Ninth Grade: Rabbinic Civilization—Syllabus (Tzachie Shalev)


September 23

Opening Sunday

September 30

Introduction: History and memory

October 7

Where’s the beginning? Adam, Abraham, and Moses

October 14

Who’s the boss? Part I: Judges, prophets, heroes, and kings

October 21

The life archaic

October 28

A series of small walls: Archaeology of the Bible

November 4

Visiting Lachish: A skills assessment

November 11

Israelites vs. Judahites

November 18

Social justice and the prophets

December 2

Hellenism and sectarianism

December 9

Why don’t the Maccabees have a megillah?

December 16

Who’s the boss? Part II: Priests, rabbis, kings, and emperors


January 6

Assessment: Temples and synagogues

January 13


January 27

Rabbinic Authority #1
Academy of Rabbi Aqiva: How do the Rabbis see themselves with respect to the past?

February 3

Rabbinic Authority #2

February 10

Rabbinic Authority #3 

February 24

Rabbinic Authority #4 

March 2

Babylonia: The rise of the Babylonian Jewish community

March 16

Must one move to Israel if one can? (Or is it better to stay in Babylonia?)

March 23 

How do the Rabbis of Babylonia see themselves once they have supplanted the community in Israel?

The Iggeret of Rav Sh’rira Gaon

March 30

Who controls the calendar?

April 13

Relations with non-Jews: How do we relate to people who engage in avodah zarah?

May 4

The end of an era? The diffusion of rabbinic authority 

May 11

Another look at emancipation

May 18

The Edict of Tolerance