Introduction: History and memory
Where’s the beginning? Adam, Abraham, and Moses
Who’s the boss? Part I: Judges, prophets, heroes, and kings
The life archaic
A series of small walls: Archaeology of the Bible
Visiting Lachish: A skills assessment
Israelites vs. Judahites
Social justice and the prophets
Hellenism and sectarianism
Why don’t the Maccabees have a megillah?
Who’s the boss? Part II: Priests, rabbis, kings, and emperors
Assessment: Temples and synagogues
Rabbinic Authority #1
Academy of Rabbi Aqiva: How do the Rabbis see themselves with respect to the past?
Rabbinic Authority #2
Rabbinic Authority #3
Rabbinic Authority #4
Babylonia: The rise of the Babylonian Jewish community
Must one move to Israel if one can? (Or is it better to stay in Babylonia?)
How do the Rabbis of Babylonia see themselves once they have supplanted the community in Israel?
The Iggeret of Rav Sh’rira Gaon
Who controls the calendar?
Relations with non-Jews: How do we relate to people who engage in avodah zarah?
The end of an era? The diffusion of rabbinic authority
Another look at emancipation
The Edict of Tolerance