTIAN STUDIES
T 11:00 AM - 1:45 PM, Quinn Daniels
As a continuation of the Northwest Semitic Inscriptions offering, this directed study involves the transcription and translation of Old Aramaic inscriptions that date specifically to the Iron Age. Inscriptions to be treated include—but are not limited to—the Tel Dan Inscription, the Tell Deir Alla Inscription, the Zakkur Inscription, the Tell Fekheriye Inscription, and more. Basic knowledge of Biblical Hebrew is required, with some knowledge of Biblical Aramaic preferred. Some of the course will be dedicated to the reading of Phoenician inscriptions.
HBRJD-GA 3530 | 3 Credits | Suitable for Master's students
TOPICS IN HOLOCAUST STUDIES: TESTIMONY AND MEMORY
M 11:00 AM - 1:45 PM, Avinoam Patt
Topics in Holocaust Studies: Testimony and Memory. Students will explore the genre of Holocaust testimony through hands-on work with a variety of primary sources. The seminar interrogates testimonies written both during and after the war, as well as the genre of A-V testimony as it has evolved since the 1970s.
HBRJD-GA 3535 | 4 Credits
TPC/EST EURO JEWISH HISTORY: JEWS IN COMMUNIST AND POST-COMMUNIST SOCIETIES
M 4:55 PM - 7:40 PM, Gennady Estraikh
Exploration of a selected problem in the history of the Jews in Eastern Europe, emphasizing primarily, but not necessarily limited to, Russia and Poland.